blogTO Neighbourhood Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: Mystery Rain

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 Neighbourhood Mixtape reaches its 20th installment this week, and I want to thank all the bands, artists and listeners who continue to support our weekly series. The theme for our latest installment is rain.

Track #1: The B.B. Guns, "Creep"

You can feel spring in the air and see rainclouds forming as we open this week's collection with the lively "Creep", by four-piece band The B.B. Guns. The track perks you up with laser gun-guitars and blistering drums. Laura Hermiston's vocals shine, Alana and Charlotte's back-ups flashes of lightning. Download the track for free on their Bandcamp page.

Track #2: Afrakaren, "She Still Exists"

Afrakaren's "She Still Exists" brings the spoken word genre into our collection for the first time. The track hinges on conversational storytelling, Afrakaren's cadence its backbone, and it rides along a simple drum and cymbal sample - a rhythmic journey of defiance, survival and resilience like rain breaking from sudden clouds on a sunny day.

Track #3: Pink Moth, "Lines"

"On the road I'm on the run, keep a place warm / In the rainstorm there will always be a sun to come," sings Ray Cammaert. Pink Moth's whistled hook "Lines" is immediately inviting: a bouncy pop track that rings in your ears, recalling memories of walking home from school on a rainy day and floating paper boats along sidewalk gutter.

Track #4: Tiny Mountains, "Nights Alone (Demo)"

The subtle snaps of fingers in Tiny Mountains' "Nights Alone" replicate the small drops of rain that trickle down against window panes. The laid-back track consists of a simple instrumental arrangement: glossy guitar strums, buoyant hums and a candy-coated duet between long-time friends and now band mates Becky Ip and Robb Mirsky.

Track #5: Dinosaur Bones, "Making Light"

Thanks to the people at Dine Alone Records, I'm fortunate enough to share Dinosaur Bones' cerebral "Making Light", the opening track off their new album My Divider, set to be released on March 8th. Guitars thrash against percussion blasts as Ben Fox's pleading vocals just about brings thunder and sonic distortions to the ground, washing away the dirt all the melted snow has hidden until now. You can stream the entire record on the Much Music website.

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

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