Published Aug 10, 2015Steam Whistle Unsigned — the Canada-wide concert series promoting up-and-coming artists from across our nation — will return later this summer. In the meantime, we're giving you a preview of one of the must-see music festivals of 2015: Toronto's Time Festival. Look below to find out which performances you need to check out at the all-day event happening on August 15 at Fort York / Garrison Common, and visit unsigned/steamwhistle.ca to find more great concerts in your area.
For Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco, it's all about the simple pleasures in life.
"Even though I'm making a lot more money than I thought I'd ever be making, I still can't go buy new clothes," he says. "I don't know how to do it. I go to Value Village or, like, Savers, and it's like, 'Oh man, it looks like someone only wore this Tommy Hilfiger shirt a couple times. All right!'"
Since releasing his third studio album, Salad Days, in the spring of 2014, the dad rock-loving guitarist has seen his stock rise (both figuratively and financially) due to ample time spent on the road. That's why, when it came time to take a break from touring, the vagabond performer decided to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and plant his roots somewhere a little bit more remote.
"It's kind of like, if I'm doing crazy shit out there, then I'm just going to chill out and not see anybody when I'm home," he says about his move to Arverne, Queens, a working class community on a tiny peninsula that's roughly an hour's drive away from Manhattan. It's where he recorded his new mini-album, the aptly titled Another One (out now via Captured Tracks).
Holed up in a home right by the water, DeMarco says the move to some slightly more spacious digs (at least by his standards) was the biggest inspiration behind the blissed out sounds of his self-assured new mini-LP.
"Instead of having to play all the instruments on the same chair in the exact same spot, now I can play my guitar in one corner, walk to the other corner, like five feet… it's pretty nice," he says. "Most people would still be like, 'What the fuck?,' but yeah, it's great. Big bedroom. Master bedroom of the house. Ooh, it's nice."
Since his arrival on the scene in 2010, Halifax-bred producer Ryan Hemsworth has packed clubs around the globe and become a festival favourite, thanks to his forward-thinking and effervescent production work. A lot has happened in that time in the world of music — including the release of his two studio albums, 2013's Guilt Trips and the following year's Alone for the First Time — but perhaps the biggest change is the popularity of electronic music.
"It's definitely reached a point now where EDM artists are the biggest names on every festival poster," he says. "EDM and not really expressing emotions has kind of been the reigning thing in music, so I think it's definitely going to reach a point where everyone's going to be tired of those sounds. I don't know, I think I also miss people screaming into microphones and stuff."
That's part of the reason why Hemsworth made Ryanpack Vol. 2, a ten-song mixtape featuring remixes of singles by the likes of Sum 41, Blink-182 and Tigers Jaw.
"I've always been pretty sentimental about my high school era of what I listen to and all that," he says. "I also think I'm kind of going backwards in my taste; it's the kind of music I'm looking to for inspiration in my next project."
But That's Not All…
The best and brightest from the future of Canadian music are coming to Time Festival this August. Don't forget to arrive early and catch performances from the likes of rising rapper Tory Lanez, Quebecois beatmaker Tommy Kruise, Toronto five-piece Lobby, Ell V Gore mastermind Elliot Vincent Jones, Polaris Music Prize short-listed trio BADBADNOTGOOD and more. Check out the full lineup here.
And If You Missed #SWUnsigned's Last Show…
Check out footage from Teenanger and Most People's recent sets at The Roundhouse at Steam Whistle Brewing below.