BTW-MONA, Diamond Mind, Lowlands, Laura Rain and the Caesars, Laughed The Boy, Lori Cullen, Little Scream, Piper Hayes

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Good to hear from this crew again. It's been a few years since MONA (Nick Brown, Zach Lindsay, Alex Lindsay, Jordan Young & Justin Wilson) released anything so there\s a palpable excitement around the band and its fans regarding the Oct. 28 unveiling of the six song EP, "In The Middle"

The five piece has seen rejigging and creative tensions since their last release and has come with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may very well be the best of their career. MONA recently gave fans a sneak peak of what they've been working on.

"We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best it's been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public," says front man Nick Brown. The band is currently preparing to join fellow label mates - The Wombats - as special guests on the second leg of their North American Tour for a handful of exclusive shows that will run until the first week of October. The first show kicks off on Tuesday, September 27th in Denver. In addition to the series of dates with The Wombats, Mona will be opening for July Talk on their North American Tour later this fall. The tour will run through mid-December. 

On Tour w/ The Wombats
9/27/2016 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
9/29/2016 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room Lounge
9/30/2016 - Des Moines, IA - Wooly's
10/1/2016 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
10/4/2016 - Tulsa, OK - The Vanguard
10/5/2016 - Dallas, TX - Trees
10/8/2016 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall

On Tour w/ July Talk
11/3/2016 - Washington, DC - DC9
11/4/2016 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theatre
11/5/2016 - Philadelphia, PA - The Boot & Saddle
11/6/2016 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
11/9/2016 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
11/11/2016 - TBA
11/12/2016 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
11/14/2016 - TBA
11/16/2016 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
11/17/2016 - Costa Mesa, CA - The Wayfarer
11/18/2016 - TBA
11/19/2016 -San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
11/21/2016 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
11/22/2016 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
12/12/2016 - Albany, NY - The Hollow
12/13/2016 - Burlington, VT - Showcase Lounge
12/14/2016 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
12/15/2016 - TBA
12/16/2016 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
12/17/2016 - TBA

Diamond MindDiamond MindIs it time yet for the second coming of Rush? If so, Diamond Mind would like to step up and they're making an intelligent, energetic, thought-provoking prog metal that could fit the bill. Debut LP, Heavy Metal Sunshine, is just out, and the Edmonton three-piece are supporting the album with a string of tour dates across Canada. A very ambitious teaser video backs the first single, “Horseless Coach."

Shot guerilla style in the failing light of Edmonton’s autumn, the video attempts to reflect the song in its tones both cartoonist and bleak. "Casting the band members as three figures in an interplanetary shakedown, this video tells the story, in brief, of an extra terrestrial’s first lonely visit to Earth,” says Diamond Mind. “We follow along as the beauty and absurdity of human culture passes through his naive lens while in the background insidious forces - an unwelcoming committee - conspire to cut the visit short.”

“Horseless Coach” was “largely inspired by the life of Frankie Dwyer Rowe and her experiences as a child in Roswell, New Mexico during the summer of 1947,” says Liam Trimble. “She and her father, the city’s fire marshall, unwittingly became key figures in a deep and enduring mystery when a fire in the sky, four mysterious corpses and a fistful of memory metal attract the unfriendly attention of an austere and uncompromising authority. The song is an imaginative retelling of a chase from city to city and across vast deserts -- of a wild and unearthly drama.” 

Heavy Metal Sunshine draws from many diverse wells – pop, noise, soul, all with an eye to the baroque, and continues to expand into new territory. The album was captured at Edmontone Studios by Jesse Brandon Northey, mixed by Renny Wilson at Value Sound, and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering. Throughout their past three EPs Diamond Mind have won audiences with the unique character of their songs, recorded in environments ranging from attic bedrooms to storied, established studios. The songs on Heavy Metal Sunshine echo this varied topography, ranging in content from intimate, confidential entries, elaborate pseudo-histories and haunting character sketches. 

DIAMOND MIND TOUR DATES
Oct 20 - Calgary, AB - Broken City - Alberta Release Show
Oct 25 - Windsor, ON - The Phog Lounge
Oct 26 - Toronto, ON - The Burdock
Oct 28 - Montreal, QC - Brasserie Beaubien
Oct 29 - Ottawa, ON - Avant-Garde Bar
Oct 31 - Sudbury, ON - Speakeasy
Nov 3 - Thunder Bay, ON - The Foundry
Nov 4 - Winnipeg, MB - The Handsome Daughter
Nov 5 - Saskatoon, SK - Vangelis
Nov 6 - Lethbridge, AB - Attainable
Nov 8 - Kelowna, BC - Fernandos Pub
Nov 9 - Vancouver, BC - Astoria
Nov 19 - Edmonton, AB - Venue TBA - Release Show

LowlandsLowlandsCome Oct. 28th, Guelph Ontario's, Lowlands will offer the second contribution to their 5-part Great Lakes album series with the release of, Erie. The 10-track album eloquently investigates the dynamics of human relationship; connecting the quest for answers in our day-to-day with the intrigue and vastness of natural phenomenon. The album floats with a weary grace, finding peace in the unknown. 

Erie features production by The Wooden Sky lead-vocalist, Gavin Gardiner. At the helm, Gardiner offers a wide palette of sonic colouring, deepening each song's exploration. While limiting overdubs and encouraging a live off-off-the-floor recording process, the album shines through the maturity and subtlety of the band's performance; lending a confident but delicate foundation for the croons, yelps and pensive cries of singer Gordon Auld's poetic vocals. As Gardiner notes on first finding intrigue in the project, "I was drawn in by the power and timelessness of Gord's voice, both as a singer and songwriter".

The Wooden Sky will be releasing Erie on their newly formed label, Chelsea Records. Founded as an avenue to release the Wooden Sky's 2014 LP, Let's Be Ready, Chelsea Records aims to become a platform for other artists and songwriters and couldn't be more excited to forge that path with the release of, Erie.

Erie begins with a distant banjo and a wistful croon, providing a timeless setting for the story to unfold. As the record carries through its 10 tracks, the listener floats through hints of blues, folk, bluegrass and rock; featuring affecting acoustic guitars supported by Neil Young Zuma era inspired electrics, drumming akin to the measured steadiness of fellow Canadians, Great Lake Swimmers, dreamy slide guitar drifting beautifully throughout, personifying the picturesque, and all with the sonic richness likened to Beck's masterful, Sea Changes.

Based in Guelph, Ontario Lowlands' draw inspiration from dreamscapes, folklore and the stark, harshness of the Canadian landscape. The Instrumentation of the group is perfectly supported by the co-songwriting of Gordon Auld and Abe Del Bel Belluz. With the support of local musicians and songwriters Matt Monoogian and Joseph Gallo Jr., the band brings their dark and unique blend of country, delta blues and bluegrass into venues across Canada, singing songs with a raw, disarming vulnerability.

TOUR DATES:

10 /22 - Wakefield, QC @ The Black Sheep
10/27 - Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
10/29-Oshawa, ON @ Moustache Club
11/4 - Windsor, ON @ Phog Lounge
11/5 - Peterborough, ON @ Gordon Best
11/11 - Montreal, QC @ Bar le Ritz PDB
11/12 - Kingston, ON @ Grad Club
11/24 - Toronto, ON @ The Gladstone
11/25 - Guelph, ON @ The Ebar
11/26 - Elora, ON @ Elora Brewing Company The Wooden Sky

Laura RainLaura RainMotor City Soul-Blues-R&B dynamos Laura Rain and the Caesars are set to release their 3rd record entitled “Gold.” A collection of 12 original songs penned by vocalist Laura Rain and guitarist/producer George Friend, “Gold” harkens back to the golden age of soul, funk and r&b…a world where the song, emotion and performance come first. Echoes of Motown, Stax, Royal, United Sound and Muscle Shoals permeate the sonic landscape, while Rain flourishes in her fiery soulful delivery. Cut to 16 track TAPE in a giant room in downtown Pontiac, MI, “Gold” is the culmination of Rain and Friend’s latest songwriting binge. Starting in November 2014, the two wrote for months between tours and gathered up their favorites to bring to the studio. Recording commenced in May 2015 with a who’s who of Detroit’s finest players, all bringing their own unique sound to the sessions. Live performances, real people, one room…just like the classic vinyl records

Laura Rain & the Caesars dish out HARD funk with “You Can’t Stop,” funky fuzz guitar blues “Raise Your Hand,” 70s dance “Pay to Play,” and Motown stompers “Work So Hard” and the title track “Gold.” Laura digs deep into soul ballads with “Ring on the Table,” “Ready to Love,” and “Better Than Me,” and glides over heavy grooves with blues like “Guilty Me” and “Cherry Pickin’.” Set opener “Hard Times” hurls Rain into the retro-modern stratosphere with pounding vintage r&b and reverb soaked guitar. Laura Rain proves once again she is a first-rate soul singer, capable of getting her audience to feel and taste the intensity and emotion through her music. If you dig your LaVern Baker and your Sharon Jones, you'll want to be at Hugh's Room Sun. Oct. 23.

Laughed The BoyLaughed The BoyUnder the radar pick of the week is Laughed The Boy, a post altfolk trio straight outa Kensie Market.

Here's their straight from the heart presser: "This song is the first track on our upcoming full length album scheduled to be released by the end of the year. It’s one of the first songs we started playing as a full band and really captures the garage-minimalist sound that will be prevalent on the album. Though bright and bouncy in melody, the song is a personal reflection on disenchantment in young adulthood.

"Laughed the Boy began as my outlet for honest and unpretentious 90s nostalgia inspired songs After having more songs written than I knew what to do with, I brought my bedroom project to life when I went into the studio with my brother Sean to record their EP “Out of the Blue."

"The two of us added our friend and bass player Brennan to the lineup and began playing the songs live. While rehearsing for shows, we ended up with an album’s worth of fresh material and headed into the studio once again to record 9 new tracks that will make up our debut full length LP scheduled to be released by the end of 2016.”

Lori Cullen Lori Cullen An intriguing project full of lush promise from Lori Cullen comes out Oct.28 and fans of roots Canadiana are gonna wet themselves, See, apart from Cullen, the thing employs the stand alone talents of Ron Sexsmith and Kurt SWinghamer in creating an album's worth of bespoke songs for Cullen.

Said Lori, "Having two of my favourite people who also happen to be my favourite songwriters write an album of material for ME to sing is beyond exciting.

Like so many songs on this record Ron Sexsmith has written lyrics so personal but also so universal. Making babies is nothing new or original but when you have your own the world is forever changed. The joy and love is infinite and you'll never sleep the same again. This song, as well as the upcoming album, was recorded at Canterbury Sound by veteran engineer Jeremy Darby (FOG, Pixies, Lou Reed) and produced by Maury Lafoy, who also played bass along with the core band of drummer Mark Mariash, keyboardist Robbie Grunwald, and guitarist Swinghammer."

 

SEXSMITH SWINGHAMMER SONGS TRACK LIST

  1. The Face Of Emily
  2. Miracle Home
  3. Strange Is This Life
  4. New Love
  5. Something Right
  6. This Morning
  7. Beginner’s Luck
  8. Off Somewhere (duet with Ron Sexsmith)
  9. Then There Were Three
  10. Some Part Of Me
  11. Don’t Go Yet
  12. True

UPCOMING DATES
Oct 29 - Toronto, ON - Hugh’s Room (Album Launch)

Little ScreamLittle ScreamBITS'N'PIECES- After touring North America this past spring with the likes of Operators, Land Of Talk and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and with the shimmering complex pop of Cult Following racking up chart action eveerywhere, Little Scream spent the summer touring Europe and making appearances at festivals such as WayHome, Vancouver Folk Festival, Panorama and SappyFest. Now she heads back out on the road this October including what promises to be a very special appearance in Toronto at The Baby G on October 23. After which it's onto a US tour highlighted by a set at the Voodoo Festival in NOLA Oct. 30. 

Piper HayesPiper HayesTouch Martini on College ST. is a tiny room so it was a given it'd be a small crowd for Piper Hayes EPrelease show. And damn, they were enthusiastic as the lady, backed by Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (guitar) and Siavash Sadr Mahdavi (drums) worked through the songs off brand new EP Goodbye Mr. Nice Guy. The material is all about the eternal cycle of love, heartbreak, and rebirth and the trifecta of.'Lovin' You, You're Gone and Honey(Goodbye Mr. Nice Guy) was the highlight of the set, with Hayes pouring the hurt and mixed emotions of the first two songs into the crucible of 'fuck off' defiance that is 'Honey'. The harmonies in tandem with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe were spot on and Hayes went in search of the vulnerability and the hope in the songs, burnishing them to a shine via her forceful vocals and from the gut lyrics. Bonus for us was a previously unheard song, "In The Bone," dealing with remembering where you came from and respecting that place and its people, which resonated mightily with the audience.