The Neighbourhood Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Memory Maps

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 eighth installment, inspired by a Radio Dept. song that made me feel nostalgic, is remembering.

Track #1: The Space Between Things, "Twins"

Our collection returns with The Space Between Things' "Twins" - a track that stretches with soundless spaces and voids. They are the in-between gaps filled with whispers and hums without the needless guitar chords or vocal strains. Instead, we get Chris Hobson's fragile lyric rustles and silent strums.

Track #2: Owen Pallett, "Peach, Plum, Pear (Joanna Newsom Cover)"

Owen Pallett covers one of my favourite Joanna Newsom songs, "Peach, Plum, Pear" to benefit Oxfam in the compilation Versions of Joanna. The track comes with horse galloping noises and memorable lyrics - "And I have read the right books / To interpret your looks" - that make you reminisce youthful romantic fantasies.

Track #3: Diamond Rings, "All Yr Songs (Pop Montreal Session)"

In his performance for Daytrotter, Diamond Rings strips embellished instrumentation - drum machine beats, guitar slashes - to give us his barest to be adorned. "But if you have to go," John O'Regan sings with his voice breaking and guitar picks slipping, "I promise you that on my own, it will be known that I was trying hard to grin and bear it." The intimate and understated track plays as a late-night sentimental jam.

Track #4: Isla Craig, "Flute Song"

Isla Craig's "Flute Song" opens and searches buried memories. Isla's soulful vocals follow an unchanging chord pattern that gradually builds with the addition of different sounds, creating a song that could go on forever.

Track #5: Zeus, "Hot Under The Collar"

If I may borrow a phrase from Vampire Weekend, Zeus' "Hot Under The Collar" is like drinking horchata in December. The track's light melody - playful maracas, claps, chorus shouts - is sweet medicine for winter's sour stings.


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