Current Tracks: Bridal Party - "Feed Me or Leave Me" Double Single

When asked to name a Victoria band with a distinct sound, the first group that comes to mind is Bridal Party. Their debut EP, Hot Daze, combined doses of lazy surf, dreamy bedroom pop and cool blues; tunes that would easily set the scene of smoking weed in your parent's basement in the seventies, if your parents had a penchant for pastel paint hues. In their new release, Bridal Party has tightened up their act with more prominent keyboard jams and a more minimalist style of drumming. The lyrics maintain their easily-relatable, melancholic twinge with a delivery so fascinating that you have to listen carefully to hear the plight of vocalists Joseph and Suz amongst the toe-tapping tunes that accompany them. In “ATTN Whore” Suz’s pitch-perfect voice takes center stage in front of a groovy beat and electric jolts of synth. “LBC (Lonely Boys Club)” dishes out a more chilled-out feel with keys that give a slight gospel vibe, a guitar riff reminiscent of Hot Daze days, and the sweet vocal stylings of Joseph Leroux.

Bridal party continues to provide us with a great blend of genres and sounds that they are known best for. In “Attn Whore” and “LBC”, this five-piece has managed to bundle the teen-dream feeling of their yesteryear and reproduce it in a more mature, cleaned up package that so many can relate to, reminisce with and bump through their speakers over and over again.

Max Monday

Current Tracks: Mouth Breather - Mysteries of Nature

 
 

It’s important to love yourself, but there are many times throughout our lives that we as human beings struggle to find comfort in the notion that we can love who we are.  “It is too egotistical” we might find ourselves saying, or at other times it is simply an amalgamation of  our own insecurities that tell us we’re just not worth loving. But, of course, the reality is completely the opposite. Any and all roadblocks preventing you from loving you are nothing more than human folly and fabrication.

Do you ever fall in love in your dreams?  You walk down the street and bump into a visage of which you have never before laid eyes upon and instantly the two of you, in a fervour of intoxicating passion, spontaneously elope? Running through endless scenarios of life, love and happiness while travelling everywhere from the bay of bengal to the outermost nothingness of the universe?  Or perhaps you find yourself in a caliginous dive bar populated by a sparse collection of mobster figurines pulled from the major motion picture Chicago, and in the far corner, sitting alone, you spot a stranger who you know nothing and yet everything about? And the two of you proceed to talk like old friends, until you lose yourself in their eyes, floating in the nirvana of another’s embrace until the cruel hands of reality pull you back into the waking life?

If you’ve ever experienced the allure of such a metaphysical romance you can pat yourself on the back.  You’ve successfully fallen in love with yourself.  I don’t think it’s necessary for me to explain the subtleties of dream manifestation but suffice it to say, that mysterious other you have so passionately fawned over was merely your own mind trying to make you say “I love you.”  And boy did it do a great job didn’t it?  How charming, beautiful, wise, cunning, aromatic, tantalising, uppity, audacious and sanguine our minds are, aren’t they?  And if we can love our minds, what’s not to love about us in general?  Manifest positive thought, indulge your blessed natural fantasies, and let your self-love shine bright like a diamond. Oh, we’re halfway there. Oh, living on a prayer. Peace, gluten-free bread, and land.  


Mysteries of Nature is now available on all streaming platforms.

Current Tracks: Waists - Debris (Demos)

 

As satisfying as the first step into a patch of grass on a frosty spring morning, the crunch of lo-fi bass is the foundation for Debris, a demo tape released by Victoria locals Waists. Recorded onto a 4-track, the two songs from this album use fuzz and echo for two completely different outcomes: Beach Day creates a slow, booming soundscape reminiscent of Pasteboard-era shoegaze with the aid of crashing drums, while Unholiday delivers a sound similar to fellow Victoria artist Flora Bay, emphasized by the dreamy croon of vocalist Susie.

Waists successfully showcases the versatility of distortion in Debris while keeping a consistent theme of bedroom lo-fi goodness.

- Max Monday

Current Tracks: Time - Right Now

 

New to the Vancouver music scene, Right Now is the solo project of Victoria’s Smoke Eaters’ pal Peter Mackenzie. Released on February 7th, his new track “Time” combines the deep, yearning sadness of cello paired with bright piano chords and drums, and offers a much-unheard take on romantic friendship. At times crooning and at times singing in an almost unrecognisable saccharine tone, Mackenzie takes turns with his voice, all the while toying with just a hint of Growlers-esque west coast blues; the pairing lends the song many different levels of emotions that the listener can empathize with, especially with the opening lines “time divides us more than distance / I live in yesterday, you live two years ahead”.

Mackenzie does a great job of identifying the uncertainty of limerence and the want for connection with those we care about.

- Max Monday

Current Tracks: No Joy - Califone

 

Like the groundhog evading his shadow (but decisively not bullshit of course), the arrival of No Joy’s “Califone” assures us that summer is undoubtedly in our future. This is definitely one of those tracks that warrant the full commitment of your ears for that very first listen. Although it only runs three and a half minutes long, the way the song shifts from a choppy art-rock onset, then dives into a hook that’s all fuzzy psychedelic dream pop and back again, gives the sensation that you’ve lived an entire summer in a short couple of minutes. The ladies of No Joy sure know how to leave a person grasping with that existential feeling of nostalgia, while knowing full well you’re going to play it over again and again.

Catch their brand new EP Creep on Grey Market Records February 24th. You better believe this is one record release show I’m finding my way into.

- Olivia Perry

Current Tracks: OKGB - Self-Titled EP

 

Calgary imports OKGB have finally dropped an EP they're willing to stick their name to. The four lo-fi tracks of OKGB, recorded by Misha Oreshkov of Smoke Eaters, set themselves apart from The Careless Michael Singles and Tap Out as the band’s most visceral recording to date. Characterized by pulsing bass and guitar harmonies, and Carter Forman’s dominating, nervous drawl, EP opener “Last Song” plays the role of voyeur to some ominous danger. Second track “Muscle Memory” is comparatively twinkling; an almost-love song. The inimitable guitar plodding of “Wraparounds” surveys the border between fantasy and intimacy. Final track “Tasteful Nudes” rhymes about entrapment: “Collapse collapse. / Cannot relax. / Relapse, relapse. /  Running these laps” shout Forman and guitarist Jack Weston in tandem. OKGB remains dually cheeky and serious, using bright guitar leads, fuzzed out bass, and linear drumming to tackle voicelessness, desire, and their own trenchant tendencies.

OKGB by OKGB ends in under 12 minutes, but I’ll bet you these boys will have more to say.

- Joseph Leroux

Current Tracks: Pretty Woman - Ethics

 

If you haven't heard of Pretty Woman yet, well it's about time you get acquainted. After recording their first single "Imaginary Audience" with hometown friend Evan of Painted Fruit, they now bring you "Ethics". A bustling upbeat track that is sure to have you moving from side to side.

Catch them live at the Copper Owl this Saturday, January 14th. Click the image below for event the event page. 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Tracks: Bousada - North Park

The Victoria, BC based rapper/producer Bousada continues to drop catchy lo-fi singles that highlight the wonders and woes of the west coast. On his latest track, “North Park”--named after Bousada’s favourite Victoria borough--he begins by calling himself out as one of the “suckers making music” in a town where “the rent’s such a dent”. It’s not an unfair sentiment; vacancy rates have dipped as low as 0.6%, while Victoria continues to garner an auspicious reputation as a hip city to live, work and vacation in.

As far as the track is concerned, the production feels like Bousada’s idealized Victoria might: unpretentious and warm, and vibes well with the artist’s didactic bars: “I found [my place] but now it’s hard to ignore / that I’m living in a city I can barely afford.” The final verse ends in this way, encapsulating the tension between feeling at home and feeling the financial pinch of a life dedicated to the arts, spent in a city that is rapidly outpacing the reach of many of its makers.

If you think gentrification is an ugly word, find a friend in Bousada by giving his “North Park” track a listen.

- Joseph Leroux

Current Tracks: YÉ YÉ ÜMBRĂ - ☽ S E V E N T E E N ☆

Didn't get your fill of spooks during this extended Halloween weekend? Thankfully we have Victoria's own YÉ YÉ ÜMBRĂ to bring us another day of chilling tunes. Released on Halloween, this is the first recorded track from the self-described freak-folk artist. With an ambient and suspenseful intro, ☽ S E V E N T E E N ☆ is a moody meditation on adolescence. The heavily effected snare rumbles punctuate layers of jangly off-kilter acoustic noodling and vocals, creating a dark, Autumnal space for the listener to spiral into.

Check out YÉ YÉ ÜMBRĂ on December 2nd to hear
☽ S E V E N T E E N ☆ in the flesh!

- Colin Crawford

Current Tracks: Greys - Warm Shadow

Having already released their sophomore album Outer Heaven a mere six months ago, it seems unbelievable that Toronto’s Greys would be able to release a second album this year, and manage to keep it a total surprise.  The lo-fi sister to April’s Outer Heaven, Warm Shadow finds the band experimenting heavily with drone techniques, creating a haunting atmosphere of vague distortion, perfect for October.  An eclectic mix of tracks with varying styles - from full on drone tracks like “Colour out of Space” to the 2 minutes of raging noise of “Fresh Hell”, and the 7 minute epic “Space Mountain”- Warm Shadow shows that Greys is much more than just a punk band capable of hemorrhaging ear drums.

- Clark Ridge

Warm Shadow is available on bandcamp for whatever you’d like to pay, and all proceeds until October 12th will donated to Sistering, a women’s shelter based in Toronto.


https://greys.bandcamp.com/

Current Tracks: BEL - ATTICS

BEL is a project by Dan Belgue, a musician and maker, residing in Victoria, BC. 

ATTICS, the debut EP from BEL, is the result of a winter of creative exploration and experimental recording. 

Hiding away in a make-shift studio/attic/bedroom, and using a minimal assortment of gear, ATTICS was recorded and mixed one track at a time on a Yamaha 4-track cassette recorder.

The resulting sounds - layering warm waves of electric guitar, organic acoustic tones, and vocals that at times seem to be floating through outer space - create a collection of songs that, although maybe hard to define, perfectly embody the time and space in which they were recorded.

catch bel at vinyl envy june 25th

Current Tracks: CROATIA - Backseat

Video: Katrina Wong

Video: Katrina Wong

Since their start in early 2014, Victoria synth-pop group Croatia have solidified themselves as a household name in the city, playing shows on a near-monthly basis and landing themselves gigs alongside Gang Signs and Mesa Luna. Back in 2015 they released their debut two-track EP, but have since focused their energy on songwriting and developing their sound as a live unit. Until now.

Finally, almost two years after their EP, the band has released “Backseat as their first single off a nameless upcoming album.

 The track is more assertive as a dance tune than their first two releases. And unlike some electronic groups whose sound loses presence in the recording process, Croatia’s studio version of “Backseat only magnifies the many layers of synths, guitars, and vocals that are so vivid in their live sets. It starts off with a melodic sample that resonates a Flume track, and once the drums comes in and Tash’s sultry vocals take over, you’re immersed in a dark and ferocious beat—which is exactly what we love about Croatia.

 

Current Tracks: SUMAC - Rigid Man

Coming together once again is the super talented group of Aaron Turner (ISIS the band), Brian Cook (Russian Circles), and local Vancouverite Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists). After a recent signing to record label Thrill Jockey and in anticipation of their upcoming record "What One Becomes", SUMAC has released another righteous track screeching with raw power, "Rigid Man".

Blasting your ears from the start (as they tend to do) the track powers along with echoing bends pulled back down by the aggressive amount of distortion coming from Aaron Turner's masterful hands. As usual you will find Nick Yacyshyn pounding away in erratic time signature up until the five minute mark at which point the song takes a moment to relax and invigorate the listener, luring them into a false sense of calm before the unsuspecting onslaught that ensues.

Needless to say I cannot wait for this new album to come out, enjoy!

- Colby

Current Tracks: Animal Collective - Hocus Pocus

David Portner, Noah Lennox, and Brian Weitz of the eclectic noise pop band Animal Collective, continue to dominate the psychedelic music scene release after release. The Maryland locals have undoubtedly left a significant mark in the domain of contemporary psych-pop with their bright and busy brand of experimental psychedelia.`

Their tenth studio album, Painting With, unconventionally premiered last November through the speakers of Baltimore-Washington International Airport, on loop, until nightfall.

The band launched a free iOS app in February, also called Painting With,  that allows two people to wirelessly connect and paint together in real-time and features an unreleased song.

The second track off the new album, ‘Hocus Pocus’, features the quintessential overlapping vocal harmonies of Portner and Lennox, a universe of modular synthesizers and foot pedal loops, and a drone played by John Cale, a founding member of experimental rock band, Velvet Underground. These are the elements of another exceptional tune by Animal Collective.

One wonders how this sixteen-year-old band will stay relevant in the ever-changing sphere of modern music. Is there still a place for this breed of avant-garde in the coming years? Regardless of where the band’s future might go, Animal Collective has transformed into an archetype of experimental music from their humble beginnings as high school friends exchanging homemade tapes.

- Sants

Current Tracks: Lakelse - The Prospect of the Dream EP

Lakelse (pronounced Lake-else) is an alt rock band from Victoria, BC. Their first release, The Prospect of the Dream EP contains five distorted and noisy anthems floated below vocalist Nash Park’s earnest lyricism. These songs are punchy and primarily guitar-driven, sharing some affinities with heavier genres, but retaining a softer emotional quality overall. It’s the moments of experimentation on The Prospect of the Dream--where Lakelse dives away from a more rigid sonic structure--that are the most exciting. The saxophone on Closing Credits journeys from reserved-to-cathartic; the billowing guitar noise on The Giants are on Fire is similar. It’ll probably take a few more shows and perhaps another release or two to understand what Lakelse is all about, but one thing is for certain: whatever this band does, they do it on purpose.

- Joseph Leroux

Current Tracks: BOUSADA - Shake

BOUSADA is the solo project of Graeme Bousada, a 26 year old producer and singer-songwriter based out of Victoria, BC. Graeme started the project last winter, writing, producing, performing and recording from his bedroom in Fernwood and hopes to release his debut EP this spring 2016. All of the music is written to be performed on stage as a continuous set, played and sequenced live using a loop pedal in an attempt to blur the lines between DJ and musician. You can catch BOUSADA live at Logan's Pub this Friday, January 22nd.


soundcloud.com/bousada/shake

facebook.com/bousadamusic

 

Current Tracks: Sure - Fuck Forever

The emerging alt-rock locals Sure, manage to effortlessly capture Victoria life in the form of ten power chord-driven punk melodies that make up their debut album, Either Way. The sixth song on the album, aptly titled “Fuck Forever”, is introduced by a lethargic, yet compelling guitar solo that erupts into a sequence of crunchy power chords. The song chronicles a tale of heartbreak and bitter contempt for an ex-lover and her self-indulgent cohorts as lead singer Kyle Hull sings “Things aren’t getting any better/so fuck forever”. Check out Sure with Jons and Freak Heat Waves tonight at Lucky Bar.

- Sants

Current Tracks: Ernie - figi afterglow

While digging for new music the other night, I came across a four-piece band from North Carolina named Ernie. Their demo figi afterglow was recorded and mixed by founding member Lamont Brown (vox-bass) in his bedroom and was released back in January 2015. Since then, Ernie has put out another EP Dog Park, but it was figi afterglow that initially drew me to the band.  Lamont and company instantly had me with their groovy bedroom indie style.  With a driving bass rhythms and well-timed lyrical placement, figi afterglow has got me hooked.

- Colby

Ernie's Facebook

 

Current Tracks: Fox Glove - "Roll On" EP

Fox Glove is an alt-folk trio based in Victoria BC. The all-female group consists of Renn Madeleine Bibeau, Claire Butterfield, and Chelsea Kanstrup. These three girls combine their different vocal styles to produce a unique and refined sound Victoria desperately needs. Today, Fox Glove releases their new EP Roll On, through Infiniti Studios. The three-track EP focuses primarily on the hypnotic vocal harmonies of the trio with back-up instrumentation by local names such as Sam Weber and Dougal Bain. In conjunction with tonight's EP release, Fox Glove launches a Vancouver Island mini-tour, with shows being played in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Qualicum over this Thanksgiving weekend.

- Sants

Current Tracks: Mick Jenkins - Wave[s]

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Mick Jenkins hit the spotlight with last year's excellent The Water(s), and quickly established himself as a strong and cerebral voice in hip-hop. His follow up EP Wave(s) comes out August 21st and continues on the same thematic bearing as The Water(s), featuring beats by Kaytranada and ThemPeople. Ripe with melancholy and brooding intellect, Wave(s) is sure to appeal to the headier side of any musical tastes. You can catch Mick Jenkins at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver on September 27th

- Truman S