The Neighbourhood Mixtape

The Neighbourhood Mixtape: The Next Time Around

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 kids and recess bells, is March Break.

Track #1: Topanga, "Lionheart"

Topanga's garage-punk track "Lionheart" opens our collection this week - a song that starts off with a monster-movie scream - something we all probably did as kids when we heard that final school bell ring. "Lionheart" has it all: vein-surging riffs, snappy shouts and chants, claps, and drums that will knock the thoughts of work out of your head.

Track #2: Foxes in Fiction, "School Night"

Anytime Foxes in Fiction puts something out, I of course, have to share it. Taken from the Alberto EP, "School Night" is a recollection of those long hours of boredom - the time you and your friends were up for anything, building joy out of nothing and everything. Watch the official video for the track on Pitchfork TV.

Track #3: A Quiet End, "Birthplace St."

A Quiet End's "Birthplace St." recalls memories of March Break as being a week of slumber parties - making a giant pallet on the living-room floor and staying up all night watching TV. The song unfolds in a low-key way, with gleaming chords, vocal fades, and a final-minute flourish that feels endless as those childhood nights when you wished you could stay up till dawn.

Track #4: Jane's Party, "Things Are Different"

Oh, the possibilities of March Break. Children learn to ride bikes at the empty schoolyard, while some kids try to get a head-start on their summer reading at the local library. "Oh, things you've never seen / And places you've never been / Suddenly stand there waiting," sings Jeff Giles as a rocking piano and heart-swelling guitars push. "Things Are Different" is the B-Side single from Jane's Party's Alone Together. Lucky for us, the album remains free for download on their Bandcamp page.

Track #5: Jennifer Castle, "Neverride"

At the park, kids bury cabin fever under toboggan-flattened snow; it's maybe the last whoosh this winter. Wet cardboard flats are abandoned at the end of the day. Backpack-less kids fill the streets and streetcars for a week. You listen to Jennifer Castle's illusory "Neverride", canopied by her delicate guitar strums, and think about those days of complete freedom. For a second, your lungs fill up with good sighs.

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

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