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Music

Breakout Toronto Bands: Pick A Piper

Posted by Guest Contributor / May 17, 2014

Pick a PiperBreakout Toronto Bands features local artists that we think you should give a listen to.

Musical approach for every act varies quite drastically: while some musicians seek isolation in order to create, write, and practice, others find solace while immersed in the everyday motions of life. Pick A Piper seems to thrive in the latter, constantly surrounding themselves amongst other creative beings. Describing their approach as "paying attention to detail, but with the bigger picture in mind," Pick A Piper combines poly-rhythmic percussion with atmospheric sound design, which has earned them worldwide attention.

WHO ARE THEY?

Pick A Piper are a trio consisting of Brad Weber (Caribou), Angus Fraser (Tenth of May), and Dan Roberts. Known to also feature a collection of guest vocalists like Ryan McPhun (Ruby Suns) and Raphaelle Standell-Preston (Braids, Blue Hawaii), the band have in turn garnered attention surrounding their ethereal yet moody soundscapes.

Currently signed to Mint Records here in Canada, Abandon Building in the US, and City Slang in Europe, the band have quickly established themselves since their inception in 2008. As recently featured on our Toronto bands to watch at SXSW 2014 list, Pick A Piper have started off 2014 creating quite the buzz with both their fan base and industry members. The Torontonians, already having played multiple sought after showcases at SXSW, were also recently nominated for SiriusXM Radio's 'Indies' award for 'Electronic Artist of the Year' and released a lush DJ mix on Noisey Canada.

THEY SOUND LIKE

Often claiming their style to be a "sonic equivalent of a kaleidoscope", the threesome fuse dance elements with layers of ambiance. Their influences are diverse, ranging anywhere from Afro-beat to contemporary dance music to Turkish psychedelic. The result is therefore widely experimental, as all three members strive to re-think the norms of club music.

This tension between the ambient / electronic realms defines the sound of Pick A Piper's two EPs and self-titled debut album. The songwriting is "back-to-front" in its nature, as frontman Brad Weber often sent raw demos to vocalists such as Andy Lloyd (Born Ruffians) to allow for as much musical freedom as possible on both fronts. The sound feeds off of this very openness and collaborative energy.

HEAR THEM / SEE THEM

Pick A Piper's Brad Weber can be caught DJing at Sonar Festival in Barcelona on June 14. For any local dates and releases of new music, Toronto fans are going to have to keep their eyes and ears open.

Writing by Brontë Martin. Photo via Facebook.

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