Browsing Tag


Put Material Reality in the Rearview Mirror with Zac Zhan’s Alt-Pop Ear Unicorn, Fantasy Fantasy

Zac Zhan is in his euphoric element in Fantasy Fantasy, a track that defies convention and carries you to a new realm by taking you on a vibrational voyage that you’ll want to embark on time after time. If you want to be transported beyond the confines of the ordinary and the chaos of reality, hit play on the mesmerising blend of dance-pop, alt-pop, house and hip-hop, which pulsates with infectiously kinetic energy.

The artist and producer meticulously crafted Fantasy Fantasy from its lyrically intimate inception to its exhilarant production climax. It’s a hyper-pop masterpiece that not only showcases Zac’s vibrant approach to music but also cements his commitment to providing a haven for an ever-expanding fanbase.

The track’s 8bit-esque instrumentals weave a captivating fantasyscape, engulfing the listener from the outset. Zac’s vocals, both electrifying and eccentric, enhance the track’s wildly exhilarating aura with a sense of playful, unbridled enthusiasm. For those who find solace in the sounds of Charli XCX, Grimes, or Carly Rae Jepsen, Zac Zhan’s Fantasy Fantasy is a must-listen and a vibrant echo of freedom in the realm of hyper-pop.

Zac Zhan said:  

“To create Fantasy Fantasy, I embarked on a deeply personal and introspective journey, one that mirrors the complexities of the human condition and the perennial quest for solace in a world brimming with chaos. The lyrics, steeped in vivid imagery and raw emotion express a universal longing for escape, a utopia amidst the trials of life.

I wanted to invite listeners to envision a world where they are the architects of their happiness. It’s a call to embrace the beauty of creation and the freedom that comes from releasing the burdens of the past.”

Fantasy Fantasy was officially released on January 18th; stream the single on Spotify.

Stay up to date with all the latest releases from Zac Zhan via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: Propter Hawk tell us all about Toronto life and the anticipation building for their epic 12-track album

Ripping a hugely likeable sound into our lives with a friendly kick to the soul and a smile to follow, Propter Hawk reminds us of that old-school sound that drives our hearts into doughnuts outside the local drive-through at 2 am. They tell us their debut self-titled debut record while sipping on sherry flips and might change your mood for the better. Real music with purpose still exists you see? You just have to look for it and dig a little deeper to find the treasure. Look no further.

Llewelyn: Hello Propter Hawk. Please take a seat on our cosy virtual couch (excuse the snoring cat there) and may we provide you with any snacks or beverages? Alrighty, let’s get into it. Firstly, how did you get this incredible name and who is the cleanest member of the band, who’s the most organised, the most serious, the friendliest and who is the messiest?

Andrew: I came up with the name a while ago and this question has been haunting me ever since. It’s a play on “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” which is one of Socrates’ informal fallacies. I often find myself trying to explain this to people in loud, packed clubs and it is the most difficult part of my entire life.

Malorie: I’m definitely the most organised, Alec’s the most serious and Jimmy is the friendliest person on earth. Andy and Brian can fight over who is the messiest. They’re both…you know.

Llewelyn: Secondly, we’re super thrilled about your upcoming debut release on the 18th of August 2023. You were kind enough to send us a pre-listen..and wow..we love it. Sherry Flip especially is special. How did the whole album come together and how would you describe the vision and your sound on this one?

Andrew: In many ways, the album came together because of Covid and lockdowns. Mal and I had a lot of song ideas going into the pandemic and we wanted to write songs that really expressed some of the feelings that, I think, a lot of people have been having for a long time. Since we couldn’t play shows, we really used it as an opportunity to work them out with the boys and by the time restrictions were lifted, we had a whole album of songs ready to go before we ever had the chance to play live.

Jimmy: We were toying with the idea of recording the album ourselves but when we got the opportunity to record at Pineship Sound in Toronto with Carlin and Mike of Zeus, that settled it for us. We grew up watching those guys in Zeus and it was a thrill to get the chance to work with them. They’ve contributed to so many records that we love.

Alec: There are a lot of overlapping influences between all of us, so musically we are all headed towards the same goal, but the album certainly showcases everyone’s individual approach and it became kind of our own unique take on rock and roll. For me, a lot of it came down to us recording live off the floor and making sure we kept things loose and organic. I think you can hear that rawness in the tracks.

Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your upcoming album release show at The Cameron House (408 Queen St W, Toronto, ON) on 18th August. Who’s on the lineup and what should fans expect, where can they buy tickets, why did you choose this particular venue, times etc?

Brian: This is a really special show for us. We’ve been sitting on this album for a while now and are really ready to get it out there. We’re playing with The Young Scones, a supergroup made up of some of our favourite Toronto musicians that we’ve been playing with right from the start. Moondoggy is the other act on the bill and another one we’ve played with before; they’re always great. We’ve played at The Cameron House a few times before and it’s always a really exciting spot to play. The room comes with a lot of energy.

Llewelyn: Toronto, Ontario is your hometown and is a place we want to visit. What parts do you love and where do you personally go and watch live music? Is the scene thriving and where do upcoming original solo musicians and bands head to perform?

Brian: I think the live music scene, especially for rock and roll, has changed a lot in recent years all over the world…but Toronto is still holding on like it always has. We grew up going to places like Lee’s Palace, The Horseshoe Tavern, El Mocambo and The Dakota Tavern, and all of them are still going strong and are still home to the best upcoming rock bands in Toronto. I don’t think a lot of these legendary clubs survived the pandemic in other cities. In fact, we have seen more clubs popping up here and there recently. Anyone looking to start playing in Toronto has a lot of options to choose from.

Llewelyn: Ah yes. How did the band form? We have a feeling this is an interesting story…actually…you have told us but we don’t want to spoil it. Please tell our readers about how your band actually got together and now makes beautiful music together.

Malorie: Well…I married a guitar player (Andrew) and he was in a band called New Commuters with Jimmy. I have been singing for years and wanted to start my own music project and Andy was an obvious choice. Since Jimmy is Andy’s most trusted musical collaborator, he was also an obvious choice. Our original idea was going to be the three of us and Andy was working on…a bass-playing robot. Not a joke. He actually got close, but the logistics were a nightmare. So we sent out a desperate classified ad looking for a bass player. Our only reasonable response was from Alec, who played guitar and had no interest in playing bass at all. For some reason, we invited him to come play with us anyway and after a few minutes, it was clear that we could exploit him for his outrageous talent. Shortly after, Alec brought in his seasoned musical collaborator, Brian, to play bass and sing harmony and he fit in right away. And here we are.

Llewelyn: What’s it like when you close your eyes and see that live crowd? Does it excite you and do any parts of the process scare you at all? It must be such a rush feeling the anticipation and seeing sweaty faces staring closely, singing your songs and rocking out to get work-life stresses out of their system.

Alec: It’s definitely a rush to get up there in front of people and give it your all. For me, once you play that first chord through a loud amp we’re off to the races and any nerves turn into excitement. Seeing people get into it and pass that energy back to us might just be the best part.

Llewelyn: Last one. Once again, thank you for your time today. What do you usually eat/drink before a show or is there a pre-gig ritual or do you just have a lil chat and get on with it? Also, is there one song of yours in particular that you all love wholeheartedly and can never get sick of playing?

Jimmy: We kind of do our own thing for the most part and we’re pretty low-key. Right before going on stage, Malorie, Brian and I find a quiet place somewhere and warm up our vocals. The Yawn-Sigh Technique, The Tongue Trill Exercise…lip buzz warm-ups…all of them.

We released Theatre Of The Whole World a while ago and it seems to have caught on really well in Toronto. It’s always a rush to see a crowd of people that you’ve never seen before singing along to every word.

Do some warm-ups for the soul via the album link on Spotify.

See where they fly next on IG.

Interviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Move Over Eilish, Rallen is Reigning Supreme as the Ultimate Bad Guy in His New RnB Hit, Berserk

Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Rallen caressed the roots of RnB with the dreamily nostalgic melodicism in his latest single, Berserk.

Much like the rest of his discography, the short and salaciously sweet release gives an intimate view into his psyche around the soaring sax notes and 80s-esque synth lines. The contrast between his candour and honeyed harmonies gives the release an oceanic depth as he attests to choosing pleasure over peace and professes to be anything but the perfect romantic protagonist.

If any single proves that we’re all just tormented people trying to get by, using sexual currency to find our worth, it is Berserk. Rallen’s commitment to sonically visualising his experience of adversity and affliction has established him as one of the most authentic acts on the RnB scene. It is only a matter of time before he reigns as supreme as the Weeknd.

Berserk was officially released on July 14th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

May I have This First Dance: LST IN HLYWD wants that desire to come true on Howl at The Moon

Lusting for a special moment to occur despite the barriers holding back a probable romance, LST IN HLYWD performs with so much radiating fire on the splendidly enticing new single Howl at The Moon.

LST IN HLYWD is a Toronto, Canada-based indie vamp rock band who are determined to fuse a whole new sound into a ravenous music scene waiting for something to munch furiously into.

Their first ever tour (Summer 2022) “Summer Valentine Tour” They played 14 shows across Ontario playing to thousands of people. including hosting + being ranked the number one band by judges in Youth Day Global Toronto 2022 (Yonge And Dundas Square).” ~ LST IN HLYWD

With a pop-punk vibe and a classic feel to proceedings, LST IN HLYWD sends our souls into a whirlwind of emotions with something action-packed and worth many listens. Vocally stimulating and laced with an atmosphere which will get feet stomping and hands raising, this is a quality single made for music festivals and sunny says.

Howl at The Moon from Toronto, Canada-based indie vamp rock band LST IN HLYWD is an ear-piercing track which will grab the attention of many. This is a flourishing anthem which is a cinematic-like experience, which will surely pulsate the minds and souls of those who needed to hear the truth about how romance works sometimes.

Listen up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Broken Chords urges the world to be better on BROKEN DORSIL FIN

With a booming style that flows through the door with something rather real and meaningful, Broken Chords shows us all what nature really means on the environmentally astute single, BROKEN DORSIL FIN.

Broken Chords aka VINVAL is a Toronto-based indie music producer/DJ who is known for pulsating the toes off avid listeners of his impressively powerful music.

All my tracks are subjects that people don’t want to talk about or the forgotten ones. This track is about whales and dolphins whom are in captivity which with broken dorsal fin. When this fin is bent it means they are unhappy. They are performers for your entrainment and profit.” ~ Broken Chords

Saving the ocean one beat at a time and navigating the world into a much better place, Broken Chords is on a mission and will never be stopped no matter what. We find a Batman-like hero lurking amongst us, as our ears are treated to a techno track mixed in with that progression-fused moves.

BROKEN DORSIL FIN from Toronto-based indie electronic music producer/DJ Broken Chords is a nature-loving party track which will set the standard for what is possible if enough humans care. Heating up all fingertips and showing so much love for those beautiful sea-bound creatures who need our help (right now), we find a statement track made with serious skill and care.

Listen up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Bugged Out: Trey Joshua feels so much better when the drinks are flowing on Drunk

After taking too many late-night temptation treats and maintaining that extra drink-packed fun which can cause weary bodies the next day, Trey Joshua is only here for the fun on the hard-hitting new single to sip cheekily with called Drunk.

Toronto, Canada-based and 21 years old, Trey Joshua is a tremendously talented indie alt-alternative rapper, artist and music producer.

He has been at it since 2018 and takes major influence from XXXTENTACION, J.I.D, 6lack and various classic rock artists such as the tragically hip, Bob Dylan, and Billy Idol.” ~ Trey Joshua

Struggling after an incredible night out which has ravaged his soul and numbed most senses, Trey Joshua sends us into a whole new world on Drunk and shows many the feeling after a blurry evening.

Scintillating beyond all previously comprehended emotions, this is a really eye-opening track for those who have never felt rather drowsy after a wild evening of bladder-busting beverage debauchery.

Drunk from the multi-genre experimental artist Toronto, Canada-based artist and music producer Trey Joshua is a superb single which will wake up many and scare others. Steaming like a hot iron on sensitive skin, we are thrown into a mesmerizing waterfall which will flush many souls into a memorable moment which can cause hearts to flutter rather unexpectedly.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Fighting Desires: Canadian-Pakistani RnB creative Sameer Amir fights those reckless desires on Autopilot

Wondering if it was true love or something that was destined to fail, Sameer Amir searches for closure on the excellent new single to reminisce with on Autopilot.

Sameer Amir is an innovative Canadian-Pakistani RnB artist who is based in thriving Toronto, Canada and has the kind of refreshed mind who inspires all listeners.

is about the fact that we don’t have control over our lives no matter how much we try to resist our desires. It’s written as the dance floor at the club being someone’s heart and how we dance alone a lot to be comfortable, pushing away the people that try to enter our space as a reaction to being constantly hurt before.” ~ Sameer Amir

Performed with so much intensity and soul-healing vigour, Sameer Amir unlocks the moment which shall change romantic notions forever. Doused into a dynamic vocal performance to turn up loud, we find a contemplative single to reflect on while the pain stings slightly longer than first expected.

Autopilot from Canadian-Pakistani RnB artist Sameer Amir is a truly striking song to swim deeply into when that period of self-reflection kicks in. Packed with a splendidly illuminating passion and desire, this is a striking single for anyone who has dealt with the cruel twist of love.

Finding inner peace to love again, is the only way to live after dealing with heartbreak.

Hear this top new single on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Yilgoren Music has recently released “Back To Grey”

Yilgoren Music is the brainchild of Turkish musician Arda Yilgoren, based in Toronto, Canada. He is an artist and songwriter with a direct and one-of-a-kind focus on making music that blurs the lines between different genres. These include alternative rock, indie-pop and so much more. The artist’s work is a balanced crossroads where all of the above meet, and then some! His most recent release, “Back To Grey”, is a perfect example.

In addition, the production quality lends the song an aura of credibility and professionalism. The aesthetics of the recording are a perfect match with the mood of this release. “Back To Grey” feels very genuine and it stands out as an authentic portrait of Yilgoren Music’s artistic vision and personality overall. This is highly recommended to fans of artists such as Daughtry, The Fray, and The Rasmus, only to mention a few.

Find out more about Yilgoren Music, and listen to “Back To Grey”. This release is currently available on digital streaming services.


The Spheres packed their alt indie synth-pop debut, The City of Lights, with evocative kryptonite

If it’s been a while since a debut single has left you utterly obsessed, delve into The Spheres’ alternatively inclined amalgam of 80s synth pop, indie-rock, and dance, The City of Lights. From the suburbs of Toronto, the duo lit up the airwaves with their infectiously hook-rife account of the frontman’s complicated relationship with his city of birth, Karachi, Pakistan. “In the city of lights, you die just for dreaming”, is cuttingly efficacious in alluding to the toll it took on the singer-songwriter and producer Reza Habib.

With the vibrato in the vocals spilling evocative kryptonite across the catchy synth-pop melodies, The City of Lights will blind you with its luminous soul before the solid riffs and punchier vocals conclude the track on a raucous high that will leave you itching for more. Thankfully, that itch will be scratched as more singles from the debut album will drop before its full release in Spring 2023.

Stick The City of Lights to your synapses by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Canadian jazz project THERMO warm us up with the toasty release Betty’s Buns

Birdlike by THERMO

Lifted off their silky smooth 10-track album Birdlike to release all previous worries in the sky, THERMO displays the kind of grace and care needed to appease all nerves on the wonderfully tranquil Betty’s Buns.

THERMO is a Toronto/Ottawa, Canada-based indie jazz project which is melted together so stylishly by Mike Manny and Nathan Hiltz.

The group was formed during the pandemic thanks to the low latency internet platform Syncspace. This allowed the group to develop, rehearse, and perform music by Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, and Oscar Peterson while 600km apart at the speed of fibre optic cable.” ~ THERMO

Reconciling us up from those pesky worries that can hurt your heart, THERMO takes into a better time when everything was slower and happier. Rich is character and showing so much poise and skill, we find ourself floating into amicable waters.

Betty’s Buns from Toronto/Ottawa, Canada-based indie jazz duo THERMO is such a calmingly delightful song which will surely ease many worries away in an instant. Smooth in nature and crowded full of punch, this is absolute delight to listen to and is one of the more mood-changing releases in 2022, without doubt.

Listen up on Bandcamp and see more vibes on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen