Author Archives: J2

CMW 2017

 

It’s Canadian Music Week! Which means more than just being able to drink until 4am. Take my advice and go see these bands.

 

Thurs. April 20th

7pm: Outlet Drift @ Rivoli

7:45pm – Honey Beard @ Longboat

7:55pm: 88Balaz @ Rivoli

8pm: The Johans @ Dakota Tavern

8:30pm: Caracol @ Great Hall

8:30pm: NQ Arbuckle @ Phoenix

9pm: Nyssa @ Costume House

9:20pm: Ambre McLean @ The Vault

10pm: Seazoo @ Bovine

10pm: Charlotte Day Wilson @ Mod Club

10pm: Dresden Wolves @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

10pm: AHI @ The Vault

10pm: Wildlife @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Charlotte Cornfield @ Baby G

10:30pm: Belle Game @ Costume House

10:40pm – Tanya Tagaq @ Phoenix

11pm: Matt Mays @ Lee’s Palace

11pm: Pierre Kwenders @ Supermarket

11pm: Dick Rodan @ Boots & Bourbon

11pm: Sebadoh @ Horseshoe

11pm: She-Devils @ Costume House

11:50pm – Whitehorse @ Phoenix

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Les Deuxluxes @ Supermarket

12am: Incredible Woman @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

12am: Frigs @ Costume House

12am: Murder Murder @ Dakota Tavern

12am: Zoobombs @ Horseshoe

1am: Crazy Bones @ Horseshoe

1am: Dentist @ Nightowl

1am: Outlet Drift @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

1:10am: The Dead Love @ Hideout

 

Fri. April 21st

8pm: Chicklet @ Silver Dollar

8pm: The Dead Love @ Horseshoe

8:30pm: Dune Rats @ Lee’s Palace

9pm: Magnolian @ Rivoli

9pm: SC Mira @ Horseshoe

9pm: NOBRO @ Garrison

9pm: Girlongirl @ Silver Dollar

9pm: Slow Leaves @ Cameron House

9pm: Jesse Roper @ Dakota Tavern

9:20pm: New Swears @ Lee’s Palace

9:45pm: Bedwarmer @ Sneaky Dee’s

9:45pm: Caveboy @ Adelaide Hall

10pm: Bitch Falcon @ Bovine

10pm: Menage @ Cherry Cola’s

10pm: Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs @ Garrison

10pm: Shy Kids @ Horseshoe

10pm: Sportsfan @ Silver Dollar

10pm: Not Of @ Baby G

10pm: Alexandria Maillot @ Paddock

10pm: Chastity @ Great Hall

10pm: Ria Mae @ Adelaide

10:10pm – Dead Heavens @ Lee’s Palace

10:45pm: A-Fos & the Rude Youth @ Hard Rock Cafe

11pm: Incredible Woman @ Bovine

11pm: New Swears @ Garrison

11pm: Walrus @ Monarch Tavern

11pm: Forty-Seven Teeth @ Smiling Buddha

11pm: Common Deer @ Horseshoe

11pm: Bike Thiefs @ Baby G

11pm: Jo Jo O’ & The Woods @ Paddock

11pm: Bueller @ Silver Dollar

11pm: D and Chi @ Cameron House

11:15pm – Crown Lands @ Hard Luck

12am: The Beaches @ Horseshoe

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Solids @ Garrison

12am: Krief @ Rivoli

12am: Hoan @ Baby G

12am: NOYZ @ Revival

12:10am – Bloody Diamonds @ Hard Luck

1am: Duchess Says @ Baby G

1am: The Brains @ Horseshoe

1am: Greys @ Garrison

1am: Sumo Cyco @ Bovine

2am: A Primitive Evolution @ Bovine

2am: RendeR @ Cherry Cola’s

 

Sat. April 22nd

7:30pm – Hello Delaware @ Rivoli

8pm: Across The Board @ Grace O’Malley’s

8pm: The Foreign Resort @ Hideout

8pm: Pony @ Lee’s Palace

9pm: Crown Lands @ Bovine

9pm: Slamboni @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

9pm: Magnolian @ Cameron House

9pm: Kemba @ Velvet Underground

9pm: Tabah @ Grace O’Malley’s

9pm: Thrifty Kids @ Silver Dollar

9pm: Twist @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Eastern Owl @ Cameron House

10pm: Moon Tan @ Bovine

10pm: Vallens @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Daniel Romano @ Longboat

10:30pm: #FamilyGrind @ Painted Lady

10:45pm: Port Cities @ Rivoli

11pm: Partner @ Longboat

11pm: Adam Baldwin @ Horseshoe

11pm: Bossie @ Baby G

11:45pm: Faith Healer @ Handlebar

12am: Beliefs @ Garrison

12am: Casper Skulls @ Lee’s Palace

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Field Study @ Cameron House

12am: Julian Taylor Band @ Horseshoe

12am: Sun K @ Dakota Tavern

12am: Weaves @ Lee’s Palace

12am: Miesha & the Spanks @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

1am: Hammered Satin @ Bovine

1am: HSY @ Garrison

2am: The Cola Heads @ Bovine

2am: Towers @ Horseshoe

 

Sun. April 23rd

2:30pm: Fred Penner @ Lula Lounge

 

Best of 2016

2016:

A Musical Journey

 

Now that the year of death is officially over, it’s time to look back on the good things that happened in 2016. Since I tend to swim upstream, I’ve put together a list of 10 albums that made up the soundtrack to my year – not necessarily the ones that were released within those 12 months (though many were). And because my opinion matters, you should definitely check out all of these and thank me later.

 

tuns1. TunsTuns

Upon hearing the first few notes, this album delivered a swift drop-kick to my heart. I shouldn’t be surprised how hard I fell for it either, considering my love for 90s alternative, east coast sounds, and songs about heartbreak. A typical Canadian  supergroup (by which I mean downplayed), Tuns is comprised of Sloan’s Chris Murphy, the Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill and Matt Murphy from The Super Friendz. Soaked in nostalgia, don’t be alarmed if this album tears open a few old wounds. Keep the bandaids and tissues handy.

Check out: Throw It All Away, Mind Over Matter

 

honeyrunners-ii2. HoneyrunnersEP II

Did I mention that I really seem to like local bands? These guys are bound to blow up any minute with their energetic and soulful indie rock, so it’s best that you get on this soon in order to claim those elusive “I knew them when” bragging rights. After all, very few albums have harmonies so rich, and hooks so catchy that you can sing along to each and every one after only one listen. Check out EP I while you’re at it, because it’s kind of weird to start on a sequel (and it’s just as good).

Check out: Under Control, Bones

 

phantogram-three3. PhantogramThree

Perhaps one of the few “radio” albums that has made my lists (but one of the many number-titled ones), I was unabashedly hooked as soon as You Don’t Get Me High Anymore started playing on heavy rotation. A dark synth pop romp, this album contains enough instrumentation to keep them out of the MDMA-and-beat-drops category. While there are some sentimental moments, most of the tracks boast an unabashed sexuality that will likely prompt a lot of hair whips and sultry half-naked dancing around your apartment (uh, so I’ve been told). We all got a little bit of ho in us, after all.

                                                 Check out: Cruel World, You’re Mine

 

tommy-hawkins4. Tommy HawkinsAmy

This album came out of nowhere, even to those who (thought they) keep up with the goings-on of Hawksley Workman. Having paired up with Thomas D’Arcy, a fellow Canadian producer/songwriter (and not a Jane Austen character, incidentally) they’ve birthed a passionate six-song EP. Rich with fervent vocals and screaming guitars, it’s hard to tell where Tom ends and Hawk begins. One can only hope that this will be more than just a one-off side project.

Check out: Love Will Destroy Who It Wants, The Best of Me

 

tiger-army-v5. Tiger ArmyV

A longtime Tiger Army fan, I was very excited to get a hold of new material after nine long years of silence. At first, I was less than enthused with the dreamy pace of the album and seeming lack of their bass-slapping psychobilly roots, but it grew on me. Haunting and melodic, it draws more from their past alt-country explorations (think ‘In the Orchard‘), with a dash of mariachi. And while it may be an overall slower album than previous efforts, the intensity remains.

Check out: Knife’s Edge , In the Morning Light, Prisoner of the Night

 

dilly-dally-sore6. Dilly Dally Sore

There are flash-in-the-pan buzz bands, and then there are the few that live up to the hype. Dilly Dally is among the latter. Having heard their name from the mouths of every indie music snob for months, ye olde “why haven’t I been listening to them forever?” lamentation set in this April when I finally checked out a few tracks. Simultaneously pulling off girlish and grungy, lead singer Katie is such a perfect combination of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain that she should probably just change her name to Frances Bean. Commence swooning.

Check out: Desire, Ballin Chain, Purple Rage

 

whitehorse-bridge7. WhitehorseLeave No Bridge Unburned

This band seems to follow me wherever I go lately. The sickeningly cute couple Melissa McLelland and Luke Doucet are prolific artists in their own rights, and twice as awesome as Whitehorse. Best described as country for city-dwellers, they’re a mix of exceptional guitar work, inventive instrumental loops, and a vocal harmony that could only be spawned by an intensely deep relationship.

Check out: Sweet Disaster, Tame as the Wild Ones

 

dearly-beloved-admission8. Dearly BelovedAdmission

At this point, you’ve probably caught on that this band makes my list almost every year. But it’s not my fault that they’re a non-stop music machine (the next album is apparently already written). Keeping up with their patented unisex call and answer vocals, riding a rollercoaster of bass notes, Admission explores new regions. One of them being Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 (seriously, that’s where it was recorded), which provides a richness of sound that is audible throughout.

Check out: I Tried to Leave, When You Had the Choice, These Data

 

alice-cooper-welcome-nightmare9. Alice CooperWelcome to My Nightmare

Obviously this album didn’t come out in 2016, but it’s one that spent a good portion of the year in my ears. Arguably one of his best (and he has a lot), it’s not as creepy as you might expect from a guy who lives in face paint and regularly executes himself onstage. While there are are some necrophiliac themes, and a guest appearance by Vincent Price, the overall sound is rooted enough in classic rock for your “normal” friends to appreciate it as well.

Check out: Black Widow, Only Women Bleed, Welcome To My Nightmare

 

misfits-walk-among-us10. MisfitsWalk Among Us

You probably know that this album didn’t come out recently, either. But when a band that influenced many of the things you love—and hasn’t really existed since before you were born—reunites, their stuff ends up on constant repeat for many, many months. A clever hybrid of punk, horror themes, 50s rock and roll, and a whole lot of whoahs, this one’s a must-own for anyone that refuses to ‘fit in’.

Check out: 20 Eyes, Astro Zombies, All Hell Breaks Loose

 

Indie Week 2016

indie-week-canada-2016-300x100

 
 
Indie Week 2016 has kicked off, with perhaps their best lineup of bands ever. You may not recognize every name on the bill, but that’s kind of the point — get out there and discover some new music! Here are a few bands we promise will be worth your while.

 

Wed. Nov 16th

8:00pm- Dick Rodan @ Cameron House
8:00pm – Brad Fillatre @ Supermarket
8:30pm – Savilles @ The Drake
8:30pm – Juliet Oh @ Painted Lady
10:30pm- Ginger Ale & the Monowhales @ Supermarket
10:45pm- Katie Who @ Paddock
11:20pm – Moon Tan @ Coalition
11:30pm – TURBO GOTH @ Cherry Cola’s
12:30am – Menage @ Cherry Cola’s
1:20am – J.C Sandoval @ Painted Lady

 

Thurs. Nov 17th

9:30pm – Return for Refund @ Bovine
9:30pm – TURBO GOTH @ Nocturne
10:20pm – Moon Tan @ Bovine
9:45pm – #FamilyGrind @ The Drake
10:00pm – Sumo Cyco @ Mod Club
11:00pm – Finger Eleven @ Mod Club
11:45pm – Pat Robitaille @ Cameron House
12:30am – Katie Who @ Cameron House
12:40am – Thinly Veiled Double Entendres @ Bovine

 

Fri. Nov 18th

9:15pm – The Lad Classic @ Mod Club
10:00pm – Trampa @ Bovine
10:00pm- Honeyrunners @ Mod Club
10:45pm – Los Bolitas @ Painted Lady
11:00pm – Philip Sayce @ Mod Club
1:10am – Blackie Jackett Jr @ Bovine
1:40am – #FamilyGrind @ Painted Lady

 

Sat. Nov 20th

10:00pm – Goodbye Honolulu @ Silver Dollar
11:00pm – Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party @ Silver Dollar
11:00pm – Maybe May @ Coalition
1:00am – Polarity @ Coalition
1:10am – Hot Lips @ Cherry Cola’s

 

 

CMW 2016

CMW

 

We’ve reached that time of year when everyone and their dad decides to put on a music festival, each one boasting a list of about a million live bands. Always one for a challenge, I listened to (almost) every band on the 2016 CMW roster to root out which ones are worth your time, and money. (Note: if I had to go on a wild goose chase throughout the internet just to hear one of your band’s songs, you probably didn’t make the cut). Don’t let my ear fatigue be all for naught—grab a wristband and check out some of these shows!

 

Monday, May 2nd
8pm: Machines Geantes @ Central
9pm: Rozes @ Drake Underground
9pm: Secret Broadcast @ Supermarket
11pm: Blanche et Noir @ Supermarket

 

Tuesday, May 3rd
8pm: Bad Willow @ Drake Underground
8pm: Annie Sumi @ C’est What
9pm: Adam Hanney & Co @ Cameron House
9pm: Menage @ Central
9pm: Fake Palms @ Horseshoe
9pm: Edith Crash @ Paddock
10pm: Laura Stevenson @ Drake Underground
10pm: Lights @ Danforth Music Hall
10pm: Meltybrains? @ Handlebar
12am: Bear Culture @ Bovine

 

Wednesday, May 4th
7pm: Alberta Cross @ Phoenix
8pm: Brutus Begins @ Central
8pm: SATE @ Lee’s Palace
8pm: Pins & Needles @ Silver Dollar
9pm: Fake Palms @ Horseshoe
9:10pm: The Strumbellas @ Phoenix
9pm: Maybe May @ Hideout
9pm: Mardeen @ Garrison
9pm: Pale Lips @ Silver Dollar
10pm: Lights @ Danforth Music Hall
10pm: Bend Sinister @ Comfort Zone
10pm: Surf Dads @ Smiling Buddha
10pm: Pony @ Silver Dollar
10pm: Meltybrains? @ Handlebar
10:30pm: LGS @ Nightowl
11pm: Darts @ Bovine
11pm: Dead Broke @ Comfort Zone
11pm: Kid Cadaver @ Painted Lady
11pm: Fangclub @ Hideout
11pm: Partner @ Silver Dollar
12am: Eyeballs @ Silver Dollar
12am: The Standstills @ Lee’s Palace
12am: Acid Priest @ Hard Luck
1am: The Dead Projectionists @ Lee’s Palace
1am: Bear Culture @ Hard Luck

 

Thursday, May 5th
5pm: Entire Cities @ Silver Dollar
7:30pm: Ascot Royals @ Phoenix
8pm: Holly Macve @ Drake Underground
8:30pm: Bagels @ Rivoli
9pm: Little You, Little Me @ Horseshoe
9pm: River Groves @ Bovine
9pm: Sweet & Lowdown @ Sneaky Dee’s
9pm: Edith Crash @ Supermarket
9pm: APigeon @ Central
9pm: Surf Dads @ Handlebar
9:15pm: Collective Soul @ Phoenix
10pm: Wildlife @ Lee’s Palace
10pm: Fake Tears @ Central
10pm: LOLAA @ Silver Dollar
10pm: Mise en Scene @ Velvet Underground
10pm: The Dead Love @ Bovine
11pm: Brass Bed @ Piston
11pm: Foxtrott @ Lee’s Palace
11pm: The Balconies @ Great Hall
11pm: Goodwood Atoms @ Central
11pm: Meltybrains? @ Nightowl
11pm: Modern Space @ Garrison
11pm: No Joy @ Velvet Underground
11:30pm: Fangclub @ Rivoli
12am: Darts @ Great Hall
12am: Bagels @ Smiling Buddha
12am: Hillsburn @ Piston
12am: Partner @ Silver Dollar
12am: Sulfur City @ Cadillac
12am: Matt Epp @ Cameron House
1am: Flat Foot @ Cadillac
1am: The Dead Projectionists @ Dakota Tavern
1am: Goodnight, Sunrise @ 300 Club
2am: Grimskunk @ Bovine
2am: Annie Sumi @ Cherry Cola’s

 

Friday, May 6th
6:15pm: The Lazys (acoustic set) @ Supermarket
10pm: Surf Dads @ Hideout
10pm: Hannah Georgas @ Horseshoe
10pm: PINE @ Handlebar
10pm: Acid Dad @ Hard Luck
10pm: Champion Lover @ Smiling Buddha
10pm: Death Valley Girls @ Phoenix
10pm: New Swears @ Adelaide
10pm: Ho99o9 @ Comfort Zone
10pm: Return for Refund @ Cherry Cola’s
10pm: KJ Jansen from Chixdiggit @ Bovine
10pm: Les Deuxluxes @ Great Hall
11pm: Bike Thiefs @ Handlebar
11pm: White Lung @ Velvet Underground
11pm: No Sinner @ Garrison
11pm: Sara Hartman @ Drake Underground
11pm: Lisa LeBlanc @ Great Hall
11pm: Little Junior @ Silver Dollar
12am: Double Date With Death @ Smiling Buddha
12am: Jeff the Brotherhood @ Horseshoe
12am: The Beaches @ Bovine
12am: Partner @ Silver Dollar
12am: The Lazys (acoustic set) @ Cameron House
1am: Beat Cops @ Bovine
1am: Radio Radio @ Great Hall
1am: Flat Foot @ Boots & Bourbon
1am: Ginger Ale & the Monowhales @ Silver Dollar
2am: Bend Sinister @ Painted Lady
2am: Les Deuxluxes @ Garrison
2:10am: Diarrhea Planet @ Horseshoe

 

Saturday, May 7th
3pm: Darts @ Garrison
4:15pm: The Dead Love @ Horseshoe
7pm: Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies @ Cameron House
8pm: Xprime @ Hideout
8pm: Brass Bed @ Cameron House
8pm: Sumo Cyco @ Supermarket
9pm: Dearly Beloved, Beaches, and Eagles of Death Metal @ Opera House
9pm: No Stories @ Cherry Cola’s
9pm: Darts @ Smiling Buddha
9pm: Rococode @ Drake Underground
9pm: Royal Wood @ Danforth Music Hall
9pm: The Fontaines @ Cadillac Lounge
10pm: Caveboy @ Silver Dollar
10pm: Goodbye Honolulu @ Smiling Buddha
10pm: Mardeen @ Rivoli
10pm: Xprime @ Supermarket
11pm: Death Valley Girls @ Hard Luck
11pm: Modern Space @ Horseshoe
11pm: The Dying Arts @ Bovine
11pm: Acid Priest @ Smiling Buddha
11:30pm: Natalie Lynn @ Rivoli
12am: Dilly Dally @ Lee’s Palace
12am: Meat Wave @ Bovine
12am: Braden Folks and the Pushers @ Cadillac
12am: Muuy Biien @ Smiling Buddha
12am: Taylor Knox @ Night Owl
1am: Ho99o9 @ Adelaide Hall
1am: Hormoans @ Smiling Buddha
1am: Mise en Scene @ Hardluck
1am: She Devils @ Silver Dollar
1am: Sumo Cyco @ Cherry Cola’s
2am: New Swears @ Sneaky Dee’s
2am: Bagels @ Garrison
3am: Surf Dads @ Sneaky Dee’s

 

Sunday, May 8th
10am: La Sera @ Garrison
2pm: Mandippal @ The Vault
11pm: Taylor Knox @ Burdock
12am: Sedge @ Horseshoe

Best of 2015

Top Album Discoveries

of 2015

 

We’ve come to that time of year when everyone and their Dad puts together a list of their favourite albums, songs, and shows. Since I dive into the archives just as much as I follow the trends, I’ve taken a different approach to my Top Ten. My favourite discoveries from the year not only includes albums from several different decades, but also a few EPs and greatest hits compilations. Hey, it’s my blog, I make the rules.
 

Ghost Meliora Cover1. GhostMeliora

Despite what I just said, this album actually did come out in 2015, and is undoubtedly one of the best. The third album from this Swedish metal band enshrouded in mystery (the general public still doesn’t know who they actually are) measures up to both of their previous efforts. The “new” Papa Emeritus shows off an increasingly impressive vocal range, and songwriting that somehow still evades the satanic-band pigeonhole.

Check Out: From the Pinnacle to the Pit, Cirice
 

John Carpenter Lost Themes Cover2. John CarpenterLost Themes

Another release from 2015, this album is a must-listen for any fans of horror (yeah, it’s that John Carpenter). While he has scored films in the past, this is his first stand-alone album. Synth-heavy, he has not let go of his penchant for that good ol’ *bizoooouu* sound, and that is absolutely a good thing. To put it simply, this is a soundtrack just waiting for an accompanying 80s slasher.

Check Out: Vortex, Domain
 

Alvvays Album Cover3. AlvvaysAlvvays

This album grew on me steadily, while the band ended up at every event I worked on in 2015 (seriously). Short listed for the Polaris Music Prize this year, it was my choice for the top honours (but ended up going to Buffy Sainte Marie). Comprised of dreamy shoegaze, and slow, haunting melodies these songs don’t initially seem like earworm material—that is until you find yourself singing “marry me, oh Archie” for days on end.

Check Out: Archie, Marry Me, Next of Kin
 

Standstills From the Devils Porch Cover4. The StandstillsFrom the Devil’s Porch

This is a band I’ve been following since I serendipidously walked into their NXNE set at Cherry Cola’s a few years ago. Having thoroughly enjoyed their 2012 album Pushing Electric, I purchased this EP on a whim as 2015 came to a close, and have been eagerly aquainting myself with it. Doling out grungy, pulsating, power rock, this two-piece knows who they are and what they do best. Expect to see them around more and more in the near future.

Check Out: Orleans
 

Lights Little Machines Cover5. LightsLittle Machines

Released in late 2014 to a surprising amount of critical acclaim, it took me way too long to pick up this album, considering that I’ve been a (somewhat closeted) Lights fan for years. Now a wife and mother, the songwriting has matured to the expected degree, all while retaining her signature pairing of sugar-sweet vocals with with themes of depression, love, and loneliness.

Check Out: Muscle Memory, Running With the Boys
 

Independents Do It Again Cover6. The IndependentsDo It Again

Since their appearance at Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear in 2014, the Independents have become both friends, and a favourite band of mine. Having picked up the newer end of their catalogue at the Con, I had to wait until they returned to Toronto in February of this year in order to get the rest since they’re a little too, uh, independent, to be found in local record shops. Just like their seminal albums Back from the Grave, and Eternal Bond, Do It Again is a criminally underrated, short and snappy horror-punk/ska album. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of the Ramones, Elvis, or the Misfits.

Check Out: Black Dream, Free
 

Nim Vind Stillness Illness Cover7. Nim VindStillness Illness

File this one under “how have I not heard about them until now?” I fell face-first into this Canadian band’s entire horror-infused catalogue this past year, with a particular penchant for 2009’s The Stillness Illness. Difficult to describe, their sound is somewhere between the darkness of the Misfits, the vintage hard-rockabilly sound of Volbeat and the romance of H.I.M.

Check Out: Suicide Pact, Killing Saturday Night
 

Ramones Pleasant Dreams Cover8. RamonesRoad to Ruin & Pleasant Dreams

Confession time: I was big into 1970s punk in my high school years. As in many genres, music snobs tend to pit certain bands against each other, and I chose the Sex Pistols over their contemporaries in the Ramones, and the Clash. And though I had a Ramones anthology and knew all their popular tunes, I kinda wrote them off as a three-chord, hockey-arena-anthem punk band. That is, until this year when a few of my friends—appalled at my oversight—showed me the error of my ways. The result is a continuously growing love affair with their extended catalogue, in particular the hopeless romanticisim and 50s pop sounds on Road to Ruin and Pleasant Dreams.

Check Out: Needles and Pins, Don’t Go
 

Jay Smith Album Cover9. Jay SmithJay Smith

As a Matt Mays fan, I already knew about the unfortunate passing of his guitarist Jay Smith while on tour in 2013. But it wasn’t until a recent trip to Halifax that I actually heard—and was struck by— his solo work. A poignant, and catchy album with lots of swoon-worthy steel guitar, it boasts a certain Maritime-ness, and kinship to Mays’ sound. Pop this one in on your next long-distance drive.

Check Out: Hurts Like Hell, Partner in Crime
 

Platinum Blonde Seven Year Itch Cover10. Platinum BlondeSeven Year Itch (1982-1989)

Guitly pleasure alert! I went from not being able to name any Platinum Blonde songs, to realizing that I knew all their hits, thanks to a little trip down the Youtube rabbit hole. Turns out that a lot of the stuff I’d heard growing up (and in my office where we unabashedly rock out to retro radio tunes) was not actually by Duran Duran, or the Cure, or any other popular international acts. Though some of that confusion can be attributed to Robert Smith providing vocals on the Crystal Castles’ remix of Not in Love. Do some listening, I guarantee you’ll be surprised too.

Check Out: It Doesn’t Really Matter, Crying Over You
 

Dearly Beloved 7 Inch CoverBonus: Dearly BelovedWho Wants to Know/Resolution 7″

At a mere two songs, I didn’t think it was quite fair to let this release occupy an entire spot on my top ten list. But though it is a small offering, it’s not easily ignored. A sort of place holder for fans while the band bounces between endless tours and writing cycles, the 7 inch contains Who Wants to Know, and Resolution. Toying with a new venture into classic rock, both songs are drenched in the desert vibe that has come with their last couple of albums, and hints at future sounds.

Check Out: Who Wants to Know