Download Bravestation’s new song “Signs of the Civilized”

Bravestation signs of the civilized

Bravestation’s back! After stowing away for half a year, the Toronto band who I feel like describing today as mystical wave rock have put forth their first new offering, “Signs of the Civilized,” from their upcoming album.

“Signs of the Civilized” is airy and promising. It flutters and flaps its wings like a baby bird getting ready for its first take-off while under the tree it sits in, there are fish in a stream swimming down their yearly route as the ground seems to thaw. Bravestation’s rejuvenated, bringing the spring closer to us than global warming already has (and for that I’m thankful, to be honest).

Take a listen to the calm confidence. You can download the track in exchange for your email address.


Stories: The Ruby Spirit – Born Under a Veil

The Ruby Spirit
Here’s the third installment in my short story album review series, in which I incorporate an album I see as visual and memorable into some imaginative story of my own. This is usually what I see when I listen to this album. There’s no telling if I’m on the dot, but try it out for yourself. I’ve also embedded the songs throughout (and italics are lyrics).

I’ve chosen The Ruby Spirit’s Born Under a Veil for its theatrical personality, gusto and storytelling. The Toronto band released the album in September. I also reviewed the album for Exclaim.

The band plays the Great Hall tonight with The Wilderness, Bella Clava, The Lovely Killbots and more! $10. Band of Heroes comic book launch. For more information, see the Facebook event.

This story is focused on a character named Jody and her quest to break out of her boring lifestyle into something more thrilling by starting an underground theatre with her friends and putting on her first production.

She burned through the hallways, she burned through the liars

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Watch Nightbox’s new video for “Pyramid”


The lads of Nightbox premiered their official music video for “Pyramid” via this week’s episode of The Wedge on Much Music. Now we have it via YouTube. Just in time for the weekend, as this is that cute dancey party track you’ve been waiting for. Watch the five-piece revel in colour and imagination at an old, abandoned house and in a field (it looks cooler than how I’ve described, honestly).

Pyramid can be heard on the band’s debut EP and as a single, downloaded for free.

The band will open for the Radio Dept at the Horseshoe on Sunday.

Check out music from The Wilderness, Brazilian Money and Rattail

Today, we’re getting a sparkling dose of new wave, low-fi bedroom experimentation and off-kilter indie pop.

the wildernessThe Wilderness

I’ve been aware of this Toronto band for a while, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to put some verb into the sedentary thought bubble. I’m particularly keen on their single, “Realpolitik,” off their November-released album .272. It is hollow, electric and explosive. “Dancing’s all I can do lately, I’m so tired of everything,” is an easily identifiable line, and yet so blissfully ironic. The Wilderness are part glam, part new wave and part gritty electro rock. There’s definitely a little bit of something in there for numerous different kinds of listeners. Sometimes the instrumentation gets much more action than the vocals, which leaves the vocalist in this state of floating with some upwards static movement. .272 is like those neon lights you see at night through the car window as you blaze down the street, adding detail to a world that can otherwise be drab. You can stream the album on the band’s BandCamp page. Here’s a plus: see them at the Great Hall this Saturday with The Ruby Spirit, Bella Clava and more for the Band of Heroes comic book launch.

brazilian moneyBrazilian Money

While I may only have a certain amount of appreciation for bedroom low-fi pop, that means whatever does break through the barriers is impressive to me. Enter Alberta’s Garrett Johnson, aka Brazilian Money. Johnson actually recorded the album This is Not a Dream while feeling isolated from fun in Kelowna, BC. The product is a bit goofy, what with song titles like “Give Up That Dog” and “Bianca, Make Out With Yr Boyfriend!” Johnson is total funk and soul, from his high-pitched belts to the sassy looped guitar. It’s all covered in glitter and marked with post-its of reminders to go to the beach or pick up some party favours. There’s plenty to take in on this album, from warped noises to wide eyes. It’s quirk that I plan to keep around for the summertime. Stream the album on the BandCamp page.


Though the name doesn’t really conjure up the best image, Rattail is a promising new sound to my ears. This Toronto band has recently released four songs re-worked, which you can stream on their BandCamp page. Opener “I Swim” is a fluid, tribal electro daze, “George Tronic” is a slow, subtly distorted ballad with some really neat lyrics (“I share my eyes with you in hopes that my hands can be free, cross my bones and hope to die for you”), “ByeBye” takes things a bit more experimental with samples of funny vocal techniques and strings and “The Heat” has some nice melodies. Rattail has this weird underwater pioneer texture to them that I dig, it’s odd and adventurous but it feels smooth and comforting at the same time.

Exclusive Q&A: Bravestation

Bravestation’s release party for the 2010 EP is tonight at the El Mocambo as part of Two Way Monologues. Opening will be Retro Radio, Old World Vulture and Lovely Killbots. The Facebook invite has more details.

You can stream the 2010 EP in its entirety on Bravestation’s MySpace.

Sometimes when you hear music, you know automatically that you like it. Other times it takes a while to grow on you. Bravestation’s 2010 EP was the former for me. As soon as I started listening to them after receiving an email from the guitarist, Derek Wilson, I was hooked. I’m not sure what compelled me to be more interested in them than anyone else I get emails from (I’m getting to it, patience!), but the fact is it did and I’m glad. Plus, it just so happens that their main influences are some of my favourite artists, such as Foals. You can hear that almost immediately as well – but not in a copycat sort of way (*cough, Fleet Foxes, you are not My Morning Jacket, cough*), more like a really appreciative “this is what I’ve learned” kind of way.

It’s in Wilson’s guitars and Jeremy Rossetti’s drums, mainly, as they quickly flutter up and down (listen to “Colour Us with Youth”). The five song-long EP is an outstanding piece of work. Devin Wilson, the vocalist (and brother to Derek) has an interesting voice and is able to keep up with the quick jolts with his smooth melodies. Andrew Heppner’s synths and keyboards seem to be pretty influenced by the ‘80s, in fact I kind of felt like I was in the old Degrassi episodes for a bit (in a cool way, you know) but they evolve and flow in and out of the rest of the music. In these five songs, it’s hard not to want more from this relatively new Toronto band.

Usually new band EPs don’t sound this good, but these guys have all gone to recording school together. In fact, Bravestation started out as a school project. But as they become more dedicated to this as their collective passion, the value goes up. The 2010 EP is an impressive collection of dream-like reality under bright lights and darkness. As is swirls around you, try to stay stationary, but letting go every once in a while can always be beneficial. Bravestation provide a cool, refreshing sound for Toronto and because of it, they’re destined for great things.

Read on for Bravestation’s exclusive Q&A with RoundLetters on how they got started as a project, their live show struggles, the EP writing process and upcoming goals.

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