The Neighbourhood Mixtapeg

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Dark Horse

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 latest installment, inspired by Arcade Fire's win at the Grammys - and the Scottish Deerhound's win at the Westminster Dog Show, is underdogs.

Track #1: Baby Giraffe, "First Train"

Like a true underdog, Baby Giraffe's "First Train" opens our collection this week with a sound that's bigger than expected: a collage of noise - loud drums, spiralling keyboards, soft xylophone keys and shakers - that replicate a fast-moving train. The track ascends over a repeated verse progression, vibrant and ambitious.

Track #2: The Paint Movement, "Fortune's Window"

The Paint Movement's new track "Fortune's Window" is the A-side to their new 7" single. The track is reminiscent of Broken Social Scene anthems "Almost Crimes" and "7/4 (Shoreline). Like fish schooling in defence against a predator, the Mississauga group have formed a collective musical consciousness and created an upbeat, feel-good sound you love to cheer for.

Track #3: Hunting Winter, "Eyes So Green"

One of the reasons why we like underdogs is because no matter how powerless they are against tougher opposition, they find charming, imaginative ways to fight through herculean tasks. "The sun will rise before you know / I'm hard pressed to find a way / to squeeze more time out of this day," sings Justin Mahoney - his quiet vocals and silent strums coming off as mighty blows.

Track #4: The Rural Alberta Advantage, "Tornado '87"

The Rural Alberta Advantage may have been a small band when they released their debut LP Hometowns. They were the unassuming team you got emotionally attached to, but now they're contenders, and that little fling you had for the team has turned - naturally - into a love affair. "Tornado '87" is a new track off their sophomore album Departing, which comes out March 1. Download the track for free over on Obscure Sound.

Track #5: PS I Love You + Diamond Rings, "Leftovers"

Thanks to Alex from Chipped Hip, we get a little taste of "Leftovers" - the new collaborative single from Kingston, Ontario's PS I Love You and Toronto 2010 breakout artist Diamond Rings. "Leftovers" is a weekend anthem, prevailing through John O'Regan's vocals, along with the duo of Paul Saulnier on guitar and Benjamin Nelson on drums - the Davids' of Toronto triumphing over the Goliaths of the music world.

If you wish to be a part of The Neighbourhood Mixtape, you can contact Aldrin at aldrin [at] blogto [dotcom]

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