Tag Archives: Greys

This Week’s Essential Releases: Astral Folk, Soul, Grindcore and More

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Welcome to Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend crucial new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Album of the Day: Greys, “Age Hasn’t Spoiled You”

Greys frontman Shehzaad Jiwani has always sung like someone uncomfortable in his own skin, whether he was cheekily cataloging his feelings of inadequacy, or giving in to more visceral and violent expressions of self-loathing. That sense of perpetual dissatisfaction has been reflected in the Toronto group’s relentless evolution. Once a caterwauling noise-punk outfit, Greys quickly realized that nihilistic discourse—however good it may feel in the moment—isn’t a long-term solution for life’s woes. As such, the band’s emotional vocabulary has expanded in step with their musical one. After balancing out the stage-dive strikes with shoegazing balladry on 2016’s Outer Heaven and detouring into fuzzy lo-fi indie-pop for the lowkey companion release Warm Shadow, Greys sound like they’re ready to leave the circle pit behind for good.

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The Best Albums of 2016: #40 – 21

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Collage by Valentina Montagna.

If there’s one thing we learned since we launched Bandcamp Daily this past June, it’s that the world of Bandcamp is enormous—encompassing everything from emo in China to cumbia punk in Tucson, Arizona to just about everything in between. So narrowing our Best Albums of the Year down to 100 choices was a daunting task. This week, we’ll be sharing our picks, 20 at a time, until we arrive at the top spot on Friday.

More “Best of 2016”:
The Best Albums of 2016: #100 – 81
The Best Albums of 2016: #80 – 61
The Best Albums of 2016: #60 – 41
The Best Albums of 2016: #20-1

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Toronto’s Greys Premiere a New Track, “Fresh Hell”

Greys

After a summer of touring with the likes of White Lung and Bully, Greys share a new track, “Fresh Hell.” Following the release of Outer Heaven (which we named as one of the Best Albums of 2016 So Far) we asked them to talk about the influences that led to a change in their sound since the April release.

Suuns, Hold/Still

Suuns is one of the most compelling contemporary acts I can name, both live and recorded. They have a handle on building tension that puts them in the same league as bands like Portishead and Broadcast—two of our biggest influences—and that attention to pacing and dynamics has been a major focus of ours in recent years. The way they exert total control over the noise and chaos they unleash is very impressive. There is a lot to be said of a band that exercises such restraint, which is something we started to learn with newer songs we’ve written, like “Fresh Hell.” —Shehzaad Jiwani

Freak Heat Waves, Bonnie’s State Of Mind

Victoria, BC’s Freak Heat Waves completely revamped their sound between albums, from the krauty drone-rock of their excellent first LP, to the icy, Gary Numan-esque electronics of Bonnie’s, while still being completely engaging and unique. They’re the perfect example of a band challenging their listeners to reassess and keep up with the evolution of their music, because unpredictability is cool. Colin Gillespie

Gunk, Gunk

Gunk are a shining example of the amazing Philly-based Ranch Records scene as a whole, which to me is the perfect amalgam of intelligent songwriting and experimental tendencies, inspired and executed with a plethora of cigarettes and shitty beer. Gunk is essentially a pop record, but lovingly tangled with bizarre sound-collages, fuzzed-out guitar and a sense of celebratory loneliness. Think studio-period Beatles playing a condemned house party. Colin Gillespie

Odonis Odonis, Post Plague

Odonis Odonis is the best band in Toronto, and serve as a much-needed reminder that you can gracefully reinvent yourself with each new release. Their bold decision to swap guitars for more synths and drum machines is inspiring to me in the way that their trademark balance of crushing noise and arresting melody remains intact even with a whole new set of tools. As long as the song itself is still the focal point, you can experiment with instrumentation any way you like – and I am convinced these three maniacs are incapable of writing a bad song. Shehzaad Jiwani

Christian Fitness, Love Letters In The Age Of Steam

During the writing process of Repulsion and Outer Heaven, I’d sworn off anything that could be labeled “noise rock” so that I wouldn’t rely on the same old tricks I’d learned as a guitarist and vocalist. However, when a surprise record comes out that’s written by the guy behind McLusky and Future Of The Left (the latest one is pretty good too), you pay attention no matter how hard you try to act like you’re above a good riff. Andy Falkous has mastered both his sardonic, witty lyricism and his terrifyingly unpredictable delivery. It’s difficult to sound fresh as a punk band in the 21st century, but Falko makes it seem so easy—AND a crapload of fun. Shehzaad Jiwani

Pattern Recognition: Toronto Noise

Greys
Greys
Carl Wilson is a music critic residing in Toronto. “Pattern Recognition” is a monthly column in which he discusses patterns, genres, and things he likes and dislikes. Trust him, he’s an expert.

When you think of music from Toronto, you’re likely to think of Drake, the walking meme who perches atop the CN Tower as well as the Billboard charts—the better to survey the running of his woes. With Drake’s explosive global appeal, a retinue of other Toronto-area rap and R&B artists have found overdue recognition, perhaps in part due to his love of his hometown and its prominent place in his lyrics. Alternately, casual listeners might associate Canada’s largest city (the fourth-largest in North America) with certain rock collectives of the early aughts, or various heirs to the aslant songwriting tradition of Gordon Lightfoot or Neil Young.

But there’s another sound increasingly echoing off the shoreline of Lake Ontario in 2016, and it’s far removed from either sad-eyed rappers or quirky guitarchestras. It’s less in thrall to the city’s rep for polite braininess and more befitting its former notoriety as the domain of its dumpster-fire mayor, the late Rob Ford. It’s a sound that bends with the forces of ratcheting rents and generational friction, and lashes back with twice the fury and creative humor.

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The Best Albums of 2016 So Far

best of 2016 so far

  A one-stop guide for catching up on the best releases of 2016 to date.

Every year brings with it more music than any one person can possibly consume. Even if you stopped sleeping and eating and did nothing but listen to music all day, every day, you’d only be able to get through roughly 13,000 albums in a year. Given that, we’ve decided to make your search for your next favorite record a little easier. These are the records released so far this year that we just can’t stop playing.

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