Collective Concerts Presents
1197 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON, M6J 1X3
Doors 8:00 PM
This event is 19 and over
Alex Zhang Hungtai, AKA Dirty Beaches, started off as a one man band in 2005 in Montreal. A trans-pacific nomad and genre hopping sound smith, his past releases include drone instrumentals, film scores and a fascination with dissecting popular american music like blues, rockabilly, soul, RNB, and hip hop, often rendering them to the point where its no longer recognizable.
His latest release, Drifters/Love Is The Devil, is a double LP that chronicles the musician's life on the road over the past 2 years, as we follow him down the rabbit hole through the labyrinths of Berlin, Belgrade, Paris, and many other cities through heartbreak, rebirth and masochistic existential self reflection.
Recorded between Montreal and Berlin in the winter of 2012, the double LP is separated only by aesthetics, as they are tightly woven together thematically as one conceptual piece. If 2011?s Badlands was an exercise in exorcising past ghosts in a semi-fictional world, then Drifters/Love Is The Devil is a reflection on the fragility of reality. One, of the surface world in which he explores the night life of bright neon temptations dwelling in hedonistic irresponsible values, and the other of the inner world, one of remorse and lovelorn tragedies.
As stated by the artist himself, "the most honest piece of music I've ever written." Drifters/Love Is The Devil is out May 21st, 2013 on ZOO MUSIC.
SISU is Sandra Vu. The LA-based singer/multi-instrumentalist layers airy, harmony-laden vocals over dreamy synthwave, which has been described as "Smithsian shoegaze" (Village Voice) and "Nightmarish Beach House" (Santa Barbara Independent). Though she's a seasoned drummer (Dum Dum Girls, The Raveonettes, Boredoms, Dirty Beaches), she's stepped out from behind the kit to center stage for SISU, opening on tour dates for Cat Power, Marnie Stern, DIIV, and Metronomy.
"Blood Tears", SISU's first full-length album (due September 2013), builds on the recently released "Light Eyes" EP (April 2013), offering a bigger sound and a heightened sense of drama. As Vu explains, "These are pop songs with un-pop sounds." SISU is defined by contrast and juxtaposition, and Vu finds a particular challenge and joy in combining opposites—soft and hard, loud and quiet, abrasive and smooth—to arrive at this aesthetic.
Writing songs for the album was catharsis for Vu, who used the process to overcome a period of disillusionment in between bands. "Blood Tears" is about relationships and the creative process—the necessity of pain for growth or creation," she says. "Sometimes you have to kill a part of yourself to become stronger." The new single "Harpoons" is a declaration of this power and independence found in divorcing yourself from the past. Both aggressive and sublime, it's quintessential SISU. From this experience, Vu found her voice, naming it SISU, the Finnish word for "extreme perseverance."
"Blood Tears" is the second release under the MONO PRISM umbrella—a collective of artists and springboard for music, film, and print projects. David South, SISU's touring bassist, heads MONO PRISM, directed SISU's first music video, "Two Thousand Hands," and creates the band's live visuals. It was these immersive audiovisual experiences that caught Cat Power's attention, which lead to SISU supporting her on numerous dates earlier this year.
Vu wrote, played, and produced "Blood Tears" with bandmates Ryan Wood (co-producer), Nathanael Keefer (drums), and Lars Stalfors (Chelsea Wolfe, The Soft Pack, The Mars Volta) mixed the album. Julianna Medeiros (Dum Dum Girls) joins SISU live on synth and backup vocals.