This month, Canadian Content Machine featured a record number of bands here on our pages!
Going out decidedly not like a lamb, March ended as we were finishing our coverage of the Juno Awards 2014 in Winnipeg (for those that missed our predictions lists, you can check them out here, here, and here). April, thankfully, was much nicer as temperatures warmed, and we had plenty of new music to listen to boot.
New Album Reviews!
For those interested in the offbeat (or just plain strange), we featured Mac DeMarco, now residing in Brooklyn by-way-of-Toronto-by-way-of-Montreal-by-way-of-Vancouver-by-way-of-Edmonto-by-way-of-Duncan, British Columbia. Yes, this lo-fi weirdo has certainly travelled around a bit, but the introspective nostalgia of his new album, Salad Days, should prove that there is more than meets the eye. Read our review of Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days here.
Next, we looked at Montreal’s Wind & the Wild, who just released a new EP titled (naturally) Wind & the Wild. This fine folk foursome have been winning hearts and minds of fans across the country. Their new EP is the perfect soundtrack for your road trip. Don’t forget to catch them at The Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec, on May 23. Read our review of Wind & the Wild’s Wind & the Wild here.
Toronto’s The Lad Classic made a huge impact this month with their release of Thunder. “New Classic Rock” seems oxymoronic, but there is no better description for this group as they turn their amps to eleven and destroy the eardrums of many a willing listener. “Cadillac Jack”, Thunder’s lead single, can already be heard on rock radios across the country. And don’t worry if you prefer it a little (or a lot) softer: the band also does acoustic sets, with one coming up May 3rd at The Cameron House, Toronto. You can check out our review of The Lad Classic’s Thunder here.
And now for something richly different. Ottawa-bred baritone Jonathan Estabrooks has, for many years, been hard at work performing in musical theatre, opera, and classical concerts. This April was finally the time he made his studio debut, the classy and classical These Miles. You can listen to Estabrooks in person when he performs at the legendary Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for three shows on May 20-21. Read our full review of Jonathan Estabrooks’ These Miles here.
A band that is getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately, we took a look at Coronado’s new EP, Remain Calm. The Toronto band has been quite prolific, with their second release in two years and they are already previewing new songs from their next release at their live shows. Speaking of which, check them out in our Concert Reviews down below. Read the full review of Remain Calm by Coronado here.
How to Live Life to the Fullest with Harlan Pepper: An Interview with Dan Edmonds and Review of their Latest
A band whose sound bespeaks wizened maturity despite being fresh out of high school, Hamilton’s Harlan Pepper continues to capture audiences with their new album, Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest. Produced by rock vet Colin Linden, the album’s mix of folksy psychedelica with electric vibes will surely rein in the accolades as the year goes on. Our reviewer also had the chance to talk with the band’s frontman, Dan Edmonds. For the complete take, read our review of Harlan Pepper’s Take Out a Twenty here.
New Band, Album, and Track Previews!
Victoria’s Isobel Trigger, led by frontwoman and vocalist Felicia Harding, is a band that has captured our attention over and over again. You may have already heard them from their 2009 release Island, and perhaps you’re listening to their latest single right now. “Dust and Bones”. Their new EP, Nocturnal is set for released this summer, and our writer was pleased to say that it will offer something new while retaining Isobel Trigger’s distinctive sound. Find out more by reading the album preview here.
These hulky boys from Kingston put Canadian listeners on notice last year when they won 97.7 HTZ-FM’s Rock Search. Now, The Glorious Sons aim to build on their wave of success, hitting airwaves across the country with hard rock hits like “Mama”. Pretty good for a band that is not even two years old. Catch The Glorious Sons when they blow through Southern Ontario in May, with dates in Burlington and Barrie. Read our full feature on The Glorious Sons here.
And here we are with the hugely-hyped CANVAS, making a big splash with their newly released single, “Keeping Score”. Comparisons to Pendulum and Muse are well-warranted here, with a bombastic, synth-driven sound that will surely be setting fires across Canadian playlists this year (and why not the world?). Expect big things out of this Toronto five-piece, and if you’re there during Canadian Music Week, don’t forget to catch them at the Czehoski Bar on May 8th. Check out the full review of the new single by CANVAS here.
These Midland natives released their fourth studio album Birthmarks to critical acclaim last year. But, it looks like Born Ruffians aren’t finished yet; their new reissue Birthmarks Deluxe features an entirely new disc brimming with acoustic reworkings and new material. Don’t worry, as our reviewer will tell you, this reissue is all killer and no filler. Read the full review of the reissue here.
Every Monday at The Sister, one of Parkdale’s most reputed bars, you can check out some up-and-coming live acts at Indie Mondays. On Monday, April 14th, one of our writers checked the venue out and took in some fine local Toronto acts: an understated one-woman performance from folkster Mip, a blistering set from surf rockers Luau or Die, and a rollicking, Ramones-worthy show put on by headlining act The Outbred Inlaws. While the bar hasn’t put together a new Indie Mondays set at the moment, you can check out our full take on how this one went here.
As mentioned before, Toronto’s Coronado is getting plenty of attention from us, and quite deservedly so. They put on an excellent live performance on Thursday, April 24th at The Piston bar in Bloorcourt. As a very pleasant surprise, they finished out their set with plenty of new material to move to, with standouts such as “Lighter than Air” and “Congratulations” . You can next catch them at Dance Cave supporting Moving Units on May 30th. Read the full review of Coronado’s live show here.
We also finished our series featuring each and every Canadian band playing at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival in August. Notable bands you may or may not have heard of include The Beaches, July Talk, Royal Canoe and much more! If you haven’t booked your tickets and made plans for your summer trip to Quebec, do so now! Check out Parts 3 and 4, both published this month.
So, that’s all for April, folks. But don’t expect us to lay down lightly now that better weather is here. The month of May will bring plenty of new albums to review, concerts to see, and bands to check out. Some of the artists we will be reviewing shortly include Halifax’s Cousins, Ontario metalheads Drofnosura and DeSever, and Toronto rapper More or Les. Also, we will be doing full coverage of Canadian Music Week 2014 in Toronto, complete with band spotlights, venue breakdowns, and concert reviews. Don’t miss out!
For your Canadian music fix, keep checking in with Canadian Content Machine!