Back in August, Middleboro, Massachussetts-based rockers Black Beach unveiled the sweetly ferocious “Self Portrait” (streaming below). Sounding like something a grunge-loving Dorian Gray would listen to, the drum-pounded lead single off the band’s forthcoming ‘Shallow Creatures’ album relentlessly portrays the inner turmoil of a frantic mind yet, buoyed by by lead singer Steven Instasi‘s voice, allows for the catharsis that pain ultimately brings. Black Beach plays at Middle East in Cambridge, MA on Thursday (3/4). – Zach Weg
"Carolina," the first single off the upcoming full-length from local shredders Commander Keen is a big ol’ beef patty sizzling on the grill. It’s not a slow burner; the edges are plenty crispy and standing too close is a good way to get your face melted off. Taking cues from heavyweight punk groups like Titus Andronicus with a heavy dose of Dinosaur Jr. skate vibes, there’s a lot to unpack here from the thick riffs to a rhythm section that just won’t dial it down, no matter how many times the neighbors call the cops. It wouldn’t be unwarranted for you to feel a little bloated and exhausted at the end of it all. But you know you actually want another serving, yeah?
Catch Commander Keen with Terrible, Mouth Reader, and BUMMRcity this Thursday (03.03) at Drkmttr. It’s a packed-out bill featuring some of our favorite locals, and you’d be a damn fool to sleep on it. –Austin Phy
Our Best of Toronto Poll for Emerging Artists has been – as usual – a lengthy and painstaking journey which took us through prairies of numbers, horizons filled with band names, and a dense, (mostly) joyous rain of music. We have finally reached our destination and we can announce the final results!
Hitherto, the husky soul voice, applied to hard-rock production, has been a forced aesthetic. An argument could be made for solo artist Sate – our Toronto Best Emerging Artist of 2015 – having rectified the situation. Unhinged rockers like "What Did I Do" and "Warrior" (streaming)convince the longer (and more fiercely) she sings.
2. Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally are generating a serious buzz all over right now. They toured through the USA last year and even cracked Rolling Stone’s List of Bands You NEED to know. 2 guys and 2 gals in this band…so they’re like ABBA…except with Pixies-esque rhythms and undeniable melodies over perfectly constructed grunge tunes. They were just announced as a headliner for CMW in May. This track "Desire" is the real deal!
Ol’CD is gettin’ mad love from everyone involved with the Deli these days. They were #1 on the Readers Poll and a bronze medal for the FINAL results ain’t too shabby. These fellas have catchy-ass garage rock tunes infused with some surf elements. A real party band. Don’t miss the chance to hop along at one of their upcoming shows.
Check out our poll’s top 10 below, and don’t forget to get even deeper, exploring all the finalists organized by genre:
If you wonder how this chart came into existence, here is how it all went down: first, we let the local bands submit their music (for free), and got our Deli editors to pick the nominees. Then we polled a list of 15+ Toronto scene expert (our jury) and asked them to nominate 3 more bands of their choice each (3 points for the top choice, then 2 and 1). Then we polled our readers. We tried to keep things open for each single genre, from Indie Rock to Roots Music to Hip Hop.
If you are a geek interested in all the subtelties related to how this poll works, you can read its rules here (happy reading!). But if all you care about is the awesome new music Toronto produced in the year 2015, this list is all you need. Enjoy!
Many Thanks to our Jurors: Mike Roth (Artist Manager for Dala), Kiran Singh (Drake), Adam Bentley (Auter Research), Mike Religa (Indie88), Ben Pearlman (Collective Concerts), Craig Laskey (Horse Shoe Tavern), Denholm Whale (The SMiling Buddha), Justin O’Heir (Artistik Management), Mar Sellars (CIUT), Adam Carter (Homegrown Hamilton), Rivoli Booking Team, Yvonne (El Mocambo).
Hope you’ll find some awesome new artists you weren’t aware of!
The Deli’s Staff
You’ve probably noticed, but shit is damn weird out there in America these days. In the midst of all the violence, oppression and division comes new Austin hip-hop act OTC3 (Out There Conscious Commercial Concepts) with a deeply striking new music video calling for us all to band together and fight the evils in this modern world. Called “Black Rose,” this video is striking both visually and mentally, pairing a gorgeous high contrast look of all blacks and whites with a high concept message of people of all colors- black, white, brown and everything else there is- joining in solidarity against oppression and injustice. “We don’t want to fight/We will, we will, we will” sings featured artist and soulstress Tree G in the song’s hook, which plays over the rooted, heartfelt reggae bass that is the track’s backbone. It’s just some good come together music with a nice 90s hip-hop style “talking straight to the viewer,” up in the camera approach, plus some nice interpretive dancing and a very fun little funksoul part at the end. It looks like they filmed that part right out in the middle of a downtown street, and much of the rest on the steps of the Texas State Capitol itself, lending an immediacy of place and a further edge to an already powerful video. It’s heady, it’s good soulful shit, and it bodes well for this trio that just came together themselves last year. We look forward to seeing more from OTC3, and we stand with them in their mission of solidarity and change for the good of all people. Check it below.
Last week, new Brooklyn act Yoke Lore shared its celestial electro-pop debut song, “Heavy Love” (streaming below). Soaring over drum thuds, finger snaps, and vocals that almost cry for love, the lead single off project mastermind Adrian Galvin’s forthcoming debut EP ‘Far Shore’ does nothing less than quietly calm the restless. While Yoke Lore doesn’t seem to have upcoming shows listed, keep posted on his Facebook page for future announcements. ‘Far Shore’ is due May 6 via B3SCI Records.- Zach Weg
QQQ‘s latest release, Welcome Home, is a percussive-laden, space-age, psytrance journey, drenched in synth that’ll involuntarily get the blood flowing and subsequently the body moving. Surrounding you with hyperactive beats, the EP shifts into an alternate gear that’s murky yet accessible. You can catch QQQ at Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday, March 6 with Blanck Mass and Valley Exit.
Ah dudes… what on Earth does the first sunny and warm weekend after the winter do to our brains? What kind of happy chemical substance does it unleash? Why do we feel the sudden need to listen to poppy and uptempo music? If that’s where you are on this sunny NYC Monday (in February!), this new track by Argonaut&Wasp is bound to boost your mood even further. The band will be performing live at The Bowery Electric on March 3rd.
The Ghost In You, a.k.a. Billy Polard, has a new track that is aptly titled "Haunt You." The song aches with heartbreak as Polard’s mellifluous voice bears a concerning narrative. The emotive single is off his upcoming third album Heaven Help Us.
Fullbloods celebrated the release of Mild West in KC over the weekend, and are starting a tour tonight in Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, and Des Moines. They’ll be back in KC on St. Patrick’s Day at The Riot Room.
Beneath heroic guitar dynamics and somewhat lax vocals, "Doug" is a song that shows a lot of heart. The new track by Worn-Tin, lead by Warner Hiatt, is a lo-fi anthem that does take its dear time to unfold, eschewing any choruses altogether to deliver a streamlined jam coupled by a lively, sustained hook that will leave you humming once it’s over. Now accompanied by a wistful video that takes one back to those days of shooting footage on VHS camcorders, "Doug" further emphasizes Hiatt’s playful antics as he mingles with friends on what seems like an ideal summer roap trip.
"Doug" is the first single off of his just-released full length Thanatophobia, an album inspired by a near-death experience he had with two close friends after the car they were on flipped and almost caused a devastating effect on their lives. Nevertheless, "Doug" is gushing with joy, portraying a songwriter who’s relishing life’s simple pleasures; to be fully alive and to drum up vibration in the moment.
You can catch Worn-Tin play at the Bootleg alongside Kississippi and Bobby T. on March 26. – Juan Rodríguez
Lots of good rock comes out of the whole “suburban youthful malaise” thing, and one of our recent Artist of the Month winners Paperback brings a damn good entry into that subgenre of indie with their hard guitar album Nervous Energy. It’s a bit Weezer in the subjects and guitar, a bit Sparta in the energy and structure, a bit Neutral Milk Hotel in the vocals, a taste of Pixies artiness and a whole lot of good indie rock fun overall. The tracks are often about relationships, but in that post-pomo, beyond cynicism and nihilism space where there’s a mature and thoughtful tiredness that you often get in that 90s/2000s era in indie that Paperback builds on. The songs are about just trying to scrape out a good relationship in a tiring, weird reality, and they do a fine job of it with ballsy-honest looks at romance and the world it tries to live in, an approach that isn’t hurt one bit by this band’s aptitude for vivid imagery and description. The suburban anthem-loving crowd is sure to dig Paperback’s newest output here, as is anyone with a thing for oldschool indie that really does rock. Track “Cat” is a real standout of “Teenage Dirtbag”-esque angsty awesome, so make sure to give that a listen below y’all, and let the fuzzy, screaming guitar and slacker lyricism back into your indie rock.