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The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Shadow Season

The Neighbourhood Mixtape is a collection of recently-released songs by Toronto musicians meant to celebrate local music culture and provide a forum to listen to and discover new material.

Every Sunday, I post a five-track mixtape that you can download or stream as a soundtrack for the week. The theme for my second installment, inspired by Halloween and a play between light and darkness, is shadow.

Track #1: Holy Fuck, "Stay Lit (Bishop Morocco Remix)"

Bishop Morocco remixes Holy Fuck's triumphant single into a chill-raising track, all ominous tone and ghostly hum. The track, which sounds like a mix between "Billie Jean" and Joy Division, recalls the haunting chapter from Haruki Murakami's thriller Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, where the narrator is forced to cut off his shadow in order to enter the walled village of "the End of the World".

Track #2: Foxes in Fiction, "Bathurst"

Foxes and Fiction's "Bathurst" veils its looping guitar melody, twinkling percussion and vocals in static, giving the track its aged cassette tape quality. The song casts a shadow down one of Toronto's historic streets, illuminating youth nostalgia that puts you in a dreamy daze.

Track #3: Doug Paisley feat. Feist, "What I Saw"

Doug Paisley's "What I Saw" plays like a story with its picturesque lyrics and sauntering melody. Leslie Feist's back-up vocals trail Paisley's rustic tune, bringing shades of familiar acoustic ballads into his appropriately titled new album, Constant Companion.

Track #4: Hooded Fang, "Laughing"

Hooded Fang's multi-instrumental dance track "Laughing" could lead to indecision. The song fires you up while at the same time it tempts you to shrug off your layers and stay awhile. The trumpets, xylophone - along with Strokes-esque drumbeats - complement Dan and Lorna's duet, making you feel warm and cozy no matter which urge you follow.

Track #5: Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith, "Not In Love (Remix)"

Crystal Castles' duo Ethan Kath and Alice Glass pull a Bill and Ted, snatching "historical figure" Robert Smith for a remix of their single. And just in time for a masquerade. The dance track - a Platinum Blonde cover - fuses modern electronic sound with the silhouette of 80's new wave, mixing together the song's shrilling echoes with Smith's unhinged vocals. The "Not in Love" single is due out 12/06/10 via Fiction.

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