The Neighbourhood Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: It's All Gonna Break

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 wanting to be free from winter's hold, is breaking.

Track #1: Gramercy Riffs, "Dreaming"

Our collection opens this week with the vivid and catchy track "Dreaming" by Gramercy Riffs. The interplay between Mara Pellerin's soulful vocals and her shadowy keyboard-led melodies create a bright arrangement: Pellerin's vocals ascend while cymbals and guitars crash, creating a dramatic sweep that shatters and shakes icicles off the branches, eavesdrops and rooftops.

Track #2: Huddle, "Islands"

It's time to break out of our sluggish habits as the end of February nears. You listen to Huddle's synth-driven "Islands" while you look for your running shoes and shorts. The two-minute track gains momentum as drums kick and guitars hover over Mark Satterthwaite's vocals, signalling transition.

Track #3: Nightbox, "Pyramid"

Before you head out for your first jog in months, plug Nightbox's new single "Pyramid" into your iPod. The euphoric track is available for free download on the band's MySpace page, so you can steamroll your way past puddles while listening to the bouncy dance-rock tune, and imagine dog-filled parks, bright green grass, ice cream trucks and children cooling off with popsicles on park benches.

Track #4: The Rural Alberta Advantage, "North Star"

We're counting down to the release of The Rural Alberta Advantage's sophomore album Departing and featuring another new track - "North Star". Read Amy Cole's interview and download your copy of the track over on Spin, and then stream the entire album over on Exclaim before the end of the month. "North Star" fits into your road trip mix, while the skies change and clouds break open for the return of longer days.

Track #5: Holy Mount, "Breeze Blows West"

Holy Mount's rapturous "Breeze Blows West" is one of my favourite tracks this week. The song's whiplash tempo blows the snow grit off your windshield and porch: a ferocious blast of noise of varying guitar tones and drums punched so hard with precision that it's like they're being struck by Hercules. It's a song for all those ready to strip off their cast after winter ankle- and leg-breaks.

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

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