THE PHANTOM BAND – THE WIND THAT CRIED THE WORLD/CLAPSHOT/DOOM PATROL/WOMEN OF GHENT/NO SHOES BLUES
For Fans of: Shearwater, Okkervil River, Yeasayer, Royal Canoe, Menomena, Arcade Fire,
ROYAL CANOE – HOLD ON TO THE METAL
I am torn when having to use the term “hometown”. In total I spent eleven years of my life in Winnipeg, five years in random other cities, and fourteen years in my current place of residence – Calgary. This may mean that I should really call Calgary my hometown, but most people have a desire to root for the underdog, and since Calgary is a booming economic hub, I tend to wear my Jets hat more often. Therefore, my heart warms a bit more when I hear a great Royal Canoe song versus, let’s say, a great new Tegan and Sara song. And with Hold on to the Metal, my heart is toasty. The Winnipeggers tap in to their inner-Animal Collective, giving their pop structure sensibilities a good dose of quirky. Like Caught in a Loop, it feels summery and fresh, but instead of feeling minimal in its approach, Hold on to the Metal truly feels like a six man band. What sounds like banjo, handclaps, background vocals, synthesizer, keyboard, guitar, drums and drum machine pile on top of each other to make a grand sound. It is a reminder that Winnipeg is truly one of the best places to celebrate the warmest season. It sure feels great to have hometown heroes.
VACATIONER – TRIP/NO RULES
Recently Royal Canoe, a band out of Winnipeg, released Caught in a Loop. It was a song that felt like Vampire weekend had cut their tempo in half, and it worked. Vacationer aims in the exact same direction with their new EP Gone, and they hit it out of the park too. First song Trip, with its jungle sounds and laid back vibe, gives you a glimpse of what would happen if Avalanches smoked a lot of ganja and got a lead singer. Not surprisingly, that combination sounds very summery, and very chill. No Rules could have fit nicely in the Contra album, with an afro-pop inspired bass, and mellow and charming vocals. The two songs together are the perfect combination for soaking up the sun. It was the antidote to waking up this morning to streets covered in thick snow. And I’ll be damned if I didn’t walk out of work today after listening to these songs on repeat, and all the snow had melted away.