Toronto’s Sun K will be making their way through the Maritimes over the next week and more importantly playing at a show at Pepper’s on Friday March 20th. Sun K recently released their debut album Northern Lies on Maple Music which was produced by former Sum 41 bass player Jason McCaslin (Cone). The band features Frederictonian Aaron Bravener and former Whale Skin member JuHang Sin.
Although the band is only two years young they have made incredible strides and are currently ripping it up on their cross Canada tour. With a mix of Neil Young, a hint of Cuff the Duke, lead singer Kristian Montano’s raspy rock voice will definitely have you hooked.
You can check out their track Let it Grow courtesy of Southern Souls above and make sure to check them out in Saint John at Pepper’s Pub this Saturday March 20th along with Fredericton’s David R Elliott.
Toronto’s own Teenage Kicks will be making their way through the Maritimes with stops in Saint John, Fredericton, and Halifax’s for Pop Explosion. Teenage Kicks are touring their new album titled, Spoils of Youth which dropped earlier this spring. They have been busy sharing the stage with The Flatliners, One Bad Son and soon to be The Ataris.
Teenage Kicks made the trek to West Hollywood to record an album and due to multiple factors, the album in its entirety had to be scrapped. Spoils of Youth is the sum of a previously failed album, lineup changes and a passion by brothers Peter and Jeff Van Helvoort to create an album that was true to themselves and their music.
Growing up in Burlington, ON they had a strong connection to Brampton’s own emo-rock band, Moneen. “Subconsciously maybe there is a bit of a Moneen sound there, but it’s definitely not on purpose. They have been the best and most detrimental to my song writing because I grew up with bands like Moneen and the interplay between the guitars is not done a lot in popular music, except maybe for The Strokes. Moneen was incredibly influential to me. That was on my bucket list when I was a kid to play with them and I got that chance at 18 years old. They have been extremely important to me as a musician”, said Peter.
Spoils of Youth is an album full of ups and downs, both personally and professionally. Produced by well-known Canadian producer Gus Van Go, who has also worked with Monster Truck, Said the Whale and Hollerado.
Although this was the second time the album was put together, Peter noted which songs he was most proud of, “Times on a River, was written for our guitar player, written for the way that he plays. When I listen to it now, it doesn’t sound like something I would normally write. The track Stone Ambition, it’s a slower song and I usually have a tendency to fill space in songs and this one is slow and quiet and we just let it breathe.”
Changes and learning go hand in hand and as Peter explains, he has learned a lot, “So far, it has been the most relaxed tour I have ever been on. Having Christian and Conrad coming in and learning the songs before we head out on the first lag of our tour taught me to just take things as they come you know? And don’t plan for everything.”
Teenage Kicks also continue to release free music on their website which is entitled, ‘The Singles Club’. You can find videos of Peter and John doing covers and/or songs they are currently working on.
“It was easier than releasing an EP. You know, people are saying albums are dead so this was my way of still being able to make an album and follow that aspect that has been so important to my musical upbringing. The way people are consuming music is changing and you have to stay on top of that”, said Peter.
As for touring and making albums, “If you did it because you wanted to get paid, well, there are other ways around that. All of us, (Paper Lions, The Darcy’s, etc) work really hard because we do it because we love it”, said Peter.
You can catch Teenage Kicks with The Flatliners and Gob in Fredericton on Oct 16th at the Capital, with The Flatliners in Saint John on October 17th at Pub Down Under, with the Flatliners in Moncton at Plan B on Oct 18th, with the Flatliners for Halifax Pop Explosion on October 21st at The Seahorse and back to Fredericton with One Bad Son on Oct 23rd at The Capital.
In-Flight Safety have released their first single ‘Animals’ from their soon to be released full length album, Conversationalist.
Hailing from Halifax, NS, In-Flight Safety have made a name for themselves by committing to rigorous touring and promotion of their music across Canada and in the UK. Early on in their career they were signed to Emm Gryner’s label, ‘Dead Daisy’ and continued to receive praise from the music community both locally and abroad. Their music has also appeared on National TV Shows such as The Office, Rookie Blue and Degrassi TNG to name a few. They have also won several ECMA’s, been nominated for a Juno and a Much Music Video award.
For the past several years the band has been relatively quiet with drummer Glen Nicholson working on a degree and singer/guitarist John Mullane composing for film and television.
“After the last record, and rigorous touring, deep down we knew there would be another record, just not exactly how long. We also didn’t want to continue to do the same thing over and over. We made sure to build the studio exactly how we wanted to capture what we wanted this record to sound like”, said John Mullane from his home in Halifax.
There has been a small shift in band members, Mullane and Nicholson have remained the core members and while on tour they will be joined by Chris Pernell from Joel Plaskett Emergency along with members of Wintersleep and Matt Mays Band to round things out, a rich group of talented Halifax musicians.
“We are really looking forward to have new and old friends join us for this upcoming tour to help us put a full sound to the band”, said Mullane.
In-Flight Safety recently released their first track and lyric video for ‘Animals’ directed and composed by friend Tyler Ross. The lyric video is comprised of beautiful shots of Nova Scotia while the lyrics to ‘Animals’ flow across the screen.
A full music video directed by Drew Lightfoot is soon to follow for the single ‘Animals’. “It’s a video full of juxtaposition of shots in the wilderness, an old theatre in Sackville and shots of us playing live. We have worked with Drew several times and really admire his work”, said Mullane.
Conversationalist takes you on a exploration of friendship and life filled with catchy guitar riffs and Mullane’s haunting vocals. Tracks like ‘Tie a String’ and The last track ‘Firestarters’ displays the raw vocals of Mullane and concludes the album with an upbeat and bass heavy track.
If you want to know what has been on Mullane’s playlist as of late, check out Bry Webb, Chvrches, Dum Dum Girls, and Tyco.
Conversationalist drops Tuesday September 9th via Danger Records.
You can catch In-Flight Safety on tour in PEI September 5th @ Fishbones, in Fredericton September 6th @ The Capital, Moncton September 12th @ Tide and Boar and in Halifax September 13th with more details to follow.
Toronto’s acoustic duo Ash & Bloom will be taking their new album titled Let the Storm Come to an East Coast city near you. The duo comprised of Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal will give your heart a flutter with their acoustic tunes. Reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel and The Shins mashed together, Ash & Bloom will sweep you away with their incredible songwriting and vocal harmonies.
You can preview Let the Storm Come here: http://www.ashandbloom.com/#!music/c1n0f
You can catch Ash & Boom on tour starting Monday June 9th in Fredericton at Roxstone Café -6:00pm, Tuesday, June 10 in Truro @ Champion’s – 8pm, Wednesday, June 11 in Pictou @ Pictou United Church – 7:30, Thursday, June 12 in Halifax @TAZ Records, In-store Appearance, Saturday, June 14 in Moncton @Cafe c’est la Vie – 5:00pm
Vancouver’s Real Ponchos have only been playing together for a few years but they have impressively released an EP, and their debut full length ‘Since I Let you go’ which will drop May 8th.
Real Ponchos are comprised of Ben Arsenault, Emlyn Scherk, Michael Wagler and Emile Scott all have a long history of music under their belts. Vancouver natives Scherk, Arsenault and Scott have a long musical history that shows when listening to the tight jams on their debut album. Arsenault and Scherk previously played together in Montreal based alt-country band, Martyr & Pistol, while Scott and Arsenault have been making music together since high school. They recruited fellow Vancouverite Wagler to round out the band and the rest is history.
Ambition is a driving force behind most musicians and Real Ponchos is no exception,
“We are all passionate about music and we just wanted to play music, as simple as that sounds. There is a fire in all of us to create and make music”, said Arsenault.
Real Ponchos enlisted Jesse Gander (producer behind Japanroids and the Pack AD) who has produced over 400 albums, to record and co-produce their debut album. “Emile was looking around for a place for us to record and he came upon The Hive. Jesse has worked with some very talented and well known Vancouver musicians. He is very experienced and professional and the album turned out great”, said Arsenault.
Real Ponchos had the opportunity to record at the now defunct Vancouver’s Hive Creative Lab studio, the recording list reads as a who’s who of Vancouver bands past and present.
“I think we were one of the last bands to record at The Hive, it was a great studio, laid back, good vibe. Everything except the vocals were recorded live off the floor.”
Real Ponchos band name is a nod to Frank Zappa, but their list of influences steers towards classic rock, roots and country. If you are a fan of Levon Helm and The Band, then these guys will be right up your alley.
“We are huge Levon and The Band fans. Definitely a huge influence on us. As well as Neil Young and Tom Petty. Some newer stuff like War on Drugs, Sonny and the Sunsets, Beachwood Sparks,” said Arsenault.
“We are definitely looking forward to getting out to the Maritimes. A few of us have been to Nova Scotia and PEI before, but it will be our first time to New Brunswick.”
Arsenault not only has the debut album to celebrate, but he also just finished his degree. “We have the album to celebrate but I also just finished my Law Degree at University of Victoria so it’s going to be a great tour, a cool way to end the school year.”
If you are looking for an awesome album to go along with your upcoming summer road trip, I highly recommend throwing the Real Ponchos on your playlists.
Real Ponchos Debut album, Since I Let You Go, will be available May 6th.
You can catch Real Ponchos as they make their way to the Maritimes: The Roxstone Café in Fredericton on May 22nd, at The Carleton in Halifax on May 23rd, at the Red Herring in St. Andrews on May 24th, at Baba’s in PEI on May 27th and at Plan B in Moncton on May 28th.
You can stream the entire Since I Let You Go album over on Exclaim