If you thought we didn’t like writing about Canadian punks, then there’s a good chance you’ve never read this here blog. Canada’s ever-growing punk landscape has become a hotbed for varying guttural acts and the sludgy cult leaders (not actually) in Toronto, Ontario’s post-punk, grimed-out outfit HSY (“Hussy”) beg for your ears’ attention. This four-headed beast has a few splits under their belt, as well as a self-titled 7-inch and their spankin’ new, debut full length, Bask, out September 11 on Buzz Records, is completely out of control.
Fresh off the start of their Negative Qualities tour, SINGLE MOTHERS came through Chicago with one intention: To tear apart our cold ass winter and leave us in a sweaty pile on a beer-soaked floor. Making rounds with fellow Canadian punks THE DIRTY NIL, SINGLE MOTHERS outperformed their last Chicago show, despite a few sound issues, and the crowd’s response was still a perfect parallel to the blood and sweat that was left on the stage. The show’s adversity isn’t new to the London, Ontario natives either; with break-ups and members leaving since conception, these Canadians aren’t afraid to roll through the punches. The core seems healthier than ever and their debut LP is the only proof you need.
SINGLE MOTHERS IS DREW THOMSON, MICHAEL PETERSON, EVAN REDSKY, and BRANDON JAGERSKY
It’s always a drag when one of your favorite bands hardly gets as much recognition as you think they should. It’s even sadder when, with just two LPs under their belt, they decide to call it quits. But alas, this is the story of YELLOWBIRDS, the brainchild of astute musician SAM COHEN, who started the project recording songs in his apartment in what what he claimed was a “disparate” attempt at making music. But it evolved into much more.
Sometimes it’s true that trends in music produce exhaustingly cookie-cutter sounds, but on the flip-side, sometimes those trends can help unearth true musical gems. Electric Citizen is one of those rare gems. They pay homage to the dark, classic Sabbath-esque occult psych sound, while lead singer Laura Dolan’s seductive vocals blend some deep layers into the mix. Dolan has the perfectly witchy voice to convince you that maybe, just maybe, she actually could cast an evil, life-shattering spell on you if she wanted to. Electric Citizen’s driving rhythms and use of ominous organs bring a sense of impending doom that’s all brought back to the earthly realm by the bending guitar solos from Ross Dolan. It’s no surprise how well the two collaborate given that they are high school sweethearts now-married and although Electric Citizen has only been playing together for about 2 years, it sounds as if it’s been much longer.
“Thanks to a geographical kinship, [Daniel] Bachman – a Virginia native who wrote his debut record in Philadelphia – will likely soon tire of comparisons to Jack Rose,” wrote Pitchfork contributor Grayson Currin way back in 2012 when guitarist Bachman’s Seven Pines LP was released.
Guitar-playing greats like Rose and John Fahey are frequently mentioned nearly every time someone discusses his Bachman’s, but who knows if Bachman has tired of the comparisons? Bachman’s mastery of his steel-stringed guitar is definitely evocative of his American Primitive forebears, but that’s also definitely not a bad thing. Plus, Bachman was actually friends with Rose, who died of a heart attack in 2009, and has said that he grew up listening to Rose’s recordings. Rose even commissioned Bachman to do the album artwork for Rose’s last album, Luck in the Valley (released posthumously on Thrill Jockey in 2010).
Bachman released his most recent album, Orange Co. Serenade, on Asheville’s Bathetic Records, a follow-up to 2013’s Jesus I’m A Sinner (which has great album cover art), and has another LP slated to come out in September on Three Lobed Recordings. Busy guy!
The 24-year-old Bachman is also quite the endearing performer, as evidenced by the Tiny Desk Concert he did for NPR in 2012: “After a rousing performance of ‘Honeysuckle Reel’…Bachman turned beet-red in the NPR Music office and said, ‘I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty nervous.’”
Check out some of Bachman’s older music on this Soundcloud page, and watch a video of him performing “Coming Home,” from Orange Co. Serenade, below…
Japanese chanteuse Ai Aso recently put out her album Lone on Sunn O))) co-founder Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ label, making her label-mates with heavy lifters like Sir Richard Bishop (who will be at the Bottle on September 2nd with Tashi Dorji; tickets here) from Sun City Girls and the monstrous Nazoranai (who played the Bottle earlier this year).
Japanese track maker/DJ/painter (his self-ascribed titles) FOODMAN (aka Shokuhin Maturi) is one of the big players in Japan’s footwork scene. He put out his 24-track tape「IROIRO」on Oklahoma’s Digitalis label last year and a 19-song release on Birmingham, Alabama’s Noumenal Loom in May. “We all want to ride this ride forever, throwing hands toward the sky hoping for lift-off that never comes,” Digitalis says of the producer’s music.
Outrageously-named Toronto “noise gang” TEEN TITS WILD WIVES is a band we’ve recently become pretty fond of. The band’s latest release, the Street Hawkz EP, is a great example of what they call themselves: a noise gang. The five track EP runs just a bit under 15 minutes and each track has its own distinctive feel. However, the noise never stops coming on this surprisingly-cohesive effort. The opening track, “KD,” is a mostly instrumental track that could draw comparisons to Dinosaur Jr. and Cloud Nothings. The in-unison chants at the end will remind you of the children from “The Wall” all grown up and still pissed of. The final song of the EP, “Avec Cheeze,” has the feel of a noise punk band doing its interpretation of a western song that could be found on the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino movie. Within this mix of ever-mutating noise, TEEN TITS WILD WIVES still manage to bring in some poppy lyrics and catchy melodies.
Fatima Al Qadiri is a Brooklyn-by-way-of-Kuwait-and-Senegal producer who put out her most recent album, Asiatisch, on Hyperdub (home of Flying Lotus and the late, great DJ Rashad). The title of the album comes from the German word for “Asian,” and, according to Al Qadiri, the album is meant to convey a sense of “imagined China,” a country that she knows only through cultural representations.
It’s been almost four years since the Canadian band Women (unofficially) broke up, although its various members have been involved in numerous musical projects since then. Guitarist Christopher Reimer played with the Dodos before his death in 2012, vocalist and guitarist Patrick Flegel unveiled a new project called Androgynous Mind, and bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace joined forces with two other Calgary musicians (Scott Munro and Danny Christiansen) to form Viet Cong.