Toronto Bands

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Light Be Bright

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

Every Sunday, I post a five-track mixtape that you can download or stream as a soundtrack for the week. The theme for our sixth installment is inspired by early dark hours, cold winds and the coming winter.

Track #1: Feist and Kyle Field (Little Wings), "Look at What the Light Did Now"

Leslie Feist and Little Wings' Kyle Field switch on this week's mixtape with the laid-back duet "Look at What the Light Did Now". Feist borrowed the song's title as the name and guiding beacon for her Anthony Seck-directed documentary, which recently premiered at the ROM. The documentary shines a light on Feist's many collaborators - the shadow puppeteers, photographers, video directors, mural artists - who helped to bring her album, The Reminder, to life. And this small song does its part to turn the light toward the amplifiers hidden behind the curtain.

Track #2: The Guest Bedroom, "Dead Ends"

The Guest Bedroom's "Dead Ends" is psycho candy. Sandi Falconer's icy vocals, along with creeping bass chords and keyboard strokes cause chills. "Take a look 'round every dark corner / Test the locks on every closed door," warns Falconer before chorus chants and shouts roll in like shoegazing winter haze.

Track #3: Sunbear, "Desert Valley Nights"

Sunbear's "Desert Valley Nights" is a catchy pop song. Comprised of brisk vocals, repeated verses and instinctive guitar solos, the sprawling track stretches when you think it's over and gives you a little bit more - like sunshine we try to hold onto.

Track #4: Ostrich Tuning, "Muscle Tough"

Ostrich Tuning's "Muscle Tough" is like a foggy window pane with cloudy vocals that sound as if they are trying to pass through. Milky guitars spin like windmills and tambourines reverberate, creating hammering distortions reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Track #5: Steven McKay, "Slow Down"

In "Slow Down", Steven McKay's vocals drift buoyantly with folk-guitar and bass arrangements that put life on pause. McKay's charming turns of phrase, like when he sings, "We all need more soup on Sundays," or "We all need more movie nights" are the kind of cozy thoughts that comfort us during these cold days.


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