BTW Century Thief, Lief Hall, CARLO, Dee & The Grand Brothers, NXNE, Trent Severn, Betty Moon, Excuses, Excuses, Tara Shannon

Century Thief.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Here's a genre-defying crew with a lot of reach and some neat riffing.

For starters, check the ever-expanding orchestral folk-pop of ''Deaf Beneath The Waves" here:

Century Thief is a six-piece band based in Toronto, ON. They bring a blend of introspection and energy, sometimes soft, sometimes noisy experimental indie rock featuring brass, woodwinds, keys, guitars, bass, drums and multi-layered vocal harmonies.

Their favourite description comes from a sound engineer in Montreal, who described the band as trash lounge folk prog rock. Drawing on influences like Broken Social Scene, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Wilco, and Elliott Smith, it seems pretty apt. They are noisy and melodic, with a touch of salty nostalgia.

The band members found it important to have a bigger hand in the recording process and decided to self-produce their EP. In the spring they isolated themselves at a farmhouse in Northern Ontario for a week and a half to begin tracking, using the ambience of the house to create a natural reverb by placing a mic in an empty wooden hallway upstairs.  The result was songs that are darker, more spacious and less acoustic than Reverie, incorporating more electronic sounds, such as synthetic keyboards and effected guitars and vocals.

The album is just out and there are no tour plans to date but keep an eye out for them in your area.

Lief HallLief Hall

Vancouver based electronic artist Lief Hall released her new album Roses For Ruin early in April and spent much of that month on the road for a West Coast tour of the USA with multi-instrumentalist ERAS. After taking a short break she's back at it, heading out for a string of Western Canadian shows with Kellarissa, followed by more dates in the US and Eastern Canada.

Hall has been spending much of her downtime finishing up her new video for 'Glass & Obsidian' which will be premiering later this month. The track is the 3rd single from Roses for Ruin. The first single, the title track, 'Roses for Ruins' was released earlier this year when the video premiered on Exclaim!.  The second single 'Lead Blood' was released in March. Roses For Ruins is a collection of songs which blends electronic beats, foreboding synths and haunting vocal harmonies into pop-flirting melodies which explore the connection between the personal and the political, nature, technology and the subconscious. Listen to the full album here

Previously a member of electronic duo MYTHS and no wave trio Mutators, Lief Hall began her solo project while living in Berlin in 2014, creating layered experimental all-vocal compositions in her album Voices (2014) and integrating dark electronic production with layered vocal harmonies in her EP Transform (2015). Recorded by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor on Gabriola Island, Roses for Ruins marks a new direction for Hall's solo work, integrating acoustic instrumentation with Elisa Thorn on harp, Byron Peters on drums, Martin Reisle on cello and Jordan Koop on guitar.

"Releasing this album was very exciting for me because it's the first time I have incorporated acoustic instrumentation in my solo work, which has been a long time dream of mine," says Hall. "I worked with amazing musicians who come from a slightly different musical background than myself, all trained in either jazz, classical or new music, but with a dedicated practice in improvisation and experimental technique. Working with them was such a pleasure and incorporating live instrumentation into my music is something I definitely plan to continue in the future."

Roses for Ruins is currently available on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services.

May 31 - Saskatoon, SK - Paved w/ Kellarissa
June 1 - Winnipeg, MB - The Handsome Daughter w/ Kellarissa, Ghost Twin + Tansy
June 10 - Queens, NY - HOLO w/ Kayla Guthrie + Holy Hum
June 11 - Providence, RI - Machines with Magnets  w/ Val Martino + House Red
June 14 - Boston, MA - Lilypad w/ Vehement Caress + Lure
June 15 - Montreal, QC - Psychic City w/ Petra Glynt
June 20 - Toronto, ON - Double Double Land w/ Mary Ocher, Bile Sister + Canadian Romantic
June 30 - Halifax, NS - The Seahorse w/ Jeff Pineau  

CARLOCARLOWhether they’re described as throwbacks to a more innocent time in music, or so hip it hurts, CARLO is simply a solid band. Drawing equally from Link Wray, Ennio Morricone and Booker T & The MGs, the all-original Toronto instrumental combo has firmly embedded itself on the scene with a self-titled album guaranteed to make any situation a lot cooler.

CARLO is comprised of guitarist James Taylor, keyboardist Kelsey McNulty, bassist Scott McConnell, and current drummer Justin Rupple. Since releasing a debut EP in 2015, the band members have consistently developed their distinctive approach to well-established sounds. CARLO, the album, boldly displays the fruits of that evolution over the past two years.

CARLO was recorded live at Magnephonic Records in Ottawa, using analogue tape and vintage microphones for the highest possible fidelity reproduction. The album was then mastered for vinyl by Precision Pressing using state of their state of the art technology. Such attention to detail is a crucial part of Carlo’s aesthetic although, as evidenced by the band’s enigmatic name, they don’t necessarily follow the rulebook to the letter.

“We all love instrumental music of the 1960s, whether its soul or surf,” guitarist Taylor says. “And then there’s also the influence of film music from that era—spaghetti western-type stuff with a splash of Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini.  In fact, most instrumental music from the ‘60s and beyond has never gotten its due, so we try to pay tribute to as much of that as we can.”

CARLO may be music geeks, but man, do they know their signature surf'n'funk. Nice stuff for dance floor sailin' on a summer night.

Dee & The Grand BrothersDee & The Grand Brothers

More than ten years in the making, Canadian music veterans Dee and The Grand Brothers have finally released their debut full-length collaborative album under Patiently Awaiting The Meteorite, Canyon Diablo.  

You’ll hear Bon Iver, Pink Floyd, The Dandy Warhols, Beck and more in the grooves, as the psychedelic and progressive sounds of the 60s and 70s cross over to the cutting edge of rock today.

Having met in 2006 while working on Dee’s second solo album, Day By Day, a fast friendship that would solidify over time was formed. With synergies throughout their professional music production careers, it was a chance pop-in at a New York City studio in 2015 where the question of “Hey guys, why don’t we write some tunes together” turned into “since we’re having so much fun, let’s start a band!”

The multi-decade refinement in each of their production styles and art shows in Patiently Awaiting The Meteorite and Canyon Diablo. The trio’s sonic signature is at once modern yet vintage, diverse but flawlessly finessed, familiar yet wholly unexpected. No wheels reinvented here but it's tasty melange of a certain kind of Montreal rock that'll get ya.

NXNE is pleased to announce the first round of programming for the Yonge-Dundas Square ‘Festival Village’ along with the Club Land Curator series line-up. Yonge Street will be open to pedestrians between Dundas and Queen Streets to host this year’s free programming component of the festival, which includes music, comedy and more in the heart of downtown Toronto.

NXNE’s 2018 Festival Village headliners include Toronto’s most energetic and enigmatic MC Jazz Cartier, rapper/singer of ‘212’ and ‘Anna Wintour’ fame Azealia Banks, and Queen of Bounce Big Freedia.
Festival Village Lineup
Jazz Cartier, Azealia Banks, Big Freedia, U.S. Girls, TORRES, Sean Leon, Alx Veliz, Yungblud, Cadence Weapon, Kamikaze Girls, Nate Husser, and many more!   

Club Land
The Club Land Curators Series, programmed by leading Canadian musicians, has expanded with over 30 shows throughout the festival week. Club crawlers can look forward to a diverse range of programming including art installations, emerging artist showcases, late night DJ sets and after parties, all in Toronto’s most cherished venues. This year’s Club Land acts include Phedre, Ice Cream, Die Mannequin, Saya, Charlotte Cornfield, Sun K, Myst Milano, The Pick Brothers, La Timpa (DJ Set) Goodbye Honolulu.

Ontario folk trio Trent Severn doesn't shy away from getting involved. Their trademark vocal blend and stripped down approach to modern life in Canada has landed hundreds of festival and series appearances, a feature article in MacLean’s Magazine (2012), a feature in Harrowsmith Almanac (2016), national television performances, a CBC radio live recording (2014) and the honour of singing an original arrangement of ‘O Canada!’ on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day flag-raising (2013).

Trent Severn is the first band to receive a call to a show from outer space when Commander Chris Hadfield called in a song request from the International Space Station to their live show in Goderich, Ontario (2013). They were also the first to back up Col. Hadfield on his hit cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" in space, on earth. Trent Severn is a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated group, and the members have four Juno nominations between them. Trent Severn is Emm Gryner: Bass~ Dayna Manning: Guitar/Banjo~Lindsay Schindler:   The ladies make a rare T.Dot appearance tonight(May 31) at Heliconian Club on Hazleton. It's an early one with a 5.30 door and music at 6.

Trent Severn On Tour
June 1 @ 8:00PM

Trent Severn - Dresden, ON

The Old Czech Hall  Dresden, ON

Saturday, June 2 @ 8:00PM

Trent Severn - Goderich, ON

The Livery Theatre, Goderich, ON

Sunday, June 3 @ 3:00PM

Trent Severn - Kitchener, ON

The Registry Theatre, Kitchener, ON

Saturday, June 30

Trent Severn - Chi-Cheemaun Dinner Cruise

MS Chi-Cheemaun, Tobermory, ON

Monday, July 9 @ 7:30PM

Trent Severn - WURST's Honky Tonk

WURST , Calgary, AB

Tuesday, July 10 — Thursday, July 12

Trent Severn - WURST's Honky Tonk

WURST , Calgary, AB

From her third and impactful solo album, Fine But Dying, out now on Arts & Crafts, Liza Anne releases the new video for Kid Gloves”. A feminist anthem, “Kid Gloves”, explores the misconception that, as a woman, you are automatically viewed as fragile, vulnerable and need protecting. ‘I’m not too fragile to touch / I don’t need your Kid Gloves’, Liza declares. The track, with a drum beat as defiant as its message, encourages young women everywhere to project their inner power.


The single is off  Fine But Dying which explores issues that women confront daily, as well as mental health and anxiety issues. A deeply introspective record, “I’m Tired, You’re Lonely” which may for everyone, it marks Liza Anne as a strikingly confessional songwriter, soundtracked to music that is suggestive of Courtney Barnett and First Aid Kit.


Jun 30 - Nashville, TN - Musicians Corner @ Centennial Park
Jul 3 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest 2018
Jul 6 - Quebec City, QC - Festival d'ete de Quebec
Jul 7 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Blues Fest

Betty MoonBetty Moon

SINGLED OUT  Four singles deep and Betty Moon's electropop Gothrock outing Chrome continues to carve out space on radio and streams. The latest, 'Parachute' features a vocal that's all about the warmth and beauty of free falling with a parachute at your back. It rides a bouncy little riff and features fine high end vocalizing from the lady and a snappy backbeat that adds subtle shades of Blondie to the end game.

 Check the video here.

Excuses, ExcusesExcuses, Excuses

Fast rising Toronto alt-rockers Excuses Excuses have released "Rebel Without A Clue," the second single from their sophomore EP Catch Me If You Can. The song premieres exclusively today at Live In Limbo and is available to purchase through CD Baby. Rebel Without a Clue” mixes a modern love story with the passion and determination it takes to find a clear direction on life’s journey. Although for some the song’s title may recall a famous Tom Petty lyric, the band felt it best expressed the message they wanted to get across that uncertainty goes hand in hand with taking control of your life, and the sooner you accept that fact, the better. On a more practical level, it’s Excuses Excuses’ attempt at writing pop music, even though, not surprisingly, it turned out inherently gritty

Adult-contemporary artist Tara Shannon is pumped to announce the release of new single, ‘Someone Who Understands (Remix) in collaboration with local Ottawa talent Cody Coyote. Written by Hayley McLean, produced by Michael Steinslein and with additional lyrics by Cody Coyote, this new track is a testament to the incredible sounds that come from a collaboration from Ottawa’s thriving music scene.

Blending the traditional sounds of Tara’s original single ‘Someone Who Understands’ with Cody’s lyrical hip-hop and electronic influences, this new remix helps listeners find common ground and connects multiple generations of music lovers.

Finally, rock lovers all over are in shock at the sudden pulling of the plug on Andy Frost's iconic Psychedelic Sunday radio show, a listening must-have for throngs of all ages and a man who never heard a request he didn't honour, nor shrink from throwing out the corporate playlist to do so. It is to be hoped another outlet has the suss and sass to get Psychedelic Sunday back on the air.

Keep supporting live music. What do you have to lose?