Fast Romantics

Fast Romantics

While Fast Romantics’ earlier work prompted comparisons to Elvis Costello and Blur, Afterlife Bluescarves a bit of a different path right through the great cities of American music. From New Jersey to Detroit, and then cutting down through the heartland, they have somehow managed to combine all of these sounds without selling their distinctly Canadian souls.

Singer/songwriter Matthew Angus says that working with producer Howard Redekopp for a second time meant that they could really relax and just be themselves. Once they got going, it became clear that the ten songs on the new LP would come out a lot easier than on past recordings.

“We did a lot of soul searching over the last few years, and now it feels like we’re nothing but soul,” he laughs. “It’s funny what can happen when you go through enough shit. I was taking stock one day and it suddenly hit me that I’d broken up with a lot of people and never bothered to write about it. It all flowed out from there.”

When asked if that means that Afterlife Blues is a breakup album, Angus says not quite. “Well maybe on one level, yeah. There’s that cycle of heartache and stumbling upon love, dying and then waking back up. I’m not trying to be all that clever anymore, lyrically a lot of it is dead simple. Like music from the early ’60s, when you could just spill your guts, and people would thank you for it, and that would be that.

“It’s not all heartbreak. You know, we like it loud, and I think it actually feels pretty playful and even euphoric at times. There’s a good blend of blood, guts, and bliss. That’s the sort of record we wanted to make.”

Cold Eskimo (closing set)

Rachelle Martin, Julian Loy, Gary Bladen and Nick Bear integrate soothing harmonies, adventurous rhythms and lush guitars that are the backbone of Northern California's Cold Eskimo. Soon after the band's conception in early 2011, Bear, Martin and Bladen secluded themselves in Mendocino, a coastal town hidden in the foggy, redwood forest. There, they wrote many songs featured in "Glass Beach" and tracks such as Big River, Glass Beach and Mendocino are reflections of their experience. "Glass Beach" is the the band's debut album and was recorded by Jon Deutche at Los Angeles' Studio L and Josh Benton at Pus Cavern in Cold Eskimo's hometown of Sacramento.

Mise en Scene

All are abundant throughout the nine tracks comprising Desire’s Despair, the debut full-length from indie rock/pop pair Mise en Scene. Due to drop late 2012 on Winnipeg imprint Pipe & Hat, the record follows Mise en Scene’s 2010 EP Late Night Triple Feature and is poised to propel this boisterous x-chromosome-only duo to a new plateau.

First uniting in small-town Manitoba through a mutual love of the arts, Stefanie Blondal Johnson (guitar/vocals) and Jodi Dunlop (drums) began painting together during the off-hours of their respective summer jobs. The partnership born of brushes and canvas soon evolved into one of road-worn six-strings and broken drumsticks. “We had totally different influences at the time,” Johnson recalls, “but like our painting, it just felt so natural making music together.”

Bears For Sharks

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