Meet Exclaim!'s Class of 2022: Peeling, Secret Sign, Super Genius, Sham Family

At this week's show, get ready for icy post-punk and dancey synth-pop

BY Matt BobkinPublished Feb 22, 2022

Toronto's Monarch Tavern is back at full capacity this week, which means that the Class of 2022 show on Saturday, February 26, is going to be packed to the brim with hungry bands and eager audience members. Before the show, get to know the performers, and give them a listen on the Class of 2022 Spotify playlist.

 Self-described by project founder Anna Timoshenko as "like throwing a toaster in the bathtub," Peeling's post-punk is equal parts icy and electrifying. Timoshenko's recent activity has been similarly tumultuous, as she and drummer Michael Wallace (also of Preoccupations) "drove out west and isolated ourselves in the mountains, in a town of 300 people, played a lot of cards, lived in an old church, fixed up our RVs and vans" before releasing debut album Worshipper in November 2020. They have since returned to Toronto and are looking forward to adapting the album's menacing, simmering songs for audiences in Toronto and beyond. Says Timoshenko, "It's been nearly two years since we've been able to play for an audience, so we're definitely itching to be back on stage. If we could pull off a small tour at some point in the summer or fall I'd be beyond stoked." Peeling's sophomore album is also in the works.

Secret Sign
Synth-pop unit Secret Sign have been keeping relatively quiet since dropping two EPs in 2018, but 2022 is poised to be their most prolific year yet: member Phil Baljeu says that they are "planning on releasing a music video and EP earlier in the year, followed by a full-length album later in the year." Given the packed schedules of the band's members — including No Tickets at the Door director Danny Alexander and Twin Rains member Christine Stoesser —  It's no surprise that community is front of mind as Secret Sign prepare to dust off their synthesizers for a new wave of material. Says the band's Kaila Moon, "I'm looking forward to hearing all the new material my friends have been working on during the pandemic. And regaining a sense of normalcy — to have a calendar of upcoming shows to put our energies into as a band. Anything that will help fill the creative void."

Super Genius
Toronto trio Super Genius have only released one song so far, but "Orphan Boy," from the band's forthcoming debut album In the Age of Information, is enough to deliver on the band's promise of a "Beatles-influenced throwback to '90s Canadian alt-rock." No matter whether the Beatles or Sloan are your Fab Four of choice, Super Genius have got you covered when it comes to infectious rock hooks and immersive songwriting. It's a miracle the band members were able to fit all of this in between their other pursuits, including membership in Mouth Breather, Pacer and fellow Class of 2022 act PACKS, and, according to the band's Shane Hooper, "cooking, refining our disc golf forms, watching hockey, making video games and buying and selling vintage drum kits." 

Sham Family
We're not sure what the sham is — their political post-punk seems pretty genuine. The four tracks of Sham Family's self-titled debut EP merge influence from the likes of Protomartyr and Wolf Parade with a dizzying mix of noisy atmospherics that make the terse subject matter even more disorienting. After their Class of 2022 appearance, they'll be heading on tour all over Canada and the US opening for Born Ruffians, who put the EP out on their label Wavy Haze. As Sham Family's Cole Sefton puts it, "We can't overstate the value we believe live music has on our communities. We're excited for everyone. For us, personally, we're ready for copious amounts of sweat and cathartic behaviour."

For more information on this, check out the Facebook event and Showclix ticket purchase link

Next up for the Class of 2022 concert series:
03/12 Bike Thiefs / Shitbats / Paste / Pretty - Horseshoe Tavern
03/12 Your Hunni / CJ Wiley / Dumb Stupid Liars / 8485 - Lee's Palace
04/23 Breeze / Crasher / PACKS / Only God Forgives - Horseshoe Tavern

Latest Coverage