Music Quickspins

Bloc Party – Hymns

Bloc Party – Hymns (BMG, 2016)

Those who grew up loving and listening to Bloc Party since their 2005 debut Silent Alarm will more than likely be divided in their sentiments towards their latest release Hymns. True to its name, the album offers 11 tracks drawing on frontman Kele Okereke’ newfound deep spirituality, like on the sweetly bright and peppy “The Love Within” and the more sombre “Only He Can Heal Me.” The aggressive and infectious riffs from past records are replaced with a softer sonic palette over a series of sermon-like tracks. Though Bloc Party has taken a respectable and bold risk with their new direction, the album itself feels disjointed and falls flat.

Trial Track: “Living Lux”


Music Quickspins

Tindersticks – The Waiting Room

Tindersticks – The Waiting Room (City Slang, 2016)

Twenty-five years and almost a dozen albums later, Tindersticks have released The Waiting Room. Sonically, the British chamber-pop group’s latest record is more diverse than their recent work; “Second Chance Man” features jazzy moments overlapped with calm, distorted vocals and soft cymbals. On “We Were Once Lovers,” the bass leads angst-ridden lyrics, while “Hey Lucinda” is a web of dreamy xylophone and wind instruments. Though The Waiting Room is boldly cinematic with its orchestral arrangements, Tindersticks manage to seamlessly weave in moments of electronic instrumentation without disrupting the album’s disposition.

Trial Track: “Hey Lucinda”


Music Quickspins

Daughter – Not to Disappear

Daughter – Not to Disappear (4AD/Glassnote, 2016)

Despite a three year gap, Daughter’s sophomore release Not To Disappear picks up right where their debut left off. Though the London band have added more drum machines and electric guitars, it remains a hauntingly eerie experience due largely in part to Elena Tonra’s unmistakable vocals. Heartbreak and gloom constantly linger throughout, notably on “No Care.” Regardless of the fact that the album holds no singular anthem, Daughter’s Montreal tour date has been sold out for months, which speaks volumes for their artistry and solidifies their place in the indie music landscape.

Trial track: “Alone/With You”


Music Quickspins

Frankie Cosmos — Fit Me In

Frankie Cosmos — Fit Me In (Bayonet, 2015)

At the age of 21, Frankie Cosmos already has over a dozen releases in her musical arsenal— not including the records released under her alias Ingrid Superstar. While her last album Zentropy was characterized by garage-rock riffs, the songstress’ latest EP Fit Me In is a collection of synth-heavy dream-pop tracks. Opting for a drum machine instead of traditional percussion, Cosmos’ lyrical honesty and romantic vocals remain the EP’s centerpieces. Despite clocking in at under ten minutes, Fit Me In showcases the young musician’s versatility, providing a teasing glimpse into what her future albums might sound like.

Trial Track: “Sand”


Music Quickspins

Grimes – Art Angels

Grimes – Art Angels (4AD, 2015)

Since her 2012 album Visions, Grimes has kept a relatively low profile, leaving fans waiting for new material with bated breath. For her fourth studio album, the Canadian artist brings her signature brand of sugary-sweet synth pop to the forefront with Art Angels. “Laughing and Not Being Normal” opens the album with an eerily cheery and theatrical track that borders on an old European opera, while “Flesh Without Blood” and the title track provide jittery layered and sunny synth-heavy sounds. Other tracks like “Life In The Vivid Dream” sound like a melancholic ‘80s-inspired ballad. Though the album doesn’t feature any instant classics like “Oblivion,” her star-making single from Visions, Art Angels still features 14 sonically varied tracks that will be showcased in full splendour at her sold out show at Metropolis at the end of the month.

Trial Track: “Flesh Without Blood”



Marching against gender-based violence

Students took to the streets for the Take Back The Night march

Amidst a sea of eager hockey fans walking towards the Bell Centre on Thursday night, another 200 people took to the streets of Downtown Montreal for the annual Take Back The Night march against gender-based violence and harassment.

Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

For four decades now, the international organization Take Back The Night has organized marches in dozens of cities across North America. This year’s Montreal edition was organized by A Safer Concordia, a campaign by the Centre for Gender Advocacy. Before heading along Ste. Catherine Street from Concordia University to McGill University, students gathered at Norman Bethune Square at the corner of Guy Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard on the unseasonably warm November night, wielding signs reading “Stop Rape Culture” and “My Body My Rules.”

“I think it’s so angering that one gender over another doesn’t have as much of a right to public spaces as the others,” said Emilie Lamoureux of the Centre for Gender Advocacy. “I just want every gender to feel safe wherever they go, regardless of the time of day.”

In the past, the march has not been as inclusive and accepting of trans people and sex workers, and has even taken an anti-porn stance, said Lamoureux. But for the last three years since A Safer Concordia has been organizing the march, they have been trying to promote solidarity throughout the community, a recurring theme throughout the event’s speeches. “The purpose is to put those who are the least safe—so native women, sex workers and trans people of colour—at the front of the campaign and to provide a forum to be heard should the desire be there,” said Lamoureux.

The night began with a few words and a traditional prayer from Algonquin songwriter and activist for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women MJ Tremblay. “I just feel like there’s a good wave, there’s going to be a big change because we are hopefully  going to have a government that’s going to be for us, serving us,” said Tremblay referencing specifically the new Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

Activist, writer and radio journalist Aimee Louw from Accessibilize Montreal continued the speeches by sharing some of her recent encounters with misogyny and ableism. “I don’t accept it. However you react is fine, but not all reactions are a choice; a lot of it happens behind closed doors. We need a collective response because some people are not just able to get up and leave,” said Louw.

As the march began and participants chanted things like “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Investigate crimes of hate,” an onlooker yelled for marchers to “go home.” A collective “fuck you” rose from the marchers as they continued to make their way through the streets of downtown Montreal.

“I’m marching for safer streets for women and men to feel safe in their own space, in their environment no matter how they appear, no matter where they are, no matter what time of day it is, that they should be able to be safe and comfortable in their space,” said Concordia student Claire Macaulay.

Reaching McGill’s campus, marchers gathered to hear from several other speakers, including Chantel Henderson from Missing Justice. She shared her personal experiences as an indigenous woman living in Quebec and spoke of the violence and misogyny women and other members of her community continue to face regularly. She spoke of the current situation in Val d’Or where allegations of sexual abuse by police officers on indigenous women have arisen.

“As an indigenous woman, it’s hard to report any kind of crime to the police,” she said. “How can you report a crime when the police won’t believe you, or are the ones perpetrating the crimes?” Chantel shared that she herself has been the victim of sexual abuse, but her case is still open, and has not received any updates for a long time.

“I know it happened. I know it’s real,” she said.

Before heading into the school where marchers could meet and discuss with the night’s guest speakers, Charlotte, a volunteer for the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society shared a concluding statement.

“Tonight we are making a clear statement: we are reclaiming the night. But we must also reclaim our right to all spaces where our voices have been stifled.”

Student Life

Stories of the STM: A lesson in backhanded compliments

When you have your headphones on, it should be a sign not to approach someone

There are unwritten rules in this world: if you sneeze in public, you cover your face. If your dog poops in the street, you pick it up.

Using the bus or metro in Montreal has its own set of rules, too: if you’re standing on the escalators, you stand on the right side. If you see a pregnant woman or an elderly person standing, you offer them your seat. If you see someone with their face buried in 30,000 pages of notes because it’s midterm period, they have their headphones on and look like an extra on The Walking Dead because of sleep deprivation, maybe don’t strike up a conversation.

Sometimes we just get interrupted trying to go from point A to point B. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

It was my first year of university, and I was beyond stressed out for a political science midterm. I had stayed up until 4 a.m., slept for roughly three hours and rushed out of my house to grab a black coffee with hopes to make my exam on time. I didn’t bother applying any makeup, I did not bother to change out of the sweater I had slept in and just wanted to review my notes on the metro, which would give me an extra 25 minutes to review. Awesome.

I hop on, tune out the rest of the world with the sweet, sweet sounds of The Strokes pumping through my headphones and skim through key terms only to be interrupted by a particularly aggressive tap on my shoulder. The tapper, a guy roughly my age, was signaling for me to take my headphones off.

“Yes?” I said as politely as possible, trying not to let my inner Godzilla get the better of me.

“I like your boots,” he said, pointing to my floral-print Doc Martens.

I thanked him and was about to put my headphones back on when he asked me what I was studying. I told him, to which he immediately followed up with, “it must be hard. It looks like you haven’t slept in days.”

Alright. Thanks, bud. I just love being reminded of the obnoxiously apparent dark circles around my eyes.

“Yeah haha … I’m kind of tired,” I said, trying to make it as obvious as possible—without being rude—that I needed to get back to studying. I guess the message just wasn’t clear so he fired off another round of questions. He asked me what school I went to, and of course, he also went to Concordia. I was trapped.

As if pointing out my tired appearance wasn’t enough, Casanova’s failing apprentice proceeded to ask me if I was stressed because he noticed my face was breaking out.

Okay, no. In what universe is it socially acceptable to say that to someone you don’t know? Do I say it to my sister or my best friend? Sure, but that’s different. To top it off, he asked me if I wanted to go for coffee later that week. “So many girls want to look good, but you clearly don’t care about your appearance. That’s pretty chill,” he added.

Uhm. What.

I had no idea how to respond. Luckily for me, we were a stop away from Concordia. I had two choices: A) I could hit him with some incredibly witty and sassy comeback, or, B) I could laugh it off. Incapable of processing words that early in the morning without any caffeine, I opted for C) instead: awkwardly mumble something and run away the second the metro doors opened. Another successful human interaction facilitated by the STM.


Painting a landscape through sound

Teen Daze talk about their latest record, touring and transitioning into adulthood

From Abbotsford, B.C. to San Francisco, California, Teen Daze winded down the west coast to record their latest album, Morning World.

Though they have been recording and creating music under this moniker since 2010, “this is the first iteration of this band,” said Jamison, the band’s frontman. The quintet, comprised of Simon Bridgefoot on drums—who co-produced the record—Jordan Kurtz on electric piano and synthesizer, David Wirsig on bass and harmonies and Kyle Reigle on guitar and keyboard, have been on tour promoting their latest work for several weeks and will be doing so for the next month.

In university, Jamison studied philosophy and theology, both of which heavily influencing his creative musical process; he took a few classes on music philosophy and spirituality. “I’m putting music and what I want to create through those lenses of ‘why am i doing this?’” he said. Though now in his late twenties and with his university years far behind him, Jamison found himself contemplating the age-old post-grad question of what he wanted to do next.

Many of the relationships he had cultivated with friends and family had altered or changed, and he found himself becoming cynical.

“You leave school and you realize how idealistic you had been about things,” Jamison said. “In a sense, this record was me trying to get some optimism back in my life.”

Recording to tape at the analog studio, Jamison says the album has a warmer feel to it, “like it came from the ‘70s.” With its dreamy, subdued melodies and psychedelic instrumentation, Morning World would have fit perfectly in the era where free love and optimism reigned supreme in the Golden Gate City.

As with most of the material recorded primarily in his home studio, Jamison attempts to create landscapes through his dreamy electronic sounds. “In a similar way with this record, where I was trying to play with ideas of imaginary landscapes and new geographies, I was really just trying to create a new place. I always wanted to make music that would pair well with a certain type of landscape, or a certain type of visual,” he said.

An ode to his home province, his last full-length album, Glacier, was “all about finding beauty in the barren sort of tundra, in a northern B.C. or Alaska type of landscape,” he said.

Though this creative process helped him get through a tougher, more existential period in his life, he realized that he “was essentially escaping from the real world,” adding that “music has always been that sort of escape for [him].”

“This record is a little bit on that same idea of creating a new landscape, of creating a new place for myself, but also in that experience realizing that, ‘Oh, there are real world issues that I need to deal with.’ I can’t just keep creating these new places for myself hoping that it will solve anything.”

Ready to tackle these new kinds of concerns and realities, like deciding what is going to be best for him, his wife and their future, Jamison says that “everything’s gotten a little bit more adult. There’s lots of really good things happening in my life right now. I’m in a very good place where I can stop and take stock of what’s around me.”

Wanting to share these positive vibes with the larger community, Teen Daze have just launched their account. This subscription-based online platform allows musicians and artists to interact directly with their fans.

For the time being, the band will be releasing material exclusively accessible through this digital outlet, starting with the EP Rainwater Coffee.

On their page, Jamison posted a list of upcoming tour dates and asked fans in those towns to let him know if they were interested in coming out to a performance so he could put them on a guestlist and hang out with them at the show. In this way, the account makes the experience that much more personal.

“It’s tough to actually connect with people through [social media], but I’ve had amazing real-world interactions with people,” he said.

With roughly a month left of touring and a stop in Montreal later in October, Teen Daze is eager to come back and play in the city—Jamison performed at Divan Orange in 2013, but his set was plagued with technical snafus.

“It happens once or twice every tour, where everything inexplicably goes wrong … and that year it happened to be in Montreal,” he laughed.

“Montreal is one of our favourite cities; we always have a good time. Needles to say, we’re very excited to go back and hopefully prove ourselves.”

Teen Daze will be performing at Newspeak on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.


Albert Hammond Jr. is no longer In Transit

The guitarist distances himself from his band, The Strokes, with his solo performance

Over the past two years, Albert Hammond Jr. released an EP and then unveiled a third full-length album entitled Momentary Masters. In those 24 months, Hammond has performed in Montreal three times; he opened for both Jake Bugg in January 2014 and later Phoenix at Metropolis. But his POP Montreal show this past Saturday marked his first performance as a headlining act, as The Strokes guitarist attempts to distance himself from his bandmates and really establish himself as a solo performer.

Albert Hammond Jr. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

For this year’s instalment of the ever-expanding music and arts festival, concertgoers packed into La Sala Rossa’s modestly-sized venue on St-Laurent Street. The room, characterized by its dim lighting and thick, sumptuous red curtains provided a perfectly intimate setting for the night’s two acts.

Taking the stage first was Brooklyn-based trio Prinze George, acting as a quartet for the night. Clad in mostly all-white attire, the collective pumped out a slew of synth-infused indie tracks, including “Upswing” off their self-titled EP that got the crowd moving on the rainy September Saturday evening.

Prinze George. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

Walking offstage, the lights dimmed a little more and the room packed in a little tighter. When the house lights finally went off completely, Hammond, dressed in a white t-shirt, red pants and black leather converse, along with his instrumental band, sauntered on stage as fans let out excited shrieks. He threw his fist in the air, and jumped right into the opening chords of “Rude Customer” from 2013’s AHJ, sending vibrations through the floor and into the walls of the Plateau venue.

With four records under his belt since his 2006 solo debut Yours To Keep, Hammond pulled mostly from his newer material. On the occasions where he played older crowd favourites like “101,” concertgoers sang along happily to the alt-rock ode to the West Coast American highway, and then to the eerily dreamy “GFC.”

Hammond later dove into one of his earliest tracks “In Transit,” a seemingly happy coincidence as a fan had yelled for him to play the song just moments before.

Prinze George. Photo by Andrej Ivanov.

When the song was over, the drummer briefly walked offstage long enough for Hammond to get slightly visibly uncomfortable, affirming jokingly that “he was either puking, pissing, or taking a shit.”

With a laugh from the audience, someone took the opportunity to yell out aggressively, “play something from The Strokes!”

Gently brushing off the request with a laugh, Hammond replied that he couldn’t “dabble in that,” and proceeded to play material from his more recent albums.

Closing the hour-long set with “Rocket” from 2008’s ¿Cómo Te Llama?, Hammond walked offstage as the cheers of grateful fans trailed behind him. With this POP Montreal performance in the bag, Albert Hammond is no longer ‘in transit,’ and has established himself as a separate, and talented, musical entity.


The stories that sweetened our summer

As we bid farewell to the summer, here are five books we read while on vacation


  1. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill (By Lydia Anderson)


Maybe it was because I read it lying underneath trees and blue skies on grassy knolls, but Lullabies for Little Criminals, by Montreal’s own Heather O’Neill, was a book that surpassed the rest of the reads on my summer book list. Little did I know how fitting it would be to read this novel when I first returned to Montreal—most of the novel takes place in this fair city. The book is written from the perspective of Baby, starting from her 12th birthday, and follows her as she navigates her youth with a heroin-addicted father. Not well-off to say the least, the two bounce around apartments as Baby grows more knowledgeable about street life with each passing chapter. Baby’s is a perspective that maintains some innocence and remnants of a childlike worldview, but also introduces readers to the realities of her rougher situation. From foster homes to becoming involved with a pimp, the readers follow Baby as she navigates her reality and speculates about what she’s experiencing. O’Neill’s ability to embody tainted innocence was impressive and prevented me from leaving the book out of my hands for too long. The weather still allows for some reading on a nearby grassy knoll, but not for long, so grab a copy of this novel and enjoy it as much as I did.


  1. You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart (By Marco Saveriano)

When I look back at my summer, the first things that come to mind are STIs, hallucinogenic drugs, and endless drunken nights. No, I didn’t spend the last few months on shrooms, getting drunk, and having sex with strangers—my loss, I know—but I did read all about it in Mamrie Hart’s You Deserve A Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery.
In a world where it seems like every YouTuber has a book deal, it’s hard not to write them all off, but Mamrie Hart is an exception. Anyone who watches Hart’s videos (notably, her “You Deserve A Drink” series) knows that she has great comedic timing and a gift for coming up with perfect puns—as well as being a master mixologist. I had no doubts that her book would be equally as hilarious.

You Deserve A Drink flawlessly captured Hart’s voice and shared stories so outrageous that if it were anyone else, I would have assumed they were exaggerating. Even though I was tucked away in my basement, curled up in a ball with her book, I felt like I was right there with Hart on spring break at a gay nudist resort, or when she accidentally set her coat on fire—twice—while tripping on shrooms at a Flaming Lips concert. The best part is that Hart never seems like she’s trying too hard. She’s authentically funny, which made for one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while. After restraining myself from reading this book cover to cover in one night, I definitely deserved a drink.


  1. Paper Towns by John Green (By: Alex DiMeglio)

While vacationing in Paris I decided to pop my John Green cherry and give Paper Towns a read. The coming-of-age novel follows Quentin “Q” Jacobsen as he spends his last days of high school searching for the love of his life Margo Roth Spiegelman when she goes missing after a night of debauchery.
​Whether I was reading the book on the sands of Saint-Tropez or at a café in Paris, I always managed to forget my surroundings and fall for the witty writing and engrossing mystery, which frustrated me to the point where I just kept on reading because I craved the answers to all the ridiculous questions brought about by the novel. This novel was bought from the ‘young adult’ section, but should be required reading for all of our inner-teenagers that we still cling to, because youth reminds us that we are alive and we should be embracing such a precious gift, as opposed to complaining about it day in and day out. This novel managed to transform an unlikeable main character into a likeable one because his tireless pursuit taught him a valuable lesson. Our life is like a novel—what sort of things can you do to make others want to read it? A truly remarkable read from start to finish, full of humour, passion, romance, a few surprises and enough cheese to remind you that the word impossible shouldn’t exist in our vocabularies.


  1. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins (By: Jessica Romera)

Despite it being nearly 400 pages, I devoured Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get The Blues in a matter of days during my summer break. I was away in Europe for about a month which meant lots of trains, planes and bus rides, so a ridiculous amount of time for reading. I had never read anything by Robbins before, but now my bookshelf is spilling over with more of his novels. This is the story of Sissy Hankshaw, a stunning girl growing up in small-town America. She embodies most of the feminine ideal—Sissy appears to be nearly perfect, except for the fact that she has gigantic oversized thumbs. While she sees these thumbs as a gift, everyone else around her sees them as a grotesque deformity. This prompts her to pick up hitchhiking and she ends up crisscrossing the country. She eventually finds herself on a ranch run exclusively by cowgirls and Robbins weaves Sissy’s narrative into theirs. He uses satire unapologetically while tackling larger social issues predominant during that time, like feminism, free love, experimental drug use and cultural identity (the book was published in 1976). Robbins’ style is easy to digest and ridiculously fun to read—he’s crude, but not unecessarily gross. He uses a ton of vivid descriptors to paint his scenes, but his words are not gratuitously flowery and redundant. If you’re looking for a funny, yet smart read for an upcoming trip, I recommend you give Even Cowgirls Get The Blues a shot.


  1.  Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert (By Elijah Bukreev)

Longing for more after falling in love with the prose and style of Madame Bovary, I found myself reading Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education. Like the main character, I was a young student living in Paris—it was during the last month of my exchange. I found the novel in a second-hand bookstore. It was brand new, probably bought by a high schooler for a French class, never read, and discarded as soon as the year was over. And now it was mine. I read it all over the city, sometimes in the very places that were being described.

As with Madame Bovary, which, as far as film adaptations go, has been somewhat misunderstood, it is acutely caricatural, with vibrant characterizations. If in Bovary Flaubert was mostly concerned with deromanticizing typically romantic characters, in Education he was drawing a portrait of the social and political life of his time, the mid-19th century, through the story of a young bourgeois man’s absurd infatuation with an older, married woman, which lasts for decades. Reading it now, in France, it is surprising to see that many things have remained the same.

One of the most poignant passages is the detailed description of a revolution, each step being thoroughly documented. The events unfolded unexpectedly and with shocking speed. Many speeches covered in the novel are things that are still being said today, and there is such recognizable dissatisfaction with the government in the air that many of Flaubert’s points still stand in today’s political landscape.


Top 5 shows this fall

Good bands set to bring the heat as the summer winds down

By Jessica Romera, Copy editor.

Summer in Montreal and concerts go together like peanut butter and jelly. From Kendrick Lamar’s explosive headlining performance at Osheaga, to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s stellar set at Theatre Fairmount, Montreal hosted some of the best names in the biz. But just because the warm months are starting to wind down, this doesn’t mean the fall won’t hold a ton of hot shows, especially with fests like POP Montreal and Psychfest just around the corner. With so many great acts rolling into our fair city, here are some of the ones I’m most looking forward to, in chronological order.

Photo of Chance the Rapper by Rob Loud on Flickr

Modest Mouse

Catapulting into indie stardom in the ‘90s, Modest Mouse took an eight-year hiatus after releasing a string of top-notch records like 2000’s The Moon And Antarctica and their last record, 2007’s We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. If you turned on the radio, or watched any episode of The O.C ever (they were one of Seth Cohen’s favourite bands), you were bound to hear Isaac Brock’s unmistakably jutting vocals. Modest Mouse have been touring steadily and killing it with their latest album Strangers To Ourselves. Even if you aren’t a fan of their new material (which you should be anyway with singles like “Lampshades On Fire” and “The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box”), their Metropolis show will most likely include classics like “Dashboard,” “Float On” and “Paper Thin Walls,” that will trigger all kinds of nostalgia-fueled karaoke moments. Modest Mouse will be performing at Metropolis on Sept. 8. Tickets cost $47.



Will Butler

The Arcade Fire multi-talented multi-instrumentalist released his debut solo album, Policy, earlier in 2015. With singles dripping out of every pore, like the Southern-gospel-inspired “Son Of God,” to catchy retro ditty “Anna,” Butler is setting himself apart from his brother and bandmates as a strong solo artist. If you’ve ever seen him on stage, you know that Butler’s unbridled energy is contagious, a perfect pairing for the spacious, yet intimate setting of his upcoming show as part of the POP Montreal festival. Will Butler will be performing at the Rialto Theatre on Sept. 18. Tickets cost $25.



Chance The Rapper

If, like me, you were beyond bummed about Chance’s last minute 2014 Osheaga cancellation, then you were stoked when the Chicago rapper announced an upcoming appearance at Olympia. Chance will more than likely perform bangers “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Favorite Song” off his 2013 release Acid Rap, but my inner six-year-old is hoping to hear his cover of the Arthur theme song. Chance The Rapper will be performing at Olympia Theatre on Oct. 21. Tickets cost $38.50.



James Bay

More like James BAE, am I right?! But really, this guy is seriously talented. He played to a jam-packed Corona Theatre back in April, and then made us swoon with his performance at Osheaga over the summer. With his latest album The Calm And The Chaos and massive hit “Hold Back The River” earning the singer-songwriter some well-deserved international attention, it’s no wonder the folk-rocker from across the pond sold out his upcoming appearance at Metropolis in a matter of mere hours. James Bay will be performing at Metropolis on Nov. 17. The show is sold out, sorry.



X Ambassadors

If you were lucky enough to catch the New York-based group on the Sunday at Osheaga, then you know X Ambassadors are more than just those dudes playing “Renegades” in the Jeep commercial. Admittedly I didn’t really know much of their music, but I’m glad my sister dragged me along to their set because now I’m over-the-moon-excited for their show at Olympia. FYI, they were originally playing at Corona Theatre, but got bumped up to the larger venue. X Ambassadors will be performing at Olympia on Nov. 29. Tickets cost $24.50.



Some honourable mentions because there are just way too many good shows this fall:

-Albert Hammond, Jr. Sept. 19 at La Sala Rossa

-Fidlar Sept. 22 at Fairmount Theatre

-Bahamas Nov. 25 at Corona Theatre

-Leon Bridges Oct. 22 at Corona Theatre

-Shakey Graves Nov. 9 at Corona Theatre

-The Weeknd Nov. 24 at The Bell Centre


Foals – What Went Down

Foals – What Went Down (Warner Music; 2015)

Since their 2008 debut Antidotes, the British band has been consistently evolving towards a more mature sound, yet have maintained their signature youthful grit—a feat many of their fellow acts have not been able to successfully pull off. What Went Down is the group’s fourth album, and their first since Holy Fire, their 2013 release that just oozed hit after hit, namely “Inhaler” and “My Number.” The title track and “Snake Oil” feature unapologetically fast-paced and aggressive instrumentals and Yiannis Philippakis’ equally raucous vocals, while “Mountain At My Gates” and “Birch Tree” feel like a return to their more melodic math-rock roots.

Despite the medley of great tracks, there doesn’t seem to be any defining “Spanish Sahara” or “Late Night” moments that characterized Total Life Forever and Holy Fire, respectively; songs that built up slowly, gripping you tightly from the inside and then growing into a cataclysmic eruption of sound and emotion.
Trial Track :”Mountain At My Gates”
Rating: 8/10

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