Hard rocking Toronto trio Danjko Jones have released a promo clip for "Legs" a track from their June 2013 full-length, Rock and Roll is Black and Blue. Directed by outré auteur Bruce LaBruce, who pays tribute to the French fetish artist Pierre Moliner, the clip finds lead man Danko led around in a dog collar, bound in duct tape and held captive by a bevvy of leggy models in fishnets and leather corsets. Oh, and there's the odd shot of a dildo, just in case things weren't interesting enough already.
The Hidden Cameras have finally released "Gay Goth Scene" as a single, a few weeks after posting this poignant promo video that was shot in Berlin last winter by award-winning director Kai Stänicke. The song is powered along by some energetic violin playing, the elegiac vocals of Joel Gibb and the eerie caterwauling of reclusive chanteuse Mary Margaret O'Hara. You'll want to experience it more than once, since the clip's narrative folds back on itself Mobius Strip-like, a metaphor that also fits the song's themes of confusing contours and alternative orientations. The Toronto band deserve kudos for addressing the tragic effects of bullying, ritual humiliation and intolerance in such a direct and emotionally affecting way.
Here's some fine back-deck fingerpicking from Brendan Canning, recorded this summer but just released last week by ExclaimTV. The song is "Never Go to the Races", taken from Canning's new disc You Gots 2 Chill and the languid unadorned texture of this acoustic performance beautifully capture the homespun spirit of his second solo album. Canning is currently on tour with a five-piece band, with stops in Winnipeg and Vancouver later this month, and recently completed the soundtrack for Body Mind Change, part of the David Cronenberg exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
Avril Lavigne continued her intense promotional push this week, hitting Conan's stage on Tuesday to perform her robust new power ballad "Let Me Go". Though co-writer Chad Kroeger was absent from the set, a glamourous and mature looking Lavigne demonstrated that she's quite capable of carrying the song without him, and with the first-week sales numbers for her self-titled fifth album topping 42,000, it's clear that the pride of Napanee has a winner on her hands. More on this release from NCM's David Farrell.
A six-piece female choir joined Chromeo's P-Thugg and Dave 1, along with another Canadian duo, Sebastian Grainger and Jesse Keeler (better known as Death From Above 1979) on Jimmy Fallon last Tuesday to lay down saucy dance track "Sexy Socialite". The electro-funk number will be appearing on White Woman, Chromeo's forthcoming album due out next year that also features Solange Knowles and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. The collaboration-happy Montrealers also tapped LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney for the record, which we expect will keep toes tapping and tushes twerking, building on the irresistible disco grooves the two perfected on 2010's Business Casual.
"If the music wasn’t running through the blood in my veins, I might just walk away" sings Lindi Ortega on Tin Star, the title track from her outstanding third album, out last week on Last Gang Records. The song is a planitive lament for the struggling artist, a category that Lindi is thankfully fast leaving behind, as the Toronto-born, Nashville-based singer starts to earn the recognition she so richly deserves. This slow burn performance video, shot during July by AUX TV, captures Lindi and her band at their Southern Gothic finest, drenched in echoey, aching atmospherics and smouldering emotion. Not to be missed.
"Cartographers" is three minutes of expertly distilled pop-rock perfection, served up by Hamilton five-piece Thought Beneath Film. This hypnotic promo clip has garnered an impressive 80,000+ views on YouTube in less than a week, and the staccato stage lighting and rapid-fire cutting provide a perfect complement to the propulsive rhythm and infectious harmonies of the band's strong new single. Fronted by brothers Brent and Brian Wirth, along with guitarist David Lindsay, bassist Joey D'Ambrosio and drummer Matt Foster, TBF are currently in the midst of a cross-Canada tour, and will be appearing at Toronto's Horsehoe Tavern on October 15th.
To coincide with this week's much-anticipated release of her third album, Tall Tall Shadow, internationally-acclaimed Toronto songstress Basia Bulat has just premiered the official video for the album’s compelling title track. It is directed by Stephanie Comilang, with whom Bulat collaborated in a multi-media performance at the Art Gallery of Ontario earlier this year. The retro-style video clip was shot entirely to VHS in Berlin, where Comilang resides. "We didn’t see daylight for 48 hours", explains Bulat. "We made a secret, lo-fi dance club for ourselves and brought a forgotten camera and lost tapes back to life. We left with a video of light and shadows, equal parts a throwback to VHS and analogue techniques and an homage to a few of our favorite artists".
Toronto art-rockers The Darcys are on a serious roll. Last week, they delivered a new album on Arts & Crafts, Warring, and it has scribes on both sides of the border searching for superlatives. They're also shining on the visual front. Following up the stirring recent clip for "The River", they've just unveiled a new video for the track "Muzzle Blast". Shot in the ravaged city of Detroit, the surrealistic piece, as the band explains "explores mankind's impact on the rise and fall of it's own civilizations". Group member Wes Marskell notes "we definitely wanted to avoid making 'ruin porn' with this video, but the scenes are so incredibly sad and striking it feels like they need to be examined again and again". See for yourself, above.
The big story this week is of course the leak of Drake's third album "Nothing Was the Same", reviewed today by NCM's Noah Siegel. Last Friday, he appeared on Jimmy Fallon to discuss the record, including its rather un-hip-hop cover art, and to debut a new song with UK singer Sampha. The track is "Too Much" and he prefaced the performance with a shout out to friends and family, telling them he wanted "the best for everybody, and I love you all" before launching into a mildly admonishing-cum-motivational rap that took aim at their shortcomings. The hard edge of his lyrics, reflective of the tougher tone of the album overall, are nicely set off against Sampha's more subdued singing, and the early hype around this release seems more deserving with each listen.