With a decade’s worth of monstrous albums behind them, [JEFF The Brotherhood] really ought to rule the galaxy by now.
Their songs are often just a couple of chords and high speed, but the brothers have acid on the brain, stirring harmonized distortion and sitar buzz into the boogie.
– Rolling Stone
JEFF the Brotherhood can play with the big boys
JEFF the Brotherhood are a band that need no introduction. For the past 15 years, the Nashville brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall have put out some of the best garage rock you’ll ever hear.
JEFF The Brotherhood the project of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, started in a basement in Nashville, TN in 2002. From their basement beginnings they have traced a journey that has taken them around the world several times over, from DIY shows and self-released albums to major label contracts, network television appearances and the international festival circuit. The Brotherhood was started with one goal in mind: to do or create whatever they feel with no rules or boundaries, but despite the freewheeling creativity that has underpinned their career, the band’s 13th full length album, Magick Songs (out September 7th on Dine Alone) marks a radical departure from their catalog to date.
Recorded in a bare bones studio, built in Jake Orrall’s Nashville living room, over a 5 month span, the album involves a host of new collaborators including Jenna Moynihan of Daddy Issues, Bully’s Reece Lazarus, and the majority of the album’s compositions were written in collaboration with Kunal Prakash (Viva L’American Death Ray Music/Quintron’s Weather Warlock Band) and Jack Lawrence (Raconteurs/The Dead Weather) who became fully fledged members of the band. It was a unique experience for the brothers, who had recorded each of their preceding 12 full lengths in studios under the guidance of professional engineers.
“It was a huge change for us,” Jake Orrall says, “but the music that we had been making up to this point had just kind of fizzled out. It got stale for us. We felt like we’d hit a dead end and we were really excited to try some new things. We built this record from scratch with all of us in a room together which was a really different approach than anything we’d done before, and spent 5 months working day in and day out. Our average time for recording a record before this was 3 days, so there wasn’t really any room or time for this kind of experimentation.”
Magick Songs explores a host of new influences, while emphasizing different shades of sounds that have coloured The Brotherhood’s previous releases. Elements of 80’s and 90s Japanese experimental music (Orrall, who recently contributed liner notes to a Light In The Attic compilation of Japanese “New Music,” sites Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Honso, Midori Takada, Satoshi Asakawa and Motohiko Hamase) meld with Indonesian Gamelan forms (derived from the releases in the Nonesuch Explorer series and the music of 70s experimental collective Geinoh Yamashirogumi), clever improvisation and abundant hand percussion and synthesizer. Elsewhere heavy psych, drone and the brother’s rarely tapped interest in extreme metal blends with the kraut rock that has long inspired them to stretch their sound towards the outer reaches of space rock squall. Thematically they toy with a broader concept for the first time in their career, synthesizing Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, Studio Ghibli films, sci fi anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akira, and their own meticulously recorded dreams into a loose narrative that informs the albums lyrics.
Their compositional approach has also shifted, with the album constructed from a series of extended improvisations that were then edited down and reassembled into more conventional song structures by Jake Orrall and tied together with overdubs in later sessions. This technique results in frequently unusual arrangements that rarely repeat exactly, instead cycling through subtle variations around each chord progression. In a sense it’s the total opposite of the garage rock and pop songwriting style that has popularly defined the band, and feels like an exorcism of the last ghosts of the band’s Warner days.
“There’s so much preconception now about our band, and people have already made up their minds about what kind of band we are, which isn’t really what we’re about at this point in our lives,” says Orrall. “At one point we took a shot at being a radio rock band, and it was an interesting experience and the record that we made taught me a lot about songwriting and production. You’ve gotta try these things and it was an intriguing opportunity artistically as much as anything. This record is another opportunity, with no restraints outside of taking our sound in the directions we want to take it.”
The benefit of the experience won over what has remarkably already been a 16 year career is apparent throughout Magick Songs, and it is the combination of that discipline and deliberation with a boundless creative spirit that drives the album. More than a new chapter, Magick Songs reads like a whole new book.
JEFF The Brotherhood’s Magick Songs will be released on Dine Alone Records on September 7th. It is available for preorder here.
“Vanessa Carlton is a formidable artist.” – Variety
“Carlton’s version is as gentle as the original, with ephemeral harmonies that layer a gauzy romanticism over Carlton’s starry-eyed vocals.” – Consequence of Sound
“Vanessa Carlton keeps slaying the cover game with a gorgeous take on Fleetwood Mac” – Fuse
“The artist behind the track that has inspired an endless list of pop culture references has covered a song as coverable as her own: Robyn’s ‘Call Your Girlfriend.’” – Stereogum
“Vanessa Carlton has refined her voice as a songwriter.” – Rolling Stone
“Carlton’s voice is the key attraction on songs that register between low-key pop, rock, and folk.” – Pitchfork
“…she’s back, she’s dreamy, there’s some sort of arty thing going on here, she’s moved to Nashville, had a baby girl with Deer Tick’s John McCauley, and simply sounds better than ever.” – Yahoo
Nashville, TN – July 20, 2018 – Vanessa Carlton unveils the fifth of six cover songs that she plans to release over the coming months with a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay,” which she premiered on Variety yesterday. The video directed by Patrick McPheron, showcases what Variety calls a “haunting cover,” and compliments the song’s ethereal qualities with an eclectic montage of archival footage including couples dancing, a cross, a city skyline, waves crashing to shore, and flashing lights. PRESS HERE to watch and to purchase.
This is one of my favorite songs period. Elliott was a great poet and the metaphors in this lyric split me open. This song is a juxtaposition because the song is about excruciating pain and the brutal moments of an addiction spiral and yet it’s formed in this drone-y meditative manner. Such restraint makes the listener have to move in closer. And then it breaks you. I hope I did him justice. He deserves the best. – Vanessa Carlton
Carlton began her cover song series with her cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” (PRESS HERE) followed by Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” (PRESS HERE), Neil Young’s “Only Love Will Break Your Heart” (PRESS HERE) and most recently Karen Dalton’s “Little Bit of Rain” (PRESS HERE).
Fans first were first given a taste of Carlton’s musical evolution when she released the critically-acclaimed studio album Liberman in 2015 via Dine Alone. The ten songs on the album reflected on Vanessa’s current state of mind since moving from NYC to Nashville, marrying husband John McCauley (Deer Tick) and having a baby girl. The simple instrumentation mixed with her wistful vocals and poignant lyrics brought you into her world and showcased a new side to this accomplished songwriter.
Stay tuned for more music from Vanessa Carlton. In the meantime, please visit vanessacarlton.com for more information.
Today, Dine Alone and Mill Street Brewery are announcing the third annual Ottawa Hopped & Confused, which will be taking place on August 17th and 18th at Mill Street’s Ottawa Brewpub. The event will feature I Mother Earth, their fellow JUNO Award winners Bedouin Soundclash, Birds of Bellwoods, and The Rural Alberta Advantage fresh off the release of their critically acclaimed 4th LP The Wild, plus 4 more acts still to be announced.
Limited two day passes are on sale from now until noon on Thursday, July 19th at $45 and can be purchased here. After Wednesday there will be limited two day passes available at $60 and single day passes at $35.
Mill Street Ottawa Brewpub
555 Wellington Street,
August 17th and 18th
Doors – 5pm
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Birds of Bellwoods
I Mother Earth
Limited 2 day passes (til noon on Wednesday July, 18th): $45
Single day tickets: $35
Two day passes: $60
Following co-bills with The Who, Against Me!, Juno “Breakthroughs” Headline in Chicago, LA, NYC, and more this Fall
Listen to “Pain of Infinity” at Alternative Press: https://bit.ly/2m87tP1
After pummelling through 350+ shows over the last three years, 2017 Juno Award “Breakthrough Group of the Year” winners The Dirty Nil embark on their first ever US headlining tour. The band will play tracks from their upcoming LP ‘Master Volume’ (out September 14th on Dine Alone Records) with a raw, kinetic, straight-up rock & roll energy that’s equal parts punk intensity and 80s-rock-god decadence. Equipped with an inimitable live “swagger” (Brooklyn Vegan), guitarist/vocalist Luke Bentham, bassist Ross Miller, and drummer Kyle Fisher will juxtapose their muscular, venomous riffs and clap-along choruses with stories from the road of good-natured run-ins with the cops and impromptu stripteases in German Christmas Markets.
Watch their no-holds-barred live show video for “Bathed in Light” HERE
Flirting cooly with some of life’s cruelest realities and made to reach the back of the arenas, ‘Master Volume’ rips open with “That’s What Heaven Feels Like,” a late-night ode to living fast and dying young (specifically, blasting through the windshield of your lover’s car) that plays like a greased-up, sucker-punched “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” and ends with “Evil Side,” a six-minute epic perfect for a midnight graveyard stroll. In between, the band alternates between playful lyrics and power riffs (“Please, Please Me,” a ferocious punk track that’s sonically the opposite of its melodic 60s namesake, but shares the same raunchy subject matter) and topical issues like millennial numbness and substance.
Listen to “Pain of Infinity,” a wreckage anthem from the “trifecta of wonderfulness- read: young, loud, snotty” new album (Alternative Press), HERE
When creating the classic horror, pop-art ‘Master Volume’ cover, designer/illustrator Christopher Blackwell of Providence, RI apparel/accessory brand Hungry Ghost Press said he “wanted to do something that felt a little bit gnarly for ‘Master Volume’ – kind of an ode to trash and metal bands that we all grew up on. The whole Dine Alone team have an awesome love and appreciation for vinyl, and the amount of time and energy they put into their releases is refreshing to see. Artwork is only part of the job- what really ties the album together is the packaging and how the listener can experience the record while listening to the music.”
Since they busted out of their quiet hometown of Dundas, Ontario, in 2011, The Dirty Nil have been making bold impressions with their hard-to-define (only accurate label: rock & roll) sound. Championed by the likes of Vice Noisey and Stereogum and praised by Pitchfork for smashing “the boundaries separating ‘indie,’ ‘pop punk,’ and ‘alt-rock,” the band have cut their teeth on co-bills with everyone from The Who, The Menzingers, and Alexisonfire to Against Me! and Bleached.
The upcoming tour kicks off October 25 at Underground @ DIME in Detroit, MI, and hits many of the nation’s premiere music clubs, including The Echo in LA and Mercury Lounge in NYC, before closing out with a four-night homecoming streak in Ontario. As the Alternative Press says, “If you’re not there, you’re nowhere.”
‘Master Volume’ Track Listing:
- That’s What Heaven Feels Like
- Bathed In Light
- Pain Of Infinity
- Please, Please Me
- Auf Wiedersehen
- Always High
- Smoking Is Magic
- Super 8
- I Don’t Want That Phone Call
- Evil Side
The Dirty Nil Tour Dates:
Thu, October 25, 2018 – Detroit, MI – Underground @ DIME
Fri, October 26, 2018 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
Sat, October 27, 2018 – TBA
Sun, October 28, 201 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
Tue, October 30, 2018 – Winnipeg, MB – The Good Will
Wed, October 31, 2018 – Saskatoon, SK – Amigos
Thu, November 1, 2018 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room – Temple
Fri, November 2, 2018 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Sat, November 3, 2018 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
Sun, November 4, 2018 – Victoria, BC – Lucky
Tue, November 6, 2018 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse
Wed, November 7, 2018 – Portland, OR – Sirens (Upstairs)
Fri, November 9, 2018 – San Francisco, CA – Hotel Utah
Sat, November 10, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Sun, November 11, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
Tue, November 13, 2018 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
Wed, November 14, 2018 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
Thu, November 15, 2018 – New Orleans, LA – Santos
Fri, November 16, 2018 – Atlanta, GA – Purgatory at The Masquerade
Sat, November 17, 2018 – Nashville, TN – The End
Sun, November 18, 2018 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Tue, November 20, 2018 – Washington, DC – DC9
Wed, November 21, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge
Fri, November 23, 2018 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Sat, November 24, 2018 – Boston, MA – Middle East – Upstairs
Mon, November 26, 2018 – Quebec City, QC – L’ANTI
Tue, November 27, 2018 – Montreal, QC – Bar Spectacle L’Escogriffe
Wed, November 28, 2018 – Ottawa, ON – Babylon
Thu, November 29, 2018 – Kitchener, ON – Wax
Fri, November 30, 2018 – London, ON – Rum Runners
Sat, December 1, 2018 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
DOUBLE A-SIDE SINGLE “HERCULES” W/ “DLTFWYH” OUT TODAY, EXPAND FALL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Tokyo Police Club has announced their first full-length album in four years, TPC, for an October 5 release on Dine Alone Records – premiering both sides of a double A-side single, “Hercules” via Billboard and “DLTFWYH” via Paste, this week, prior to its release today. Additionally the Ontario quartet has expanded their fall North American tour (see below).
If the universe had tilted the tiniest bit, there would be no TPC—the not-quite self-titled fourth (and best) Tokyo Police Club album. By 2016, singer-bassist and chief songwriter Dave Monks had settled into life in New York City; he made a solo record and did some co-writing. Drummer Greg Alsop was living and working in L.A. Keyboard player Graham Wright and guitarist Josh Hook remained in the band’s native Canada. Tokyo Police Club created songs via e-mail, thinking they had enough natural chemistry and experience to make that setup work. But eventually, the lack of friction meant there was less musical spark, and it dawned on everybody that the end was near. There was resignation, not anger, when Wright, Alsop, and Hook told Monks they were done with the band. They didn’t expect him to disagree… but Monks said this: “Fuck no.”
“Let’s make this band feel like a band we would want to be in again,” Monks implored his bandmates. “Let’s make it about being present for the moments that are important more than about being devoted to some rock stardom fantasy. We at least gotta go make Abbey Road first, and go out with a bang. You don’t have to give me five records. Just give me a few more rehearsals and some studio time and then we’ll figure it out.”
As the old proverb—or maybe it’s a Joni Mitchell song—goes: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s (almost) gone. After putting aside the idea of splitting up and back-burnering their commercial expectations, there was just one thing left to do: go to church – specifically a church in rural Ontario, where the foursome could recapture the energy of their early years by playing in a room together. Songs that Monks had written were abandoned when they didn’t feel right for this new energy, and TPC started to take shape, built on camaraderie and esprit de corps.
At the church, the songs and energy started to flow like they’re supposed to, like they used to, and any lingering doubt was quickly subsumed by joy. “I was really excited to tackle this record in this way, because the way we’d been doing it wasn’t working,” says Hook.
When it came time to take these songs in to the studio, everyone felt there was only one person who to capture that energy on tape – producer Rob Schnapf, whom the band worked with on 2010’s Champ. They convened at his Eagle Rock, Los Angeles studio this winter and in a matter of weeks had the album they wanted.
A first track, “New Blues”, was released in April in conjunction with a three-week U.S. tour supporting Matt & Kim, during which the guys cranked out a set featuring songs off TPC, giving fans an early opportunity to get excited and hear what the guys had been up to. As well as capturing that spark during a Paste Live Session in New York.
Monks’ friends could once again help shape his songs into Tokyo Police Club songs, and the batch that ended up on the record aren’t quite like anything they’d done before. They’re through being cool, through doubting themselves, and through wasting time on ancillary things. TPC is self-titled, almost, because it’s Tokyo Police Club circa 2018—scarred but smarter, fully re-energized.
10/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right [sold out]
10/18 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Good Will Social Club
10/19 – Saskatoon, SK @ Capitol Music Club
10/21 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
10/23 – Red Deer, AB @ Bo’s Bar
10/24 – Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room
10/25 – Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth [sold out]
10/25 – Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth
10/29 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret [sold out]
10/30 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
10/31 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
11/01 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza [sold out]
11/02 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge [sold out]
11/03 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
11/05 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill [sold out]
11/06 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
11/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge [sold out]
11/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
11/09 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
11/10 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room [sold out]
11/16 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
11/17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Photo Credit: Mimi Raver
TPC Track Listing:
01. New Blues
04. Simple Dude
07. Can’t Stay Here
09. Ready To Win
11. One Of These Days
12. Daisy Chain
CANADIAN TOUR DATES BEGIN NOVEMBER 16
NEW ALBUM, CRITICAL HIT, OUT NOW VIA DINE ALONE
PURCHASE / STREAM CRITICAL HIT HERE
WATCH YUKON BLONDE’S CBC FIRST PLAY LIVE AT CBC MUSIC FESTIVAL
“…a bewitching listen” – CLASH
“…the perfect intersection between their pop and psychedelic tendencies,” – Exclaim!
“a dose of pure gold” – Spectrum
“If you’re looking for feel-good vibes and a mighty pick-me-up, then you needn’t look any further than Vancouver-based powerhouse Yukon Blonde.” – Line Of Best Fit
Fresh off the release of their new acclaimed LP, Critical Hit, Yukon Blonde are pairing up with The Zolas for a run of dates across Canada this fall in addition to their already announced summer festival stops. Full tour dates can be found below.
With three full length LPs to their name, including 2010’s self-titled debut, 2012’s Tiger Talk, and 2015’s On Blonde, Vancouver psych rock outfit Yukon Blonde have cemented their status as a Canadian powerhouse, earning comparisons to The Flaming Lips and Phoenix, delivering a welcomed throwback to the 1970’s glory days of rock’n’roll. After linking up with producer Thom D’Arcy (Sheepdogs) and mixer Tony Hoffer (The Kooks, Beck, Air) for their fourth album Critical Hit, out now via Dine Alone Records, they’re aiming to show that Yukon Blonde is much more than just rock, incorporating elements of electronica and erratic pop with their familiar garage rock sound.
The 13-track album is a deeply personal proposition on dating in the digital age. The record channels the varying emotions experienced while navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of today; It’s sometimes tenuous, sometimes depressing, and sometimes jubilant. “It’s hard to do a song by song breakdown, because as much sarcasm and wit as there is on this record, there is some intensely private shit in the lyrics too, and sometimes the vibe is just more our obsession with synthesizers and drum machines, aesthetics over lyrics,” vocalist Jeff Innes says.
YUKON BLONDE TOUR DATES
Jul 7 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Stampede
Jul 14 – Ottawa, ON – Hope Volleyball Tournament
Jul 17 – Kelowna, BC – Waterfront Park, Island Stage
Jul 27 – Bengough, SK, Canada – Bengough Regional Park
Aug 11 – Kingston, ON – Wolfe Island Music Festival
Aug 18 – Rock Creek, BC – Ponderosa Music Festival
Sep 9 – Vancouver, BC – Skookum Festival
Nov 16 – Montreal, QC – Petit Campus *
Nov 17 – TBD *
Nov 20 – Hamilton, ON – The Studio at Hamilton Place *
Nov 22 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall *
Nov 23 – London, ON – Rum Runners *
Nov 24 – Waterloo, ON – Maxwell’s Concerts & Events *
Nov 25 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern *
Nov 26 – Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club *
Nov 27 – Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Centre *
Nov 29 – TBD *
Nov 30 – Edmonton, AB – Station On Jasper *
Dec 2 – Red Deer, AB – Bo’s Bar and Grill *
Dec 5 – TBD *
Dec 6 – TBD *
* with The Zolas
“This feels like the album we’d make if the band died and went to heaven,” says Dilly Dally guitarist/singer Katie Monks about her band’s upcoming sophomore LP, aptly titled Heaven, out September 14 via Dine Alone. In a sense, that’s precisely what happened. Heaven rose from the ashes after the Toronto four-piece almost decided to call it quits following the rigorous cycle around their acclaimed debut, Sore. Instead, they’ve returned with a fierce, fiery ode to optimism, a distortion-soaked battle cry for hope and beauty in a world of darkness and doubt.
Opening track “I Feel Free” is out today, along with a video written and directed by Monks. The clip visualizes the band’s struggle to breathe new life into old friendships. It shows Monks literally digging her three bandmates out of the ground, ultimately finding cathartic release in the form of a white Flying V, dug out of the fourth grave.
Monks explains, “this song is me asking my bandmates to let go of what’s been weighing us down. We’re not going to let the past hold us back from our dreams. Let’s do this thing.”
Monks describes the sound of Heaven as “doom metal vibes with lots of positive messages.” Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck), she’s backed by Liz Ball (lead guitar), Benjamin Reinhartz (drums), and Jimmy Tony (bass). Collectively they weave from anthemic slate cleaner (“I Feel Free”) to swamp-rock ferocity (“Doom”) to epic queer tragedy (“Bad Biology”) and beyond, while Monks’ singular wail remains one of the most powerful instruments in all of rock music.
Following an opening set last week for The Voidz at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere, Dilly Dally will tour extensively behind Heaven. This fall they’ll hit the road with FIDLAR, with additional headline dates to follow. Current Canadian routing below.
Sore was one of the best-reviewed records of 2016. Rolling Stone hailed it as a “blazing” debut that “sounds like an unleashed id with a sick distortion pedal,” while Fader said it “hits that ever-elusive sweet spot between total recklessness and sly control,” and Pitchfork raved that the album “oozes with female desire” and offers up “a heavy swagger redolent of some of the best ever alt-rock.” The music earned the band dates with Grouplove, METZ, and Fat White Family.
Aug 18 – Ponderosa Music Festival – Rock Creek, BC
Sep 12 – Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON *
Oct 29 – The Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC *
Score big at YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE (YDS) with CHEVROLET INDIE FRIDAYS, the popular multicultural free concert series every Friday night in the Heart of the City, from June 29 to August 31. Join YDS on the sunny side of the street for ten weeks of performances from Canada’s brightest artists!
And, each week two Canadian graffiti artists will come together to showcase their unique creative style and individuality while drawing inspiration from the music of the week. The canvas for their art will be a wrapped Chevrolet Cruze Sedan that will provide a striking visual amidst the vibrant lights and sounds of the Square.
On Friday, August 17, the musical rebellion begins with PKEW PKEW PKEW, pop-punkers from Toronto known for nuanced lyrics about the highs and lows of adolescence. Taking their name from a joke on Seinfeld, punk/folk trio The Penske File work hard and play harder with a harmonious and tight-knit set. Then, headline act The Flatliners arrive, going on sixteen years of playing together and bold as ever with their enduring punk/ska sound. Punk’s not dead at YDS!
About Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI), programming associate for YDS this season, is a national not-for- profit organization providing customized creative entrepreneurship training, ongoing mentorship and industry connectivity to artists and managers. Their mission is to develop the careers of artists and managers; build sustainable businesses; and empower people through the three pillars of mentoring, networking and collaboration in order meet their definition of success. Since 2012, CMI has delivered 4,850+ hours of professional development, and mentored over 400 artists and managers of all genres from across Canada and connected them with 200+ active music industry professionals.
About Yonge-Dundas Square: YDS is a unique focal point of the downtown Toronto community. The Square is designated for use as a public open space and as an event venue that can accommodate events of various sizes. You’ll discover a wide range of activities on the Square: community celebrations, theatrical events, concerts, receptions, promotions – events that appeal to residents and tourists alike and provide a showcase for local businesses. YDS Board of Management is an agency of the City of Toronto.
The Get Up Kids’ anticipated new Kicker EP — their first release in seven years and debut on Dine Alone & Polyvinyl Record Co. — is out today worldwide. The EP was named one of June’s “most anticipated” releases by The AV Club and Pitchfork, and the band recently spoke with The FADER, SPIN, and Consequence of Sound about their long-awaited return. The band — Matt Pryor (guitars/vocals), Jim Suptic (guitars/vocals), Rob Pope (bass), Ryan Pope (drums), and James Dewees (keys) — begin a headlining U.S. tour on June 14th in Dallas, TX. A full itinerary is listed below.
The band recently shared the music video for new single “Better This Way” (YouTube) and lead single “Maybe,” which SPIN called, “a proper statement of re-emergence from one of the most enduring bands to emerge of the early aughts.”
Early praise for the Kicker EP:
“Songs like “Maybe” and “I’m Sorry” express regret over bad choices and paths not pursued, but there’s no sense of resignation in the lyrics or guitar licks. The Moog accents are now fist pumps, and the chanting choruses edge close to stadium rock.”
– The AV Club
“A proper statement of reemergence from one of the most enduring bands to emerge of the early-aughts rock club scene… [“Maybe”] sounds like golden-era TGUK, with Pryor pushing his vocals to familiar heights.”
“It’s a ripper that hearkens right back to the Four Minute Mile/Something to Write Home About era.”
– Brooklyn Vegan on “Maybe”
Since the release of 2011’s There Are Rules LP, the band have been touring when their schedules permit and living very adult lives that include activities like raising kids (Matt, Rob, Jim), moving away (James) and moving back (Ryan), starting businesses (Ryan), getting a degree in geology (Jim), joining a local kickball league (Matt), accidentally being electrocuted on stage (Rob), or simply struggling with social media.
Correspondingly while the band’s early releases were written while the band members were entering their twenties, Kicker sees them in their forties, and the songs show a perspective that can only be learned from experience. The Get Up Kids have never been afraid to try something new, but the songs here — recorded over the course of the last year at Fire and Ice studio in Baldwin, Kansas — mark a full-circle breakthrough for the band. It’s a release that sees the band learning from the past while reaching toward the future lies at the core of Kicker, retaining their signature sound while simultaneously proving they aren’t afraid to redefine who they are in the current moment.
The name of the EP is a reference to their foosball obsession — which dates back to their first European tour and is still played in their current practice space — but also serves to sum up the overarching concept of these four songs. “You always look back in rose colored glasses, and I always remember when this band was really struggling and we were selling our CD collections to pay our rent and that sucked at the time, but looking back that was an amazing time, that was so much fun. There was no pressure or anything,” explains Suptic. Kicker retains that carefree idealism — capturing the fresh urgency of their most revered releases — while proving that their journey is still unfolding. The Get Up Kids may have grown up but they haven’t become jaded.
Kicker is out now on Dine Alone. It is available for purchase here.
“Future house party rocker status.” – PASTE
“Erratic and lovesick.” – Noisey
“If Wayne Coyne teamed up with Phoenix.” – Clash
“Would feel at home on a 1980s John Hughes soundtrack.” – SPIN
“An inherently sunny quality, drawing heavily from 1970s American radio rock.” – NPR
“Forget the folk, what we have here is harmonized rock with considerable punch.” – Consequence of Sound
With three full length LPs to their name, including 2010’s self-titled debut, 2012’s Tiger Talk, and 2015’s On Blonde, Vancouver psych rock outfit Yukon Blonde have cemented their status as a Canadian powerhouse, earning comparisons to The Flaming Lips and Phoenix, delivering a welcomed throwback to the 1970’s glory days of rock’n’roll. After linking up with producer Tony Hoffer (The Kooks, Beck, Air) for their upcoming fourth album Critical Hit, out June 22 via Dine Alone Records, they’re aiming to show that Yukon Blonde is much more than just rock, incorporating elements of electronica and erratic pop with their familiar garage rock sound. The 13-track album is a deeply personal proposition on dating in the digital age. The record channels the varying emotions experienced while navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of today; It’s sometimes tenuous, sometimes depressing, and sometimes jubilant. “It’s hard to do a song by song breakdown, because as much sarcasm and wit as there is on this record, there is some intensely private shit in the lyrics too, and sometimes the vibe is just more our obsession with synthesizers and drum machines, aesthetics over lyrics,” vocalist Jeff Innes says.
After sharing the erratic lovesick synth-pop anthem “Crazy”, the surf rock tinged track “Emotional Blackmail”, and the garage party anthems “Love The Way You Are” and “Too Close To Love,” Yukon Blonde today reveal a fifth single “Cry” from their forthcoming album. A meditative, downcast heartbreak bop, the slow roller offers a new sonic tone for the rockers. “I just really wanted to write a song with a disco ballad vibe,” James Younger says about writing the track. “The lyrics came after the chords and rhythm were down – but its about persevering and knowing that grief is necessary, that change is necessary – even when it hurts so bad.”
Yukon Blonde are currently in the midst of a festival run in their home country through the summer, with full dates below.
1. Too Close To Love
2. Love The Way You Are
3. Emotional Blackmail
5. Hardly Even There
6. Feeling Digital
7. Summer in July
9. The Bluffs
10. Painting on a Smile
11. Dear Nancy
12. This Is Spain
13. Ritual Off The Docks
Yukon Blonde Tour Dates:
7/7: Calgary, AB @ Calgary Stampede
7/14: Ottawa, ON @ Mooney’s Bay Beach
7/17: Kelowna, BC @ Waterfront Park (w/ Bahamas)
7/27: Bengough, SK @ Bengough Regional Park
8/10-11: Kingston, ON @ Wolfe Island Music Festival
8/17-19: Rock Creek, BC @ Ponderosa Music Festival
9/7-9/9: Vancouver, BC @ Skookum Festival