Neighbourhood Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: We All Like It A Little Different

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 fourteenth installment, inspired by walks around the snowy streets, is people watching.

Track #1: Drake, "Fireworks (Deadboy Slo Mo House Edit)"

Even with frostbitten winds, there are cool kids standing still with their backs against the wall in an alleyway. Drake's "Fireworks" has been out since last summer, but Deadboy met up with the track and remixed it, the track surfacing on many music blogs over the last couple of weeks. In his edit, Deadboy abandons many of the original lyrics, keeping only the chorus "All I see is fireworks / Every night is fireworks?" - sped up and immersed in deep bass and heavy static.

Track #2: Chinawoman, "Go"

At an intersection, a couple kiss before splitting to go their separate ways. A young man spills coffee on his coat trying to beat the traffic light. Chinawoman's "Go" catches you off guard with its new-wave rhythms and jagged guitars. Smooth dramatic vocals create the track's theatricality, restraining itself until the lead guitar spirals out of control into an epic tempo - an icy blitz.

Track #3: Kite Hill, "Settle Down"

College kids, barely past drinking age, line up to get into a local pub/hangout. Kite Hill's "Settle Down" plays on passersbys' headphones, its charms sincere in contrast to the crowds, multi-instrumental arrangements of violin and keyboard merging. Winding hums and xylophone strokes blossom.

Track #4: The Runaway Catholics, "France"

Peek out the window at the people struggling to dig their cars out of the snow, in the background you hear The Runaway Catholic's "France", evoking Yo La Tengo's gentle lullaby-sounding songs. The quiet track, almost elegiac in tempo, conjures up old memories and fits into first kiss soundtracks.

Track #5: Jane's Party, "Alone Together"

In a blizzard of wet snow, everything looks the same. Strangers pass one another and sets of eyes - whether they belong to extroverts or introverts - meet. Jane's Party's danceable and infectious "Alone Together" screams joy. Its title and catchy lyrics, "I've been trying to reach you / I've been dying to meet you," invites human connection - a true Friday night-er.

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