September 22, 2014

Indie 88 First Birthday: Darcys

On September 13, local Toronto radio station Indie 88.1 celebrated a year on the air with a birthday party at The Opera House. The on-air personalities were there along with a big baby, cupcakes, the obligatory singing of "Happy Birthday" and loot bags at the end.
Three amazing Canadian artists graced the stage that night: Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, The Darcys and Lowell. This post is on The Darcys' gripping performance.
I'll admit that The Darcys took a while to grow on me. But much of the most rewarding music is like that; it takes time for the beautiful intricacies to reveal themselves. Their dark energy, layered instrumentation and harmonized vocals provide something unique.
I saw The Darcys for the first time at Field Trip back in June, and I said at the time that I would see them again as soon as the opportunity arose. This show was that opportunity and it was a very cool performance. The band sounded great and put on a great show for all in attendance. And this time I got to photograph them.
I'll admit that I didn't do a great job of taking note of what tunes they played, so here's a bunch of great Darcys music, some of which I'm sure they played at the gig. What else can I say about this talented and dynamic band? They're one of my favourites.

"Hunting"

"The Pacific Theatre"

"Horses Fell"

"Itchy Blood"

"Muzzle Blast"

"The River"

"747s"

"Don't Bleed Me"

"Ultra Violet" [Warring Bonus Track]


Now, I know that they didn't play this tune, but I loved the original and I love what The Darcys did with this classic tune and the rest of Aja. So unique and brave. "Josie" originally by Steely Dan.

September 21, 2014

Riot Fest 2014 Day 1 Band 6: Citizen

Citizen, from south-west Michigan / north-west Ohio, graced the Rebel stage on Day 1 of Toronto's Riot Fest. As I mentioned in my post on The Beaches, a lot of great discoveries can be made by taking a chance at the emerging artists on the smaller festival stage. 
Citizen have a heavy energy that came across well for a first-time listener such as myself. Their presence and tunes will serve them well. They blend dynamics into their tunes, which gives the tunes emotion and drama, and makes the heavy parts heavier. Good stuff!
Here's a handful of Citizen tunes:

"Silo"

"The Summer"

"How Does It Feel?"

"Sleep"

"The Night I Drove Alone"

Check out a lot more music over at their Bandcamp.

September 20, 2014

Indie 88 First Birthday Party: Lowell

On September 13, local Toronto radio station Indie 88.1 celebrated a year on the air with a birthday party at The Opera House. The on-air personalities were there along with a big baby, cupcakes, the obligatory singing of "Happy Birthday" and loot bags at the end. Good times!
On stage for the night were three amazing Canadian artists: Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, The Darcys and Lowell. This post is on Lowell's amazing performance.
Lowell was born in Calgary, currently calls Toronto home and plays unique pop music. I first caught her show when she opened for Cayucas at the Garrison after the release of her I Killed Sara V. EP
Lowell is a very active and interactive performer. She's animated on stage, roaming from edge to edge and back to her keyboard while dancing, making sure no one feels left out. And she's not afraid to get into the crowd, too. She ventured into the audience twice during her set. The first time, she found a willing guy who she rode like a horse. The second time, she found a willing girl to get down on the floor with for an intimate and impromptu party. Fun!
A Lowell show is an engaging, danceable good time. I'd definitely recommend getting yourself out to a show. And buy her album We Loved Her Dearly. It came out on September 16.
Here's a sampling of great Lowell tunes:

"Cloud 69" Great song! Definitely a live highlight!

"The Bells" Another live highlight!

"88"


"Palm Trees"


Lowell closed out the set with "Kids", which doesn't appear on her new album

September 19, 2014

Riot Fest 2014 Day 1 Band 5: Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra was next up on the Rock stage. It was at this stage that us photographers got our first warning from security to watch for incoming crowd surfers. One guy who had come over the barrier was enthusiastic about getting back into the crowd and ran right into me. No worries. That's rock and roll.
The band is from Atlanta, Georgia and they have four full-length albums to draw from. Based on what I found on the web, they focused on their 2009 release and the new album, Cope. I enjoyed their set and their extremely thick and heavy sound. Great set!
"Pride" from 2009's Mean Everything To Nothing

"Shake It Out" from Mean Everything To Nothing

"I've Got Friends" from Mean Everything To Nothing

"Everything To Nothing" from Mean Everything To Nothing

"Cope" from their latest release Cope Live on Letterman

"Top Notch" from Cope

September 18, 2014

Royal Blood

So, Royal Blood. They've been getting tons of buzz. I wrote about them for the first time back in April.

Now they've been nominated for this year's Mercury Prize and they're playing Toronto's Lee's Palace on October 14.

If you haven't heard about them, they're a duo from Brighton and their eponymous début is out now.

Rock out to some of their amazingly tight riff heavy tunes and get out to a show:

"Out Of The Black"

"Little Monster"

"Come On Over"

"Figure It Out"

"Hole" live at Glastonbury 2014

Pic from Facebook.