About a year ago, I bought a sweet record cabinet from an elderly lady off Kijiji. Along with it came a whole whack of records, all of which I kept. …

  Kelly Bedard

October 10th was the first time Frank Turner has performed in Toronto since I started listening to Frank Turner. I’ve never been to one of the high-energy concerts at the Phoenix or the Danforth Music Hall that explain his being so closely associated with the punk scene for someone who sings songs about his mom. But […]

James Ehnes is a thrilling violinist, a brilliant technician who…

  Kelly Bedard

When conductor Steven Reineke led the Toronto Symphony Orchestra through the Phantom of the Opera overture to kick off Monday night’s performance of “Modern Broadway”- the first of four performances through Wednesday that mark the end of the TSO’s Pops season- part of me worried that the evening’s selections would, like the film scores concert […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is world-class and their recent infusion of young new players really livens things up down at Roy Thomson Hall (always a fun venue to visit). I’m partial to new associate principal bassoon Darren Hicks and our recent spotlightee principal flute Kelly Zimba. And if you haven’t googled associate principal clarinet Eric […]

  Chelsea Dinsmore

Billed as “music theatre”, Njo Kong Kie’s first production in his residency with Canadian Stage is more of a concert with multimedia aspects than it is a piece of theatre. Inspired by his experiences picnicking in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, composer-pianist Njo Kong Kie cleverly uses this juxtaposition of life and death to create music that […]

  Jace Hijazi

This was a huge grower. On first listen I was ready to write it off as “better than Peep, worse than Wicca”, which I now see is wrong – he’s arguably the very best in this blossoming genre. Reaper has a highly polished sound that wears its influences in such a clear and effective way. […]

  Anya Wassenberg

“Winner Takes All” is the ABBA favourite you think you know – you think so, that is, until you hear the latest version by singer Joey Niceforo. Joey is a classical crossover artist, and his treatment of the song mines unexpected emotional and even musical depths from the original pop material. Credit his classically trained […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Clear, sweet vocals and a resourceful sense of seizing opportunity by the horns has gotten singer songwriter Lisa Nicole across the country a couple of times, and it’s done so again with a tour of Canada kicking off the release of her latest single. “Mad About It” is the third single from her 2016 release […]

  Jace Hijazi

Romaplasm is an album I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I don’t mean just as a followup to his landmark masterpiece, Obsidian (also my AOTY in 2013), but as well an album that so boldly embodies gay romance. It also happens to be set in a space-faring fantasy world, something I never realized […]

  Jace Hijazi

Corbin (formerly Spooky Black/Lil Spook) was my big surprise hit of 2017. His past material was enjoyable despite the laughable lyrics and aesthetic, but his low-pulse sadboi trap&B style wasn’t aiming very high. this rebirth on the other hand is truly something to behold. No way in hell was I expecting Spooky fuckin’ Black to […]

  Saiya Floyd

Listening to Anaïs Mitchell’s gorgeous Hadestown recordings is the perfect way to spend a dark cold winter’s night. As of 2017, there are two recordings of Hadestown, a folk musical take on Greek mythology: a 2010 concept album, and a recording of the off-Broadway cast who performed the show at the New York Theatre Workshop. (The […]

  Anya Wassenberg

New York City-based David Jacobson and The New Space Wizards have released a new demo, a follow up to their 2016 EP Psychedelica Revisited. The new demo was recorded with the live band that has been performing all around their native Brooklyn, and it has a nicely organic feel to all the tracks. Let’s face […]

Rather than spend time writing a review of the new Converge album…

  Anya Wassenberg

Roads to Rivers is the second release from indie pop-rockers Simcoe. The new EP sees the band continuing down the road of moody and melodic songwriting that they began on their eponymous 2015 release. From the five-piece band that put out their debut EP, the line up has been streamlined to Bobby Houston on vocals and […]

  Jace Hijazi

We’re just past the halfway point of the year, and I wanted to share which releases I feel are frontrunners for my year end list. As well, this way people can be be enjoying some things throughout the year, rather than spending December/January trying to catch up on everything they’ve missed. 10. Animal Collective – […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Nigerian-born King Ajibade describes his music as “world fusion” – a danceable style with a savor that’s definitely tropical, incorporating elements of Caribbean, Latin and African musical genres with classic RnB and rap. In Yoruba, his name means “one that wakes into royalty” and keeping that connection with his heritage is another important thread throughout […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Bassett is a duo made up of multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Josh Bassett, and bassist Tak Ozaki. Josh brings along a background in orchestral percussion and jazz guitar along with years spent as a session player in L.A. A native of Kobe, Japan, Tak spent some time in Ireland and toured Europe with another band […]

  Anya Wassenberg

From the New Hampshire Seacoast, the smallest coastline in the US, comes Almanac Mountain, the brainchild of Chris Cote, a classically trained composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Cryptoseismology – which means the study of hidden or secret quakes – is the third full-length album from Almanac Mountain, out October 21st. While his previous work was more […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Strange Moon is the second CD for Los Angeles based indie artist Katie Burden and it’s been getting a fair amount of buzz since its release on September 15, and with good reason. Amid the plethora of indie releases out there, she generates a unique musical energy in the over crowded world of guitar driven […]

  Anya Wassenberg

DownTown Mystic is the alter ego of songwriter Robert Allen, a New Jersey native with a penchant for rock in the classic –aka Americana/roots rock – vein. Rock ‘N’ Roll Romantic is the follow up to 2010’s well received Standing Still and 2013’s eponymous release, DownTown Mystic. The latter spent 10 months on the US […]

David Jacobson and the Space Wizards are based out of Brooklyn, New York…

  Anya Wassenberg

Indie darling Mitski – 25-year old Mitski Miyawaki – is riding a wave of momentum leading up to the release of her next album, Puberty 2, due out June 17 on the Dead Oceans label. She’s released two singles so far – “Your Best American Girl” and most recently, “Happy” – with an American tour […]

  Kelly Bedard

This month we were treated to two pieces that weren’t really musical theatre, nor were they strictly concerts. They were cabarets, I guess, but they were really stage-bound musical explorations of people and place by musicians who make theatre and theatre people who make music. Ryan G. Hinds’ Say Grace Sidelined for 6 months after […]

  Jace Hijazi

Hello again, and welcome to the second instalment of this spotlight series on some things you probably missed from last year. Today I bring you Kodak to Graph, the stage name of electronic producer Michael Maleki. Kodak to Graph – Isa [Chillhop/Trap/Ambient] My first encounter with Kodak was mere fortune. I was catching a Slow […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Buy the Single/Name Your Price Eminently danceable and ultimately intriguing, “Road Movie Star” is the new single from VEiiLA, the Russian electronica duo. The song has a great spooky groove that swells from mild to a kind of haunting anthemic vibe at the chorus. The vocals show a good range from little girl vulnerable to […]