Say good-bye to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” – radio has a new track to overplay, and ultimately kill. Arcade Fire’s latest, “Reflektor”,is not only infectiously catchy and modern, it’s also emblazoned with the vocal stylings of David Bowie and the production of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, making, if possible, the Montreal outfit cooler than one could fathom.
The trouble is, the song feels like a deliberate hit and not necessarily their own vision. Although the lyrics touch on social commentary similarly to their previous work (“We’re so connected / but are we even friends?”), the glitz of the track, as well as its accompanying video and PR campaign, seem to be at the expense of the classic Arcade Fire spirit. The full album is slated to drop on October 29th and I can’t wait to hear how the song fits into a larger collection. Will it be as amazing as their past three albums, or is it just a rejektor?
You may not know Janey Brown by name yet, but that should change soon. In fact, you might already recognize her from TSN’s Friday Night Football intro song for the CFL, or one of her previous projects such as Marella Jane. Now, you will know her for her solo project Janey Brown and her soon-to-be-released debut album.
Check out the video for her first single “Revived,” which Brown and her writing partner/guitar player Darryl Coppins recently unveiled to a packed house at Vogue Supper Club in Liberty Village. The duo filmed the seductive video down in Brooklyn and yes, that is Brown doing her own stunts on the Aerial Silks!
In anticipation of Brendan Canning’s second solo album You Gots 2 Chill, due out October 1st, Canning has dropped his first video of the album for “Plugged In.”
A soft and melancholy track, “Plugged In” continues along the vibe by following the story of a deaf beggar roaming the streets of Toronto in search of change and answers. Although the video has an incredible dark vibe to it, it’s a beautiful look into the city of Toronto and how even in a city filled with millions we can all feel lost from time to time.
Starring Kenny Hotz (Kenny Vs. Spenny) and directed by the team of Edward Fawcett Sharpe, Steve Jones and Joel Barnes, “Plugged In” delivers big results on a modest budget. Check it out.
Born Ruffians released their third album, Birthmarks, back in April and have been showing off their increasingly sleek sound all summer. The record is satisfying, affording a more mature direction for the quartet while maintaining their steadfast Ruffian spirit. The release of the video for “Needle” is timed favourably to build some hype for the last few North American stops before the band takes off for Europe in the fall.
The video features all of the obvious choices, from the quintessential Brooklyn Bridge shot to performance clips and the seemingly obligatory girls in a photobooth. Albeit visually entrancing, it’s nothing new. The consistent Instagram-esque stock effect gives the impression that the disjointed events are occurring as part of some sort of reverie. Either way it’s a blur, imaginably due to all of the rooftop champagne carousing. To directors Istoica and James Cooper’s credit, there is some connection between the video and the song. By bouncing between shots of lead singer Luke Lalonde wandering the streets and mingling with sociable twenty-somethings, an insular feeling is implied, visually complimenting the refrain “I belong with no one / You belong with me”. What’s more, New York may be the perfect setting to bring a song about being part of a larger whole to life. Sure, it’s another obvious choice, but I think this one is forgivable.
A song that clocks in at nearly eight minutes, it would be assumed that Braids would have a video with substance to accompany their song, “In Kind”.
In the first minute and a half, a montage of the sun and blurry clouds appear as if there is a story to be told. Truthfully, there are some intentions that connect, but overall it’s a shame that they used too many quick cuts. The buildup, the rise and fall of the song could have been reflected with longer cues perhaps, in return creating a mini-story or a sense of harmony.
With that said, it’s an adequate effort, and in the vein of experimental music and a reflection of the said video, the effect offers a strong attempt at aligning the “feel” for the song with the craft of the cinematography.
Short of a bullseye, “In Kind” is an admirable experiment nonetheless – one that declares itself, and Braids, to be the purveyors of Canadian indie’s off-beat psyche.
The raucous punk-slacker trio are back with a new music video, ‘Zombie Eyed’, an excursion into suburban angst, face paint and fireworks. Set against the blaring, albeit catchy sounds the band has come to conquer, the video itself is one of polish and craft. Director Alexei Golob does a good job weaving an ensemble of characters (including the band) as he hones a nihilistic universe within the constraints of a three-minute product. Alas, if only Much Music were still viable, or relevant. http://thedirtynil.bandcamp.com
Live-off-the floor session of Toronto’s Alright, Alright recording their tune ‘Stay the Night’. Production team Michael Welfle and Lucas Santo capture the band with minimalistic aplomb, in turn keeping the band’s retro style, sound and charisma in tact. For more, check out their ‘cellar singles’ series at: http://alrightalrightband.bandcamp.com
Last night we made our way out to the Silver Dollar to check out Los Angeles band Bleached who are playing a 3 night homestead at the Dollar. Check out Bleached playing “Seaching Through The Past” and keep an eye out for out full NXNE review. You still have 2 more nights to check them out.
While trying to figure out what band to see next during opening night at NXNE, a stranger suddenly appeared in the hallway of the El Mocambo and declared that we must check out FIRExFIRE because they are awesome. It turns out that stranger was a member of the Toronto band FIRExFIRE and although his opinions may have been biased, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t right.
Check out FIRExFIRE playing one of their tracks from their soon to be released debut album and keep an eye out for oue full NXNE review.