Various Aurora

Wonderfully drenched with reverb and whisks of sustained guitars, the Aurora compilation is sure to be a winner with shoegazers everywhere. An array of the best (and mainly) Ontario-based touring artists are featured within this magnificently tin-box-packaged compilation of previously unreleased tracks — from the scratchy, antiquated-sounding lead-in folk-plucking track from the Two Minute Miracles, the curtain of psychedelia that is the Mean Red Spiders, the soaring bliss on the closing track by the Peter Parkers, and perhaps the album's highlight "Until These Seams Are Sewn Again," by A Northern Chorus, a timeless, drum-less, seven-plus-minute lullaby complete with flutes and cello. Also worthy of mentioning are contributions by the likes of Music For Mapmakers, a John Lennon cover ("India") by the ubiquitous and equally enigmatic White Star Line, Kid Sniper and Sonora. However, not all tracks are suited to accompany the burning of candles. London's Panic Coast (formerly Salmonblaster) and the Pop Shove-Its provide the alternative rock radio edge, adding that perfect little detour onto a road to speed down, on an otherwise sonic rural highway journey of musical relaxation. (Black Mountain)