The top 15 songs and videos from Toronto this winter
The top songs and videos from Toronto this winter caught our attention amid the chaos of PR over-saturation, a too-quick hype cycle, and general media over-stimulation - not exactly easy, but it makes these tracks and videos all the more worth spending time with.
We also loved songs and videos from Valkyrie 1984, Aidan Baker, New Fries, Whitney Rose, LIDS, and many more - then there was this Weeknd / 50 Shades of Grey thing that happened, and love song to Toronto, Chillaz's "To the World."
Here are our picks for the best songs and videos from Toronto this past winter.
Majid Jordan - Forever
The single off OVO sound's r&b duo Majid Jordan's A Place Like This EP features a grey jacket clad dancer doing his thing down Spadina, through U of T, the aisles of one of those TTC bendy trains, and eventually the Toronto Reference Library. MK.N
Coronado - Dreams
Toronto quintet Coronado apply a synth pop spin on their cover of Fleetwood Mac's mom-and-dad rock floor-filler "Dreams." The harmonies and pushing drum pattern remain, but the guitars are replaced with Johnny Marr-esque arpeggiated jangle pop, with the slide-like guitar leads lending nicely to warm synthesizer lines. The band perform as opaque silhouettes with dreamy, while dreamy washed out visuals of constellations and calm waters. MK.N
Grounders - Pull It Over Me
Grounders "Pull It Over Me" is the lead single off their new self titled LP, out this May on Nevado Records. The video follows a depressed Garfield (but legally, probably not the real Garfield) running through the streets of Toronto, taking in a softball game and eventually finding its way down to the water. MK.N
EGYPTRIXX - Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power]
The video for the title track off EGYPTRIXX's Transfer of Energy (Feelings Of Power), created by POSTmatter collaborator A N F, visualizes the sparse, metallic, industrial techno that bathes the track. Stark CGI imagery leads us to a futuristic society revealing a glowing reflective structure. MK.N
SLOWW - Sleep Forever
Video collective INSPIRE X SOUND encourage producers to score a soundtrack to a moody audio-free canvas of video. The project is 3 chapters deep, with 14 artists on board including ÈBONY, Von Pixel. and Sarin. A Chapter 2 collaboration sees SLOWW employ hi-hat heavy, breathy electronic r&b over a character driven story in Kensington Market. MK.N
Brutal Youth - War on Youth
It's been nearly two years since ex-Newfoundland punks Brutal Youth's last recorded output, but the lull hasn't hurt their energy reserves. "War on Youth" rips out of the gate to deliver 90 seconds of thrilling eardrum assault. In rocky times of Blink 182 will-they-won't-they breakup melodrama, it's nice to remember that jubilant, 90s-soaked punk rock still has a pulse. SK
Bile Sister - Haagen Baadz
The Heather Rappard directed video for Bile Sister's "Haagen Baadz" leads us up a warehouse lift and right into the middle of a secret space rave. Glowsticks, black lights, and more aluminum foil than Thanksgiving dinner at your grandparents' cloak the video. MK.N
Etiquette - Attention Seeker
Hand Drawn Dracula's new signees Etiquette, comprising of Graham Walsh and Julie Fader, set an eerie, downtempo throb to one last make-out in suburbia. A stylish video directed by Ghostprom and Trevor Blumas keeps things dark as those clouds roll in. MK.N
Blunt Chunks - Woman
Self-shot by producer/singer/dancer/busy-body Caitlin Woelfle-O'Brien, "Woman" walks us around Toronto through the grainy, gray scale eye of a super-8 camera. The track coo's and floats and lends a helpful hand to the scenic, contrasting imagery. MK.N
Celebration Army - Black Blue Jeans
Initially described as a "new, disgustingly filthy southern rock project" in mid 2014, Celebration Army have since become a sophisticated filthy southern rock project. "Black Blue Jeans" from their new EP shows off their funk laden tunes, and why fans are getting up and dancing at shows. RA
Century Palm - New Creation
The seemingly everlasting winter of 2014/2015 will be captured for centuries to come in the new video off the cassette EP, Planet of the Tapes. Shot in black and white against a palette of white snow and grey waters, the video's black-clad band have a noticeable Anton Corbijn nod. MK.N
Hill and the Sky Heroes - Don't Be the Mistake
Leave it to Hill Kourkoutis (Hill and the Sky Heroes) to add "Don't Be the Mistake" to her already long list of impressive credits. One of four singles on Dark Days, it's more a revitalization than reinvention from her album 11:11 (2012). Listeners can expect more introspective, more focused, and more electronic from Hill. Three more EPs releases follow in 2015. RA
Holy Gasp - All the Animals
The Holy Gasp take a cubist approach to creating. Their newest collection of tracks make you want to join in the deep madness - "All the animals must pay alms to the poor / And all the animals must drink dog piss and sell guitars." THG's new album The Last Generation of Love was released February 24 on the No Love label. RA
Hayden - Nowhere We Cannot Go
Off his new album released on March 24th, a headphone wearing, hot tubbing Hayden douses us with some sunshine. The video follows couples presumingly on vacation at the beach, riding horses, checking in on BlogTO via their smartphones, smiling to the cameras for those seemingly sweet, perfect photos.
Blimp Rock - Let's All Stay In Tonight
Patience is low for bands that sound like Pavement, but there's something so totally alright about Blimp Rock past and present, as though they'll be the first to tell you they're alright, just alright (the new album is titled Sophomore Slump, and the band's PR campaign includes selling office supplies to get by). The release party is April 25 at the Dakota. AJ
We know we missed a ton stuff you like. Leave your favourite tracks and videos from Toronto this winter in the comments.
Photo via Majid Jordan on Facebook
Contributions by M. K. Newton, Shazia Khan, Ryan Ayukawa, Aubrey Jax
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