top songs 2014

The top 10 songs from Toronto bands February 2014

The top 10 songs from Toronto unleashed during this past cold, dreary month add up to some solid singles, albums, and music videos, warming you up while you wait for Spring. Toronto artists have been hard at work and the result is handful of tracks from all across the genre spectrum. If you've been following our music coverage some of these will look familiar, but they're all worth digging into again. Blossoming new talent has mixed in with old favourites for a stellar line-up.

Here's a digest of the past month in Toronto-based tracks.

Nadja - Dark Circles

A building post-metal opener from the new Nadja album, "Dark Circles" blurs through all phases essential to an epic nine minute rock jam. It begins with an eerie looping guitar riff and doesn't hold back on the distortion as it builds. The barely audible vocals moan in between heavy sessions where instruments swirl into one attack on your senses: drone rock cooked to perfection. Albumwise, some truly badass art accompanies white or black vinyl, making Queller a score for post-rock lovers, metalheads and vinyl nuts. It even comes with a folded poster.

Digits - Lost Dream

Toronto artist Digits has revamped this three year-old gem for his new mixtape Shake Your Body Down. Bumping and popping with 80s vibes, "Lost Dream" claps and snaps its way into your heart. You can stop-start dance along to this track if you feel particularly courageous, or you can just tap your feet on the floors of streetcars while Alt Altman whispers to you through your headphones.

Weaves - Buttercup

Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters release another loosen-the-screws rock slam dunk. Enough said.

Black Walls - Communion

Ken Reaume takes you deep under water for the opener to his five-song album of the same name. Seven minutes of heavily-reverbed guitar and vocals concoct a slow motion dream bound to lull anyone into introspective meditation. With a writing experience described as being a very personal journey of self-discovery, "Communion" washes over you like waves on a beach. The art is stunning to boot.

Trust - Capitol

The second single released off Trust's upcoming sophomore album Joyland starts off sounding like a Crystal Castles demo, but quickly transforms into bouncey goth-pop. What was a duo of Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski has now become a solo, and arguments could be made for how this has changed the Trust sound. You can be the judge by streaming Joyland here (it officially drops on March 4th) or when Alfons plays Adelaide Hall March 8th with Mozart's Sister.

Kevin Drew - Good Sex

Drew's latest video features him rolling around on a stage of lights in a bloodstained t-shirt, strangling himself with the microphone cable. This is interspersed with scenes of attractive hipsters almost-but-never-quite having the "good sex" Drew refers to throughout the track. The Broken Social Scene co-founder has never been one to shy away from the weird. This falls in line with much of Drew's catalogue: steady backing drums and bass support a warm chord progression led by several guitar layers and a tinkling piano line. Vocals are the main focus - you can hear Drew's smile as he reminisces on past encounters, if you're into that.

Petra Glynt - War Cry (Pale Eyes Edit)

Lisa Smith and Ben McCarthy come at you full force in this vibrant, beat-oriented take on what was basically Alexandra Mackenzie banging a gong and singing operatically for almost five minutes (remixes are new tracks too - if they're worthy). The beat changes consistently, often dropping out for sections and then cutting back in with a new style. The Pale Eyes duo had to take some serious liberties on this edit to get the song from where it began to where it ended.

Omar LinX - Can't Forget

The latest release from the frequent Zeds Dead collaborator has an absolutely banging beat that samples the Marlena Shaw classic, "California Soul." Reminiscent of Hilltop Hoods' "The Nosebleed Section", the track uses the sample hook in lieu of a chorus. During the verse it's led by the probably too-serious-for-a-white-dude staples familiar in Omar LinX's library. It's a great track on the whole - definitely worth putting on the stereo during a weekend cruise through the city this summer.

Liam MacKenzie & Young Rust - Wrote It All Down

Cue the "fixing up my life" montage. This steady rocker blasts out for three solid minutes in classic rock fashion - howling vocals, clashing cymbals and wailing guitar solos. Liam MacKenzie of Troubadour fronts a gang of usual suspects from the Toronto rock scene in this act that promises to shake the foundations of The Bovine when they jump onstage March 14th. Check their brand new music video (released yesterday) for some familiar sights from around Toronto.

Resolved Dissonance - Less > More

This Hamilton-based artist is really digging himself deep into the beat community, with warm vibes that bring to mind beat mammoths like Gold Panda and Shlohmo. This producer just needs to be heard.

What Toronto tracks did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

Trust photo by Denise McMullin. Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram

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