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Spotlight Feature: Allan Hill is profound in the indie-folk delicacy of his sophomore album, Oxford

With each single an embodiment of warmth and compassion, any indie-folk fan with a semblance of self-awareness will want to make Allan Hill’s sophomore album, Oxford, their aural home.

In the same vein as Elliott Smith, Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief), and Sufjan Stevens, the album which was officially released on June 10th, is profound in its delicacy. Consisting of little more than subtly warm synths, banjo, fingerpicked guitars and quiescently revealing vocals, the release aids just that; the release of every frustration our isolated age has imparted.

With finding resilience being an overarching theme, which ebbs through the nine-track release, by the time Goodbye Blue Monday rolls around you have a confidant in the Canadian artist.

Starting with the single, Angell Woods, which was recorded in one take in the woods, it is all too easy to ease yourself into the enveloping accordant resonance of the LP. Before track two, This Time of Year cuts to the bone with the precision of the artist’s ability to allude to weather-triggered emotion that words alone can never explain.

The sepia-tinged melodicism of the title-single allows the fact that Hill only picked up a guitar during lockdown almost unbelievable. As simple as the light production, which contrasts the heavy lyricism, may be, there’s a tenacity to the rhythm, allowing it to feel as natural as breathing.

Here is what Allan Hill had to say on his sophomore release:

“Oxford delicately documents the process of starting over and coming to terms with solitude, guilt, and inevitable change in real-time. Impermanence is a common theme. Empty stretches of highway, late night phone calls, decaying suburbs, violence, tender conversations and flora and fauna are all intertwined to create an intimate yet isolating universe.”

Hear the album on Spotify & Bandcamp. Follow Allan Hill on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Canadian originator, Ethan Mark opened his jazzy neo-soul in his album ‘The Concept of You’

After teasing us title single from his 2022 album, The Concept of You, we eagerly awaited the full length of Ethan Mark’s sophisticated psychedelic-soul experimentalism.

With the opening single, The Unravelling of Every Day, equally as sublime as the openers on your favourite 90s Shoegaze albums (surely, everyone has some of those!), it is instantly affirmed what kind of production the Canadian artist constructed. One that is defined by its quiescence and the ability to hold your attention through the jazzy indie-soul juxtapositions.

Track 3, Gunslinger, is a trippy ethereal masterpiece, colourful enough to rival the fantasy-like escapism in tracks from Cosmo Sheldrake. Reminiscences fall by the wayside in the boundlessly experimental world music title single which breaks the monocultural mould with the percussion and throws in some flamenco guitars around the RnB grooves.

Not that The Concept of You has any skippable tracks, but special attention should be paid to Weight of it All. The lofty intricate work is a sublime pool of lyrical vulnerability, Avant-Garde ambience, and quintessential folk escapism. It is gravitas sonically personified.

Here is what Ethan Mark had to say on his album

“The Concept of You, and the upcoming album, came about from a challenge from my partner. She, a listener of neo-soul and jazz, challenged me to pare my usually elaborate and busy musical style down to something more organic, soulful, and pretty.

The result was a series of love songs encompassing many facets of love. The title single refers to her, the sepia-toned memories of summers, the roots we have put down together, and the love for home.

These themes felt especially important after a long period punctuated by isolation, introversion, and cabin fever. It’s accentuated by nylon guitar strings, cascading violins, gentle pianos, and the frailties of harmonised vocals.”

Concept of You is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Vancouver rock band Moving City returns with a road trip single to remember, ‘Can I Go and See My Lady?’

With the 3rd single off their upcoming full album ‘Nightflash‘, Moving City asks us the magic question that is met with a groovy laid-back vibe that has you nodding your head in an unflappable manner with, ‘Can I Go and See My Lady?

Moving City is a Vancouver, Canada-based indie-rock 5-piece band who has a sensational sprinkle of folky pop-infused inside and brings their 70s inspired sound to the fore.

Elevating us into a spectacular sunrise that has you taking a deep breath as your body moves to the quality rhythm presented, Moving City shows us their indisputable polish with a glow-filled performance that will have you sensing that you have heard a highly memorable single.

Can I Go and See My Lady?‘ from the prolific Vancouver, Canada-based indie-rock 5-piece band Moving City is a terrific release from a tight band who just makes glorious music to put on your favourite playlist. They have a likeable mellow style that has you feeling like you are in a nostalgic dream of being closer to your ideal lover.

Sung with a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere attached, this is a track that shall take you into a mood of true contemplation.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Shared Image urges us to buckle up and get ready on ‘Along the Way’

Taken from the 11-track album that was dropped on the 3rd June 2022, Shared Image tells us to enjoy the ride as the world is going through bone-snapping convulsions that might break your spirit if you aren’t too careful with, ‘Along the Way‘.

Formed by Craig Delin, Shared Image is a Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada-born indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

He has been playing music for over 20 years and has been in various bands such as Sueisfine, Hey You Millionaires, and Silver medals.” ~ Shared Image

Bringing the heat with a commanding performance that might have you doing some extra squats, Shared Image displays a tenacious mindset that shows us he is ready for anything and urges us to do the same. Heavy to the max and leaving us with no doubt that we need to wake up quick – before it’s too late – this is a track that will have you thinking deeper than before.

Craig’s influences include Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Slint, Thee Oh Sees, Broken Social Scene, Mogwai, and many more.” ~ Shared Image

Along the Way‘ from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada-born indie singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Shared Image is a vital reminder that we need to strap up quick, before we are flipped around and taken for a vicious ride. With reality twisted and so much madness going on, we are thrown into such an honest track that has so much truth coated all over.

Sung with a rigorous edge and packed with a punchy riff, this is a single to play loud. Really loud.

Hear this new track on Spotify and see more on the Twitter.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Krzysztof flies so free like a bird with that glorious love in this eyes on ‘Purple’

Taken off his upcoming release called ‘Colours‘, Krzysztof has sent us a picture packed with rainbow-filled memories that have you feeling rather harmonious from the wildness of the world with ‘Purple‘.

Krzysztof is a Mississauga, Canada-based indie music producer, instrumental artist, singer-songwriter and sound engineer who makes music from the deepest part of his heart.

As a DIY musician, I write, compose, play, record, produce and engineer all of my music. I write instrumental pieces and electronic pieces along with full songs.” ~ Krzysztof

With a song about how much someone can love another, Krzysztof shows us that a goddess can really change your perspective if you let things be simple again and focus on one person. Sung with a really mellow serenity, this is a track that will certainly warm your soul.

Purple‘ from Mississauga, Canada-based indie music producer, singer-songwriter and sound engineer Krzysztof is a calming wonder that reminds us all that a tender human touch is so important in this lonely world. A song with so much care and love is on offer, from an artist who assembles music that is rather cinematically peaceful and sends your heart into a flutter.

Listen to this new track on YouTube Music and see more on his website.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Wav shows us his inside that shattered picture with ‘Who Was The One?’

With a tranquil energy that shows you inside the mind circles that have spun out of time, Wav knows that there is not much else to say to a former lover who has slowly faded away into the past with ‘Who Was The One?

Wav is a Montreal, Quebec-based indie experimental alternative solo artist and music producer who is inspired by artists such as Pink Floyd and Kanye West.

”The track explores themes such as addiction to comfort, self-doubt and self realization. Share, like, save. Over-analyze to the point where you know the song more than me and most importantly: enjoy.” ~ Wav

With a majestic approach that shows us all his growing maturity mentally as his calming vocals send you to a nostalgic place, Wav opens up the door into his past that has you shivering at the recollection from that memory you have hidden away for years.

Coming from an Indian family he was constantly surrounded by Bollywood music and his older siblings would encourage him to sing as early as he could talk. Performing with his sisters at their Sikh Temple became Balkirat’s first introduction to the stage and where he fell in love with performing. ” ~ Wav

Who Was The One?‘ from Montreal, Quebec-based indie experimental alternative solo artist/music producer Wav is a cinematic experience that shall take your mind away and get you thinking deeply about that time you wish you could have back. The vocals simmer in hot like a burning fire and shake up your mood while pondering why things reversed so quickly.

Thinking about something for too long that you can’t change can really mess with your mind.

Hear this new single on Spotify and see what happens next on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Surfs up in Wave Lord’s seminal new wave hip hop single, No Durag

You haven’t experienced new wave hip hop until you’ve surfed the cruxes on the grooves in Wave Lord’s seminal album, Life of a Rap Star. The lead single, No Durag, is a blazing yet mellow window into the US artist’s determined mentality and his aptitude for soft and hazy instrumental hooks.

The Bahamas-born, Canada-residing artist brings every ounce of his motivation and passion into his wavey mixes which may lull you into a state of catharsis, but no matter how down the tempo, his distinctively rhythmic rap style always brings the energy.

No Durag is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Toronto’s Jason Maxwell wanted it to last but finds that his former lover has moved on with, ‘For Now’

Released via Believe Music Canada/Flying Colours Music/Glacier Bay Entertainment and recorded in Nashville’s legendary Blackbird Studios, Jason Maxwell can see right through her eyes on the breakup fueled single about wishing for a different outcome with, ‘For Now‘.

Jason Maxwell is a Toronto, Ontario-based indie country/pop singer-songwriter who makes that emotionally-charged music to heal with.

Even though we had been broken up for a long time, I felt that things weren’t fully over between us. I loved her and still saw a future together. It was disheartening to realize that our relationship was really over and that she had moved on definitively.” ~ Jason Maxwell

Sung with a splendidly confident style that shall induce some rather resonant emotions to spill over, Jason Maxwell shows us how we need to know that something is properly over – before we can walk away for good – knowing that we tried to make things work.

The single follows Maxwell’s performance in the Netflix movie “Full Out 2: You Got This!” which also featured his single “Girls Like to Dance” on the official movie soundtrack.” ~ Jason Maxwell

For Now‘ from Toronto, Ontario-based indie country/pop singer-songwriter Jason Maxwell is a story that so many of us will probably have experienced or seen first-hand from a close friend. Steering us through the deep trauma of not having that closure needed to move on, this is the message that many need to hear. Ending the chapter properly and having that uncomfortable conversation, will truly set you free even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

Hear this new single on Spotify and check out the IG music page for more news.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The gloves are off in Sarah Shafey’s latest indie-electro hit, Competitor

Fans of Shiny Toy Guns, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and She Wants Revenge will find just as many reasons to get addicted to the heavy production in the Toronto-based singer-songwriter, producer and mixing engineer Sarah Shafey’s latest single, Competitor.

The gloves are officially off in the stylishly fierce indie-electro hit, which is a harbinger of even more visceral things to come from her upcoming fourth album, Blackbox Universe, which is due for release in September 2022. With her tendency to meld genres outside of the electronica spectrum, there’s an immersive tapestry of original layers to her sound, which not only lends itself to the originality, but also to the synapses that will fire upon registering the unadulterated expression that knows very little, if anything of assimilation.

Competitor released in May 2022. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Take a nibble on Andy&Eddie’s latest new wave indie rap track, Cheese

The Ottawa, Canada twin brother duo, Andy&Eddie, are fresh from the release of their latest new wave rap album, The Count, featuring the standout release, Cheese. The high energy yet immersively paced seminal hit takes old school hustler hip to the next level of innovation with its indie mellifluous grooves and bass-heavy production. Hip Hop eagworms aren’t easy to come by, but any fans of distinctive urban talent will feel like they struck gold with Cheese.

The sweet harmonic vocals run in tight synergy with the melodic beats to keep the momentum flowing in the high vibe feat of self-expression, which easily becomes as therapeutic for the listener as it was for the two brothers who converged their talents in 2018. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Cheese is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast