Monday, February 02, 2009

Shout out.

It's been a while since I did a "shout out" post. In the meantime I've heard some new bands and listened to some new records. So now's a good time for another post. Here are a few Toronto bands you may or may not know, but I think you should start to get to know. First up, Whale Tooth.

This Toronto band is less than a year old (if I can do math correctly). In that time they've gained lots of loyal fans and learned to put on energetic live shows to showcase their new pop sound. Boasting three vocalists, the main singing duties are handled by Elise LeGrow, an erstwhile jazz singer. I've seen Whale Tooth a couple times, the first time at Sneaky Dee's and then again not too long after at Rancho Relaxo, a venue that has welcomed them several times. The first time, I wasn't sure about what I thought---I enjoyed their set and was impressed with Elise's vocals and stage presence---but I wasn't totally sold. The second time around I got it, and now count myself among this band's local fans. Their EP release show is happening this Saturday (7 Feb.) at Sneaky Dee's, and also features Green Go (!) and an Ottawa band called The Balconies. Promises to be a fun night!

Download: "Hibernation Song" off Whale Tooth's new EP.

Timber Timbre is not a new project, but the band does have a new album, released in mid-January on the local indie label, Out of This Spark. The self-titled album is fantastic: soulful, moody, and with at times simple (yet powerful) arrangements. These songs fit singer/songwriter Taylor Kirk's vocal style perfectly, to my mind. Taylor and his occasional bandmate are currently singing with Bruce Peninsula. I've yet to catch the two of them perform together as Timber Timbre. The new record is making it hard for me to wait until I get the chance! And I will soon. TT's CD release show is next Thursday, 12 Feb., as part of the Wavelength Anniversary. More details about that here.

Download: "Demon's Host" is the first track off Timber Timbre.

One of the bands I'm most excited about these days is The O'Darling. This 6-piece (plus occasional drummer)---at least when I saw them play---performs quiet and a smidge jazzy tunes, but with a definite "indie" edge, if that makes any sense. This isn't a lounge act, though I'd love to have them play for me regularly at the Tranzac's front room, for example. The three women in the band share vocal duties, and each brings a different attitude to her performance. I saw them perform in a room with less-than-ideal acoustics for their sound, and was entranced. Can't wait to see and hear them again. (Feel free to ask me which bands you could play with, O'Darlings!) The band is recording a new album and planning a Canada-wide tour over the summer months. If all goes as it should/could, I'm expecting to put this group on my "hottest bands in Canada" list at the end of 2009.

Download: The O'Darling's "You're Directing."

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