You take one little two-week hiatus and suddenly the floodgates open. After a slow April, the rock gods woke up and directed our attention to a slew of bands and solo artists. In particular, the great white north (Canada) provided us with enough music to keep us entertained for days and weeks. If you don’t find something you like then keep looking. It was quite a diverse month.
WTCHS – “Mr. Hands”
Described as a “basement recording made for vinyl”, the new track “Mr. Hands” from Canadian band WTCHS is almost like two songs in one. Released back in late April, the track begins with a heavy punk influence and finishes with a turn towards alt-rock. The band compares the latter sound with Queens of the Stone Age and I couldn’t agree more. “Mr. Hands” was released on a 7″ split with “Harness” from Thoughts On Air. You can check out both tracks below.
Oh, Admiral – Breaking Free
The 5-track album Breaking Free is the first to be released by Oh, Admiral under the Painted Ox Records label. The acoustic collection is the creative output of Mike Berean, formerly of Verse The End. Of the five tracks, I particularly enjoyed the instrumentation of “Here and There” with its combination of acoustic guitar, flute, and percussion work.
Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band – “Rise the Falling Sun”
Another Hamilton, Ontario band joins our news ranks and this time it’s Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band. Not only has the 4-member group recently released a new track, “Rise the Falling Sun” also has a music video showcasing who the band really is. I really dig the blues influence the band manages to mix into their sound. Have a listen for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
Ketch Harbour Wolves - Queen City: Volume 1
It’s always interesting to find out what musicians use for the inspiration in their work. In Queen City: Volume 1, Ketch Harbour Wolves used different locations of Toronto to create a tone in each of the seven tracks. At the same time, the album tries to make a more universal connection by touching on the emotions all of humanity share. The sound really changes from track to track including everything from the instrumentation to the vocals. If I had to pick a favorite, I think “Should Have Learned” would top that list. The entire album is included below for you to find your own favorite, and “The Good Blood” is currently a free download.
Harvey Dinero – C.T.G.E presents: Harvey Dinero’s A Day in the Life
We step away from the Canadian and alt-rock theme to present Columbus, Ohio native and hip hop artist Harvey Dinero. The 11-track album A Day in the Life (released under C.T.G.E. ltd.) is the first from the musician. It’s not just a solo act, as Harvey includes a handful of the tracks featuring other artists such as “Sunshine ft. Noel Gaines”. The full album can be listened to here (Warning: NSFW).
A*Star - Any Given Moon
A*Star is the first band to make a second appearance in our monthly roundup feature, having previously gained our attention back in February. The shoegaze/dreampop duo from Chicago is back with 2-track EP Any Given Moon. The two tracks complement each other well with the slightly grittier “Any Given Sunday” leading into the more ethereal “Catch the Moon”. Both tracks are available to listen to below.
Rob Green – Soul Dancing
Some musicians get their start early, others spend a lifetime crafting their talents before accomplishing their dreams. Rob Green falls into the latter category, releasing his first album - Soul Dancing - at age 62. The 12-track album is a work developed over 37 years and a features an eclectic mix of styles including R&B, jazz, soul, rock, and folk. Green’s folkish vocals combine with acoustic guitar and sax and play against lyrics that generally hold a positive outlook on life (though there are exceptions). It’s an enjoyable mix and a sound we don’t hear a lot of around here.
DAV!D&CLARA – Untitled album
Electronic music made a big showing in last month’s roundup and we’ve seen a bit more of that influence again in May. DAV!D&CLARA isn’t your typical duo though. David is a musician from the American southwest, specializing in industrial dance, electronic, and electro/electro pop music. In an interesting twist, Clara is his laptop. Although the album in progress has yet to receive a title, 10 tracks of poetic lyrics are available to listen to right now.
DAVIDS – 0613EP
I can’t calculate the odds of this happening, but if you wanted more electronica and more David, well, it’s your lucky day. I present to you DAVIDS and their electronica/new wave/synthpop EP 0613EP. The full album hasn’t released quite yet, but the band has put together a music video for single “Dead Walkie”. The video was directed by Christopher Mills who has worked with such notable bands as Interpol and Rush. Have a listen to the track below, hit the link for the video, and sit tight until June 4th when the album comes out.
Calgary James - Indian Summer
Combining acoustic guitar, synthesizers, piano, and more, Indian Summer is another eclectic mix of sounds wrapped up into a neat 6-track EP. Calgary James is particularly fond of the second track, “Hammock”. I have to agree that I really like the vocal harmonies which produces a sound that hearkens back to the 50s and 60s. This album also comes with a music video, a psychedelic offering for “4AM”. The experimental album really does go all over the place, but that isn’t a bad thing as it’s consistently entertaining throughout.
Air Marshal Landing - You Used To Be Me
Last month I had the pleasure of discovering Air Marshal Landing and their single “Little Town”. Well, come June 4th the Canadian trio is releasing the rest of that album, You Used To Be Me. The 11 tracks will be offered in both digital and CD form, and the band is making the first track “Move With You” free to download all summer. I’m eager to hear the full album, but you can hear the first track below.
Weekend Riot Club - PSYCHOTROPIA
Another band we spotlighted last month is back with a full album release. Weekend Riot Club is set to release Psychotropia on June 4th. The alt-rock group from Hamilton, Ontario has put together a 12-track album featuring Melissa Marchese on lead vocals, Mike Chetcuti on guitar, and Paul Fontes driving the band’s high energy on drums. The full album can be obtained in digital format or via CD. Have a listen below to track “Give It All” or hit the link to listen to the full album.
This may have been our most musically diverse month yet. Summer’s heating up, everyone’s headed outside, and it’s a great time to listen to some new music. Did you have any favorites from the list above, or do you have any recommendations of your own? Hit us up with a comment, and be sure to check back in a few weeks for next month’s edition.
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