Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Back in January few people had ever heard of drone-y doom-folk crew Gowns, but by years' end the defunct Los Angeles duo had gained some serious posthumous notoriety as the creative birthplace of Erika M. Anderson. Past Life Martyred Saints, the South Dakota transplant's debut as EMA, proved to be one of the year's greatest surprises. The record's strength comes from its intimacy, but intimacy doesn't always equal weakness. Opener "The Grey Ship" begins with a sparse acoustic guitar and hushed vocals, pulling listeners in before swaths of overdriven guitars pummelling them into submission. From there, we're putty in Anderson's hands. Past Life finds its legs in "California" where Anderson adopts a Kim Gordon-esque speak-sing that opens with the line," Fuck California, you made me boring," delivering a visceral vocal over top guitar drones and drums the size of the Grand Canyon. Critics have had a hard time pinning Anderson down, given that each song on the record seems to reveal a new influence. "Milkman" offers the closest thing to dance floor groove while "Coda" is a 60-second ode to Appalachian folk. Then there's "Breakfast," whose slow burn reveals a fair bit of time spent listening to classic rock power ballads. Anderson is the through line, singing with a confidence that provides a guiding light through the album's beautiful noise.
StreamsSep 28, 2015
Anamai"Abris" on Exclaim! TV
Anamai is an experimental neo-folk endeavour lead by Anna Mayberry (HSY) and produced by David Psutka (Hiawatha, Egyptrixx). The rest of the...
NewsSep 28, 2015
Bob Moses Fuse Songwriting with Circuitry on 'Days Gone By'
When it came time to record Days Gone By, their debut full-length for Domino, Brooklyn-via-Vancouver duo Bob Moses looked to build on the ha...
StreamsSep 25, 2015
Dirty Frigs"Toss" on Exclaim! TV
Dirty Frigs are a Toronto-based four-piece who resurrect the spirit of Link Wray and other early axe-wielders to conjure the dark and distor...
FeaturesSep 25, 2015
OughtThe Void Is Listening
After releasing their acclaimed debut album More Than Any Other Day in 2014, Ought found themselves touring practically non-stop, playing sh...
NewsSep 25, 2015
Disclosure Discuss the Piano Origins of 'Caracal,' Address "Hater" Purists
It might be hard to imagine, but Disclosure didn't start the songs on their new album Caracal with samples or synth beats; they sat down at ...
FeaturesSep 24, 2015
New Order'Complete' Return
New Order never officially broke up. And chances are they never will. But after co-founder/bassist Peter Hook left acrimoniously in 2007, th...
FeaturesSep 23, 2015
The Folk"Forgive Me" on Exclaim! TV
The Folk are a six-piece with a curio cabinet of eccentric sounds at their disposal; their collection of alternative rock tunes contains tra...
FeaturesSep 22, 2015
Steam Whistle Unsigned'sFall Concert Preview
Since its inception in 2007, Steam Whistle Unsigned — the Canada-wide concert series that promotes up-and-coming artists from across o...