Psych bands Toronto

The top 5 psych bands to watch in Toronto

The top up and coming psych bands in Toronto are tuned into a psychedelic revival that's been sweeping across the globe, even taking up root right here in good old Toronto. Inspired by bands from the genre's '60s heydey - Jefferson Airplane, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Velvet Underground - as much as '80s alternative bands like Spacemen 3 and Loop, punk, and obscure vinyl, the new psychedelic sound is something completely new (but just as far-out).

Here are five of the top Toronto psych acts to keep on your cosmic radar.

Comet Control
Out of the ashes of former Toronto psych juggernauts Quest For Fire comes the newly forged band by Andrew Moszynski and Chad Ross, Comet Control. Existing on the heavier end of Toronto's psych spectrum, the band put out their debut album on Tee Pee Records earlier this year and have shared stages in recent months with the likes of Fuzz and Dead Meadow. Comet Control is for those who enjoy a side of darkness with their psych.

Milk Lines
Milk Lines is the project led by Toronto-via-Montreal garage rock son Jeff Clarke (Hellshovel) and his wife Emily Bitze. Harnessing the joint forces of Clarke's heavy-handed guitar and country drawl with Bitze's paisley melodies and vocals, Milk Lines forms a sound you might find soundtracking some LSD-laden Western. Filling out the lineup are local familiars Kyle Connolly (Wish) on bass and Omri Gondor (Hellshovel) on drums. Look out for their debut album this fall.

Tess Parks
One of the first six artists signed to legendary record label owner Alan McGee's new 359 Records label, Tess Parks is Toronto's reigning local psychstress. In recent months, Parks' raspy vocals and hazy guitar lines have garnered attention from The Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe along with a series tour slots across the UK supporting Joel Gion and The Vacant Lots. Her debut album, Blood Hot, came out last fall.

The Auras
The Auras are students of the Brian Jonestown Massacre's school of 60s-inspired, stoned-shitless psych. Hailing from the nearby region of Orangeville, the six-piece, patchouli scented ensemble pack up their van with, day-glo lights, gear and beads almost weekly to play around Toronto alongside local and outta-town bands.

Wish is the newly formed project by local multi-instrumentalist Kyle Connolly, who also moonlights in Milk Lines, Beliefs and Breeze. Earlier this year, Connolly set up shop over two days at Candle Recording Studio and invited a group of friends including Milk Line's Emily Bitze and Belief's Kosh Korody to help flesh out his debut album, a self-titled collection of psychedelic dream pop tunes out now on Hand Drawn Dracula. In just the past year Wish have shared the stage with big names like King Khan and The Shrines, Ought, and Crystal Stilts.

Writing by Sam Davis. Photo of Milk Lines from Facebook.

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