Class of 2015 toronto

The top 5 acts on the 2015 Indie Rock Honour Roll

With our farewell to 2014, and a blissful freedom from year-end lists, it's time to start looking for 2015's new batch of Toronto talent. Luckily, Dan Burke and NeXt Shows are making it simple for us by showcasing their favourite new talent in their Class of 2015 series, with several dates on weekends throughout January at the Silver Dollar calling names for the new Indie Rock Honour Roll.

Here are my picks for bands to catch for the sake of your next year's December playlist.

Only Yours
While most self described "dream-pop" bands end up favouring texture over substance, Only Yours exhibit a mature songwriting sensibility while still blurring the boundary between polished hooks and soft-focus warmth. Following the triumphant farewell of Great Bloomers last year, frontman Lowell Sostomi's new project balances both synthesized and acoustic textures, buoyed by a post-punk exuberance. Only Yours headline the first Class of 2015, along with Wax Atlantic and Fever City, tonight (Jan.3).

MIMICO share their title with a certain westbound Queen 501 streetcar terminus in Etobicoke, which due to its proximity to the Mr.Christie cookie factory, smells like cookies around 2am (a fact known to those who've had the misfortune to pass out on a long ride home). MIMICO are a shadowy three-piece who create the kind of spacey, kosmiche psychedelia that echoes the output of various German groups in the mid-70's. They play Saturday, Jan. 10, joined by Calvin Love, Most People, Etiquette and Hush Pup.

Already turning heads with 2013's hypnotic Obsidian Spectre, Crosss hail from an alternate universe where Sleep are recognized more for their concise pop songs, as opposed to their usual trudging sludge epics. In reality, frontman Andy March recently relocated from Halifax to reform the band in Toronto, and are already drawing attention for their crushing, ritualistic live shows. Crosss are shaking the Silver Dollar on Friday, Jan.16 with Whimm, Dories and I Smell Blood.

Crafting a type of nocturnal, ominous pop that recalls Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" as much as it does Bauhaus, Vallens only recently made their live debut, despite readying a full-length which they hope to unleash in the spring. Fronted by Robyn Phillips (formerly of Fill Spectre/Holiday Crowd), her band pares new wave poise with no-wave noise, and features members of Blonde Elvis, Crosss, and Schonsee. Vallens will be opening the night of Saturday, Jan.17, followed by Brave Shores, VOTIIV, Country and Peers.

New Fries
Bringing to mind a scenario which has Kathleen Hanna fronting a Public Strain-era Women, New Fries contain equal parts manic-vocal delivery and somnambulant, This Heat-inspired experimentation. Flying high off the release of their Fresh Face Forward cassette, (and already named a Band To Watch in 2015), New Fries seem poised to shatter both expectations and eardrums this year.You can catch them Saturday, Jan.24th, supported by Nancy Pants, BB Guns and Bile Sister.

Writing by Colin Gillespie

Photo of New Fries via Facebook

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