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Posts tagged “Montreal

I’M OBSESSED [MP3] | Little Scream – “Heron and the Fox”

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You will like her if you like: Land of Talk, crunchy guitars, Epic-phase Sharon Van Etten, ominous sounds, Rosie Thomas

[MP3]: Little Scream – “Heron and the Fox” (right-click, save as)

“I told the stripper at the bar that the shots we got were magic. Make a wish and they’ll come true. As she smiled, her golden tooth glinted in the light, and I wondered what she wished for; I just wished for you.”

I haven’t posted in a while, because school’s been swallowing me up whole, so I thought I’d make a short post with a track I’m currently obsessed with. “Heron and the Fox” is one Little Scream’s more mellow tracks, with barely above a whisper vocals and guitar picking contributed by none other than Aaron Dessner of The National. How could it get any better, right? You can click here to listen to her two other tracks: the fervent “Cannon” and ominous woodland aura of “The Lamb.”

A Montreal transplant from Mississippi, Little Scream (aka Laurel Sprengelmeyer) is about to release her debut full-length, The Golden Record (due out April 12 via Outside Music/Secretly Canadian). According to the press release, the record is brimming with the golden touch (ha ha) of local talent:

“Co-produced with Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), The Golden Record features Little Scream on guitar, vocals, violin, and keyboard. In typical Montreal fashion, it showcases a healthy slice of local talent including Richard Parry, Mike Fuerstack (Snailhouse), Becky Foon (Silver Mt. Zion), Patty McGee (Stars), and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre).”

The next couple months will be extra busy as she starts touring in support of the release. In February she will be doing a short tour of Toronto and its neighboring cities with Julie Doiron. Then in March, Little Scream will play a CMW (Canadian Music Week) showcase, a couple shows with Plants & Animals, and then head stateside for SXSW. Right after that, she’ll be touring with Sharon Van Etten.

I could’ve easily listed Sprengelmeyer as another artist “On the Verge” this year, but I opted for this shorter version instead (though it grew into a long post anyway); either way, count her in and file her under “Ones to Watch”–she will definitely making waves. Check out her tour dates below!

Tour Dates (more…)

ON THE VERGE: Land of Talk

WHO: Elizabeth Powell (voice, guitar), Joseph Yarmush (bass), Andrew Barr (drums)
WHERE: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
SOUNDS LIKE: Gentle, yet focused vocals juxtaposed against frenetic, thrashing insrumentation; Indie-rock
CONNECT THE DOTS: Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes
CLAIM TO FAME: 2010 Juno nomination for Video of the Year for “It’s Okay”
FOR FANS OF: Metric, St. Vincent, Broken Social Scene

Yes, I know Land of Talk has been around for a while, but I figured I’d put them in my “On the Verge” section, because they’ve yet to ‘make it big,’ and I feel that this is going to be their breakout year.

This trio of Montrealers has been around since 2006 with the release of their debut EP, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.  Land of Talk also went on tour with the Broken Social Scene, and Liz (originally from Guelph, Ontario) had a short stint singing with the Canadian collective on their 2008 Fall tour. (But then again, what Canadian indie artist hasn’t?)

Some Are Lakes, the band’s debut record, was released in Canada as well the U.S. in 2008 and features the stunning track, “It’s Okay.” One of the slower  and more reflective of their songs, its fantasy-driven music video was nominated for a 2010 Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy’s) for “Video of the Year.”

Although Land of Talk are nowhere near as well known as other Canadian acts like Metric, Feist, Stars or Broken Social Scene, the release of their sophomore record this year is sure to catapult them into high orbit. Let’s just put it this way: This year, people will know who they are, and people will be talking about them. Cloak and Cipher (Saddle Creek) is more diverse than Land of Talk’s previous record and features more distortion, reverb, and instrumentation and shows the band’s growth and willingness to experiment.

[MP3]: Land of Talk – “Swift Coin” (from Cloak and Cipher) (right-click, save as)

[VIDEO]: Land of Talk – “It’s Okay”
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CONCERT REVIEW: Holly Miranda w/ Braids @ El Mocambo (May 20, 2010)


Holly Miranda @ The Elmo



Thursday night at the El Mocambo was Holly Miranda’s second visit to Toronto in the past 9 months and her first headlining show in support of her debut solo album “The Magicians Private Library”; and the young up and coming artist not disappoint.

Having it been my first time at the local iconic venue, which has hosted The Rolling Stones and Stevie Ray Vaughn, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s clean open space and good sight lines. My only gripe would have to be its muddy sound system that seemed be more of a problem for opening band, Braids. Luckily sound issues got sorted out by the time Holly Miranda was in to her second song.

Canadian act Braids seemed a good match to open for Miranda as their music has the same layered ethereal sounds and textures and haunting vocals. Although they played to quite an empty venue, those who gathered near the front of the stage were engaged–including Holly. And the band seemed unfazed by the small size of the crowd and content on playing their hearts out for whatever number of ears were in the building.

The audience had grown by the time Holly hit the stage at around 11, but the Elmo still wasn’t at what you would call full capacity. Regardless, her set was full of heart and passion, and that was evident in the way she sang her words and the way she closed her eyes as she lost herself in the music. Her songs were were sonically lush and thick in texture and reminiscent of a humid summers night, perfectly mirroring the weather that night, but there is something else in her music–a sort of wide-eyed wonder, if you will–that seems to be ingrained in the melodies. In-between songs, the man beside me turned to me and said, “I’ve never heard of her before, but she’s amazing!” The late-night concertgoers were clearly into the music as they swayed with the music, beer in hand. Highlights of Holly Miranda’s performance were “Waves,” her cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “Pelican Rapids”–her new song about how ‘everyone should be allowed to marry whoever the f–k they want’. If there’s one thing I was a bit disappointed in, it was the lack of banter; but then again, it’s really all about the music in the end, isn’t it? The girl was a sweetheart, the music was good, and it didn’t hurt that she was easy on the eyes as well.

Official Site

Check out Holly’s previous musical outfit, The Jealous Girlfriends.