Every Monday morning you can find my weekly playlist here. Feel free to follow on Spotify and let me know what you think. If you’d like to have your music considered, or have an upcoming event in Toronto, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kicking off this week’s list is Montreal’s Sorry Girls. The group played on Saturday night, as part of Exclaim’s Class of 2019 series, and showed why they were selected with a set of dreamy, jangly pop that had the packed crowd moving. As of right now, the band doesn’t have any more shows scheduled in the area, but I’ll be sure to let you know when they’ve announced a return.
Durand Jones & The Indications released their second single, the politically-charged “Morning in America” from their upcoming album American Love Call. The album will be out March 1st via Dead Oceans/Colemine Records, and they’ll be touring through the U.S. in support. No Toronto date as of right now, but I’ll be sure to update if they make their way north of the border.
One group that will definitely be coming to Toronto in the near future is Foals. Last Monday, they premiered “Exits”, the first single from their upcoming album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part I, which comes out March 8th. They’ll be at Rebel on 4/22 in support of said album, and presumably again (though maybe in a larger venue?) toward the end of the year, when Part II comes out in the autumn. Tickets for the April show are available at Rotate This and Soundscapes, but if you don’t feel like braving through the cold, here you go.
Early last week, Embrace announced prodigy producer Hana Vu has been added to the March 7th Wet w/ Kilo Kish show at Velvet Underground. The teenager made waves last year with the release of her song “Crying on the Subway” and the subsequent release of her EP, How Many Times Have You Driven By. This is one of those chances where you won’t want to miss the opener. Tickets available at Rotate This and Soundscapes.
Later in March at Velvet Underground, you’ll also be able to catch Yves Tumor, who recently came through town as an opener for Blood Orange at the Danforth Music Hall. He’ll be headlining this time, in support of his acclaimed 2018 album, Safe in the Hands of Love. The show is on Saturday, March 23rd and the reasonably priced tickets ($15 + $5.91 fees) can be purchased HERE.
Apparat, aka Sascha Ring, announced his new album LP5 will be released on March 22, via Mute Records. No North American tour dates, but if you’re in Europe in the spring and want to check him out, tour dates can be found HERE.
Vampire Weekend made headlines last summer, when they opened their Lollapalooza set with their song “A Punk” three times in a row. Maybe with that in mind, at the beginning of last week, they teased Thursdays release of two new songs “Harmony Hall” and “2021” with a two hour guitar loop aptly named “120 Minutes of Harmony Hall.” As promised, on Thursday, they released the two new songs from their upcoming album Father of the Bride, which comes out later this spring. They’ll be dropping 2 new songs next month, and the month after prior to the release.
Maggie Rogers‘ name has been popping up quite a bit lately. She just released her album Heard it in a Past Life on January 18th, and opened for Mumford and Sons at the Scotiabank Arena in December. She makes her return to Toronto with an all-ages, two-night stand at The Phoenix on March 21 & 22. Tickets are currently sold out, but the Ticketweb sale page does say “limited tickets may be available at the door.” If you like what you hear, you’ll want to keep an eye on Embrace’s twitter account for updates on that front.
Chris Cohen has announced the release of a new Self-Titled album, which will be out March 29, via Captured Tracks. He’ll be hitting the road in support, with a show at The Horseshoe Tavern on April 15th.
You might not be familiar with Pip Blom yet, but 2019 promises to be a big year for the up and coming indie rock band from Amsterdam. Last week they announced the release of their debut album, Boat, which will be released May 31st via Heavenly Recordings. Prior to that, they will make their first U.S. appearance in March at South by Southwest and based on the early buzz around the new single “Daddy Issues” a proper North American tour shouldn’t be out of the question.
Now some news on a band you most definitely are aware of. Last week Weezer surprise released an album of cover songs called The Teal Album. The album includes their 2018 cover of Toto’s “Africa”, along with other needless covers of songs by Tears for Fears, A-Ha, TLC & more. In my mind, there’s only one Weezer cover that needs to be heard, mainly because it’s from the era I love the most, and it covers the band that heavily influenced their early sound: The Pixies. That’s why I’d say if you have to listen to one Weezer cover the rest of your life, make it “Velouria”.
Speaking of The Pixies, they also made new last week when they announced they have partnered with Signal Co. No1 for “Past is Prologue, Pixies” Podcast Series, which will document the making of their new album and the band’s history. The forthcoming LP is scheduled for release in the autumn and will be previewed with the 12 part podcast series that premieres June 27th. Until then, the band will be back on the road with Weezer, continuing their 2018 tour. If you didn’t catch them here last summer, the closest stops on this run are March 13th in Montreal and 14th in Albany, NY.
Another act that toured through Toronto last year was Florence + The Machine, who played the Scotiabank Arena in support of last year’s High As Hope. Last week, the band released a non-album single called “Moderation”, which has made its way into recent concert setlists. With a two month gap between the end of their current tour on March 25th, and a lone North American appearance at Governor’s Ball in NYC, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some tour dates announced in the not so distant future. Maybe a stop at Budweiser Stage to open the summer concert series?
The Black Lips & Fucked Up announced last week that they’ll be playing a concert at The Phoenix on April 25th, and they’ll be bringing along NYC’s Wooing. Last year saw the band release their debut EP Daydream Time Machine, following that up at the end of the year with two more new songs. This appears to be the first time they will make their way to Toronto, so it will be a good chance to catch the band on the rise.
Next on the list is Pavement, who don’t have any news specific to them. However, Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg) and Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have both announced tour dates in Toronto. Spiral Stairs play The Horseshoe Tavern on March 24th, and Malkmus plays The Great Hall on May 1st. . Tickets for both shows are available at Rotate This and Soundscapes.
Exclaim’s Class of 2019 ended on Saturday, with the final show at The Horseshoe Tavern. Orville Peck played both of the first 2 nights in Hamilton and Toronto at the beginning of the month and since, has announced the release of his debut album, Pony, via Royal Mountain & Sub Pop. If you didn’t get a chance to catch his show at The Monarch Tavern, he also announced a new show at The Great Hall on April 13th.
Other concerts this week
Note: * indicates a show I will be taking photos at
01/28 – The Soft Moon @ Velvet Underground
01/28 – Half-Alive @ The Drake Hotel
01/30 – Dawes @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/30 – Dan Mangan @ Tiny Record Shop (in-store @ 6pm)
01/31 – Dan Mangan @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/31 – The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer @ The Horseshoe Tavern
02/01 – John Maus @ The Opera House
*02/01 – Tallies @ The Drake Hotel
02/01 – Yonatan Gat @ Lee’s Palace
02/01 – After Funk @ The Horseshoe Tavern
02/02 – Ripe @ The Mod Club
02/02 – Shane Koyczan @ The Danforth Music Hall