Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Angel Haze

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-Real name Raee'n Wahya
-Detroit rapper and lyricist signed to Universal Republic and Island
-Born July 1991
-Didn't start listening to music till she was 16 because her family is religious and her mom didn't let her.
-Inspired by a neurosurgeon in America by the name of Daniel Amen. She was actually in school to be a neurosurgeon before she ran with her rap carear. Cool nay?
-She's a fan of Jason Mraz, Train, Eminem, and New Radicals. Random, haha. Love it.
-Friends with Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)
-Has a collab with Azealia Banks coming out soon.

Songs to listen to: Werkin' Girls, Gossip Folks, & New York

Conclusion: Angel Haze is too legit. Her rhymes are so good! If you like Nicki Minaj, listen to her ASAP. If you don't Nicki, listen to her ASAP. She's just so good. She's just so raw and in your face. Definitely worth your time. I've been really into rap and Angel Haze has it going on. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mumford and Sons - Babel

Mumford and Sons - Babel
Released: September 25, 2012 (Canada)

    Such a great album. As soon as I heard the single for the album 'I will wait' I knew I was going to like it. I find their music to be so enlightening and proud. It's almost as though each song is an orchestrated prayer off to the sunrise; It's just that exciting for me. Best part is they balance these loud and powerful songs such as 'I Will Wait' with more mellow and sympathetic songs like 'Ghosts That We Know.' Let me put it this way, it's the Mumford and Sons we first fell in love with no surprises, just new songs and lyrics to fall in love with. They really do do a good job writing music to relate to; I always find myself quiet and just listening to every word when I hear a song of theirs. So far, I'm in love with the first track 'Babel' but I'm sure I'll just be going down the list changing favourites day to day just as I did with 'Sigh No More.' It's exactly what I need right now during this changing of seasons. Good bye summer, and hello fall!

Songs to listen to: Babel, I Will Wait, Below My Feet (Sooooo good!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TIFF - Picture Day directed by Kate Melville

Tatiana Maslany in Kate Melville's 'Picture Day'
     The other day, Danielle, a music supervisor, asked if I was interested in reviewing the music from the latest TIFF movie selection 'Picture Day'. I said yes.

Here goes nothing!

Danielle forwarded me to the press package which contained two downloadable links to songs from the movie; not my favourites from the film, but decent songs none the less. I personally don't recommend either.
     It's a shame they didn't include this other song from the movie. I mean it wasn't a huge scene or anything but it was a part of the film I found totally relateable. Here's the scene in a nutshell: The main character was at a point where she had no where to go and just zoned out with her music on and walked aimlessly. The song playing through her walk was so easing and it reminded me of the countless times I found myself doing the same thing - Oh the power of good music. :)

Here's that song:

Figs it was The Dodos; They are wonderful live as I discovered at Lollapalooza three years ago. Great stuff and good job Picture Day! Haha.

Now, what about the movies you ask? It was okay. I mean it was really well done but it just didn't peak my interest.  They showed bits of Toronto and Lee's Palace which I loved but as a whole it just wasn't for me. Either way, I had a good time watching it with my sister and would recommend this movie to any girl with a love for music and general confusion with their own life's decisions surrounding love. Yes, this means every girl.

Thanks again Danielle and Picture Day for inviting me out! 

Picture Day
directed by Kate Melville.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

First Aid Kit

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[Left to Right: Johanna and Klara Söderberg]

-Sister duo from Stockholm, Sweden
-Influenced by the music and songwriting of Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom
-Their 2008 YouTube video cover of the song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" by Fleet Foxes went viral and Fleet Foxes invited them to perform the song with them in a concert in The Netherlands.
-Later that year the duo signed to Rabid Records, a label co-owned by the Swedish electronic duo The Knife.
-After playing a concert in Nashville the duo was approached by Jack White who requested them to record a single for his Third Man Records series.
-In February 2011 the duo collaborated with Bright Eyes during their performance of Lua.
-Playing Newport Folk Festival 2012 and Lollapalooza 2012
-Appeared on Conan

Songs to Listen to: When I grow up, Our own Pretty Ways, and their cover of Fleet Foxes - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

Conclusion: It's pretty sweet to see these two swedish sister so beautifully in sync with each other. Their music is simple and yet wonderfuly enchanting. Only really started listening to them today, but I am excited to hear the rest of their songs. Best part is they're coming to Toronto!  So hopefully I'll have a chance to drop by and check out their set... but we'll see. :D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sea of Bees

Julie Ann Bee
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[Julie Ann Bee]

-From Sacramento, CA
-SOB: “Sidepain” I wrote after I had been in a camping accident because I had a little too much H and H. Interviewer: What’s H and H?
SOB: Cheap ass whiskey.
-Played Glastonbury 2011
-Toured with Jenn Grant
-Cute story by SOB: I started when I was around sixteen. My sister and my cousin invited me to church and I never had any friends. Let me start from the beginning. My mom grew up Catholic and she felt that we needed to go to church because she had been brought up in it. So when I was little my sister, my mom and I would go to the Catholic church. I remember there was a guy named Peter, curly hair, hippie, goatee, smelled like b.o. and he played piano. He sang this one song that always got to me, during all the other songs I was sleeping or punching my sister in the arm because church made me irritable. This song got me and I wanted to learn it and learn music but I never knew how. I stopped going to church after that until I was sixteen and my sister and cousin invited me. They noticed that I was a loaner and said “Hey Jules, we just came to the lord and you should come to our church group.” After saying no a few times I went. I came to the door and there was a girl named Laura who gave me a hug. It was really my first hug, I was sixteen years old and didn’t know how to hug or touch. The hug was so nice and I remember thinking “wow that was so nice, so that’s a friend?” I kept coming back to church for that interaction and shortly after that I saw a girl singing with her brother and thought “that’s really beautiful, she’s really beautiful” and it made me want to play music. She really was beautiful, dark hair, angelic voice. Sometimes during worship when everyone was closing their eyes and then looking around to see who was lifting their hands higher, I would just be standing there watching her. Eventually we became really good friends and she had a cd out so I decided to learn one of the songs on it. I would go out to my parents shed at five in the morning because I had to be at swimming by six, and I would go out there, put on her cd and try to learn this song. I would put my finger on a string until I heard the same note and then I would put my other fingers where I thought they should be. It was three chords E, B, and A. Then I started learning how to sing by mimicking her voice and finally felt like I was getting it. I tried out for the worship team and got denied and I felt humiliated.

Songs to Listen to: Skinnybone, The Gold, and Marmalade

Conclusion: What a wonderful voice! I first heard of Sea of Bees while vintage shipping in London and  it was the perfect soundtrack to feeling comfortable and excited with my surroundings. I mean I  was on vacation surrounded by beautiful vintage clothing and shoes... Sea of Bees was the icing on the cake. Her voice is so fragile and her lyrics are so truthful and beautiful. This is basically the definition of beautiful music. All I can say is that I thank that shopkeeper for having great taste in music.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


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[Alaina Moore and Patrick]

-American indie pop band from Denver made up of husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley
-They met while studying philosophy in College after returning from a 7 month trip down to the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard.
-Tennis first studio album, Cape Dory is based on the couple's experiences during their sailing trip.
-The second Tennis album Young & Old was released on Fat Possum Records on February 14, 2012, produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys.
-Tennis, Moore's earliest singing experience was in church choirs during her youth.
-Played Lollapalooza 2011. I was there and it was just wonderful.

Songs to listen to: Origins, Cape Dory and My Better Self.

Conclusion: I'm not going to lie... I didn't fall in love with them from the very beginning. Sorta just thought they were another duo I wouldn't care about (*cough*Best Coast). Turns out a friend mentioned to me that she had been listening to them so I gave it a second listen. Tennis has such a great summer late 60's sound that I'm totally digging. Also the fact they're a husband wife duo has me wrapped with awwww... Either way, the music has me smiling and I figured it was time you took a second listen to this band if you haven't already.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Star Slinger

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-Also known as  Darren Williams
-Hip hop producer based in Manchester, UK
-Was named in the NME's Top 50 Bands of 2011
-Has provided licensed remixes for The Avalanches (forthcoming on their reissue of Since I Left You), Gold Panda amongst many others! (taken from Last FM)
-Curates his own clubnight:
-Playing Lollapalooza 2012
-Has been approached for official remix work from some of his longtime favourite bands, including Air France, Toro Y Moi, Gold Panda, Broken Social Scene, The Morning Benders, The Go! Team, Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Foster The People, Alex Winston and Childish Gambino.

Songs to listen to: Mornin, and Dutchie Courage (Both below)

(Nicely done with this video. So sick.)

Conclusion: His remixes are cool because they're different. I'm not much of a DJ critic, but I know what I like and this guy has it going on. I also like that he's worked with Gold Panda because he's another DJ I really admire. Either way, this guy is definitely up and coming and I'm excited to see what else he has in store for us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alabama Shakes

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[Left to right: Heath Fogg (guitarist) Brittany Howard (vocalist), Zac Cockrell (bassist), Steve Johnson (drummer).] / Ben Tanner on Keys (not in the photo)

-American rock band formed in 2009 in Athens, Alabama
-The band began with Brittany and Zac meeting after school (high school) to write music. Heath (a fellow schoolmate) joined in soon after hearing how great they sounded. Shortly after the trio asked Steve (who at the time worked at their local music store) to join. The rest is history, The Alabama Shakes were born! (Fun fact: They used to be 'The Shakes', but changed it to distinguish themselves from other bands called The Shakes.)
-"The things you haven't worked through... or things you can't really talk about...just put them in a song might know someone and you want to tell them something but you can't cause it'll just make everything really awkward.. so you just write a song about it." - Brittany / I really liked how honest and real what was said was.
-Justin from Aquarium Drunkard blog found The Alabama Shakes and posted on the band and it was only then did the band begin to blow up.
-Covers Led Zepplin's 'How Many More Time', listen here.
-Played Bonnaroo 2012, Coachella 2012, and are expected at Lollapalooza!
-Appeared on Conan O'Brien, and David Letterman.
-Toured with Jack White
-Brittany's dream collaboration as mention on NME's Youtube interview is Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Jack White (for his 'awesome' guitar work)

Songs to Listen to: Hold on, I Found You, Rise to the Sun

Conclusion: FML, this band is my summer band. FML because I only started to love them now. I feel like I've been missing out hardcore because of this, but none the less I am sooo in love with them. Brittany is just incredible. Her voice is just... I'm awe-stricken. I find myself completely losing my voice trying to keep up with her at home. The lyrics, the simplicity, the Roots feel as a package has me completely on team Alabama Shakes. Band of the summer friends, get into it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Other Lives

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[Left to right: Colby Owens (clarinet and percussion), Josh Onstott (bass and percussion), Jenny Hsu (cello and backing vocals), Jon Mooney (violin, horns, piano and percussion), Jesse Tabish (vocals, piano, guitar and percussion)]

-American indie rock band from Stillwater, Oklahoma.
-Formally known as Kunek
- Their latest album 'Tamer Animals' was released last February in 2011
-Band toured with Bon Iver
-Played  Iceland Airwaves festival
-Has music featured on Greys Anatomy and Ugly Betty
-Covered Lenoard Cohen's The Partisan, watch here.
-Opening for Radiohead (Jesse's favourite band) for the first half of their 2012 tour
-Played Coachella 2012

Songs to listen to: For 12, Tamer Animals, and It was the Night

Conclusion: Again with the cello and violin... always gets me! Jenny is just wonderful. The music is eerie and very much like a soundtrack to something deceiving and grey. Jesse's voice is good, but what takes it out the park for me is the array of instrument and the end product of every song. They're definitely one of those bands you can watch jam for hours. Also not sure what it is about them but they remind me a lot of The National... which is weird because their leading vocals don't resemble those of Matt at all... I think it's just the general feel of their music. Dark, tricky, eerie, and full of bass.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


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[Top: Left to Right: Matt Myers (guitar), and Shane Cody(drums) Bottom: Katie Toupin(keys and vocals), and Zak Appleby (bass)]

-Four piece rock/folk band from Indiana & Kentucky formed last year.
-Originally a duo between Katie Toupin and Matt Myers (The Saint James Hotel) they soon collaborated with Shane Cody and Zak Appleby to form Houndmouth.
-Played SXSW and are going to play Forecastle 2012!
-Played shows with The Lumineers and Those Darlins
-Here's the story on how they decided on their name Houndmouth taken from This is Our Jam Blog :

Where did you come up with your name, Houndmouth?
Matt: One night we were doing guitar tracks at Shane’s house -- we record at nighttime to get rid of all the noise during the day like sirens and car honks -- but there are always these two dogs that the neighbors have that bark all night. So, we recorded a bunch of tracks and finally get one that we liked. Then, we played it back and Shane said, “It’s not gonna work -- there’s too much houndmouth on this!” He was clearly drunk because no one would say “houndmouth." Ever. Still, the rest of the group (sobriety aside) decided that they liked the unique charm of the name Houndmouth

Songs to listen to: Krampus (down below), and Houston Train
Conclusion: Their song Krampus is bomb. I literally wake up every other day with it in my head. Katie's voice on top of the boy's harmonies is just perfect. They have a really great folky sound and I'm excited to hear more from them. Considering they've only been around for about a year, I would say they're doing pretty great. Definitely got to keep my eye on this group.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Of Monster and Men

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[1st row: Árni Guðjónsson(piano/accordion), Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (co-singer/guitarist), Brynjar Leifsson (guitarist) / 2nd row: Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson (co-singer/guitarist), Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bassist), Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drummer)]

- Six piece indie/Folk band from Iceland
-The band started off with Nanna singing solo on a project she called Songbird with her school friend Brynjar on guitar. They decided they wanted to do something different when they met with other members of the band and Ragnar (Nanna's boyfriend's best friend). They all joined up and played their FIRST show at Iceland's Músíktilraunir Battle of the Bands competition and took it home! Watch their performance, click here.
-Their song "Little Talks" came from Nanna watching her friend dye her hair red.
-Nanna has said to have taken a lot of inspiration from Fiest.
-Their video for "Little Talks" was created by a group called "We were Monkeys" from Canada. Check them out, click here.
-Playing Pukkelpop ,Osheaga, Newport Folk Festival, South by Southwest & Lollapalooza.
-Raggi on the comparisons to Arcade Fire: “It’s definitely a compliment, being compared to Arcade Fire,” he said. “And I think it’s due to…we are a lot of people in the band, and have a big sound, and stuff like that. But because you want to make your own name, hopefully when the album comes out people will see that we are very much our own.”

Songs to listen to: Little Talks, Love Love Love, Your Bones (Very Fleet Foxes), King and Lionheart

Conclusion: I can't thank Iceland enough for harbouring such a great band! Honestly, it's been hard to shake my tunnel vision for The Head & The Heart, but I've officially found my new love. They're just so wonderful. Not only are they incredibly talented, they're just so pleasantly modest and genuinely surprised from the good responses to their album. I actually heard one of them say in an interview how they basically recorded the album for the heck of it... just wow. This album is not average either, it's pure listening entrancement. This one definitely has my official stamp of approval. Listen to any track and you will see what I'm saying. Story telling at it's best.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Alex Winston

Alex Winston 
Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Myspace
-Originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
-Started singing at the age of 10.
-Her family used to push her to sing at every family function and paid for her opera lessons.
-Chuck Berry is her all time favourite artist. She had the opportunity to open for him at one of his shows.
-She moved to New York City in 2010 to work with production duo The Knocks.
-Has played SXSW 2011
-Fan of the Strokes
-Toured with Freelance Whales, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Naked & Famous, Ted Nugent & Chuck Berry/
-Frequent collaborations with Charlie Hugall (who produced Florence + the Machine‘s stunning cover of “You Got the Love”)

Songs to listen to: Sister Wife, Velvet Elvis, Choice Notes

Conclusion: I really like Alex Winston and I'm so happy that she stuck through her passion for music to bring herself to the beginning of my 2012 music playlist. I briefly began listening to her in 2011, but only now am I really obsessing... she's great and definitely worth your time. If you love Marina and the Diamonds and Ellie Goulding... then let me introduce to you my 2012 beginning fix of the year. Obviously they're not identical, but you can't deny the unique voice similarities. Either way, she can't come to Toronto fast enough. Enjoy!