blogTO Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Love is a Place

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 Cupid, is love songs.

Track #1: Kensington Prairie, "Letters that I Send"

I discovered Kensington Prairie and Rebecca Rowan's soft vocals through my interview with Shawn Clarke. This week, I thought what better way to start than with the intimate "Letters that I Send", where Rebecca and husband Nathan sketch a still life-duet of a love undivided by distance.

Track #2: Matthew Maaskant, "You Only Dream To Test Me"

Valentine's on a cold February day really means a chance to cuddle closer together with your lover. Matthew Maaskant's folktronic (as he calls it) track is comprised of romantic ambience led by soft synth throbs mixed with organic instruments, digital loops and Maaskant's own hush vocals.

Track #3: Army Girls, "Always"

"Always, I can feel you and my mind goes in a circle," sings Carmen Elle. The duo of Elle (on guitar and vocals) and Andy Smith on drums lays it all on the line, with a simple garage-punk formula: She mangles her guitar and screams until her voice breaks, while he bashes his drums in raw aggression, a tornado-like love chase.

Track #4: The Runaway Catholics, "Heart Melts (On the Edge of This Sleeve)"

The Runaway Catholics are one of my newest local favourites, and their "Heart Melts (On the Edge of This Sleeve)" swaddles like a warm blanket and makes it easy to imagine what falling in love is like. The track is the perfect date-night score for you and your special other.

Track #5: Shawn Clarke, "To Think I Once Was Lost"

What would this mixtape be without a love song about Toronto? Rebecca Rowen of Kensington Prairie joins Shawn Clarke in this wistful, sauntering track that romanticizes our city streets, streetcars and concrete buildings. Find a way to get off work early on Monday, so you can meet your sweetheart and get lost together in the city's charms.

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

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