Jack Garratt – Phase

(If you like: Chet Faker, Ed Sheeran, Son Little)  As the saying goes, if you want something done properly, just do it yourself. British multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt takes that to heart when writing his music. A guitar, a keyboard, a drum machine, and a soulful voice make up Garratt’s toolbox on his debut record Phase. Combining elements of electronic, alternative, and heart-felt lyricism, his music is something heard before, but in a refreshing way. All of the songs from Phase share a similar resemblance: trembling bass drum, blues-inspired guitar riffs,…

Milk Teeth – Vile Child

(If you like: Nirvana, Jimmy Eat World, Refused)  From a small town near Bristol, UK comes quartet-turned-trio Milk Teeth. Formed in 2012, the British outfit are doing their part to revive the glory of ‘90s grunge and punk, but avoiding a copy-and-paste style guide. Since releasing a small handful of EPs and singles, the trio of Becky Blomfield (bass/vocals), Chris Webb (guitar), and Oliver Holbrook (drums), along with newly-ex guitarist/co-vocalist Josh Bannister, have released their debut full-length Vile Child. Incorporating emo, punk, and grunge into the new record, Vile uncannily…

The Inflation Kills – Grounds for Termination EP

(If you like: Refused, Monster Truck, The Dirty Nil)  So much has changed in ten years – just in the world of punk. Since 2005, we’ve seen the maturity of pop punk, the spark in popularity of hardcore punk, and a formative revival of the intense, hook-driven punk rock. But little did everyone know, the past decade was missing something. That was until The Inflation Kills released their first track since the 2005 self-titled album. “Churches” quickly reminded fans of the band’s dominating song writing ability, boasting their familiar aggression in the…

Modern Space – Before Sunrise EP

(If you like: The Arkells, Tokyo Police Club, Hollerado) There is a growing love for Canadian indie rock bands, with more and more acts popping up, and a gradual take over on radio stations and streaming services. Groups like The Elwins, Zerbin, and Ivory Hours have their early predecessors such as The Arkells, Tokyo Police Club, and Mother Mother for paving the way, as music lovers around the world take Canadian indie rock more seriously with each highlighted release. Toronto five-piece Modern Space are taking advantage of the thriving genre, and…

Reversing Falls – Reversing Falls 2

Montreal fuzz-pop outfit Reversing Falls have been fairly quiet since their 2013 self-titled debut release, and introduced the next chapter in their discography back in September with the single “Are You There?” For the new track, founding members Tyler Crawford and Charlie Neufeld recruited drummer Jamie Thompson to replace their drum machine, helping to record an album on their own terms. And although “Are You There?” did not make the new album, Reversing Falls are still deeply rooted in a fuzzy, distorted ‘90s pop style on their sophomore release appropriately…

Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys has teamed up with American rock band Cage the Elephant to produce their fourth studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty. The band’s musical style has varied greatly since their first album in 2008, and the latest addition to their discography is no exception. Tell Me I’m Pretty is a departure from the aggressively energetic beats, bold bass lines, and heavy percussion that has characterized their sound in the past, without losing the energy that makes them unique. This isn’t the first time Cage the…

Little You, Little Me – I’d Watch the Day Til It Died

Little You, Little Me have a clear disinterest in the world of pop music; in fact, they go as far as to categorize their music as “anti-pop”. Instead, the fuzz-fuelled four-piece create abrasive and somehow articulate noise-rock, providing a rugged soundscape with the mind of punk and the flare of East Coast rock n’ roll. Based out of St. John, New Brunswick since 2009, Little You, Little Me released their debut full-length What Have You Been Doing With Yer Time in 2013, and now have polished their distorted sound for their sophomore…

Young Galaxy – Falsework

3/5 Dreamy electronic pop beats serve as a colourful backdrop for Catherine McCandless’ confident vocal delivery on Young Galaxy‘s fifth studio album, Falsework. Over the past few years, the Montreal-based indie synth-pop band has changed directions from their “shoegaze” indie rock beginnings as they were opening for acts like Arcade Fire and Death Cab For Cutie. Now they’re settling into their own unique sound that demonstrates their musical strengths, but they haven’t quite narrowed it down yet. Layers of synth, bass, strong lead vocals with breathy backup vocals, and a tempo…

5 Seconds of Summer – Sounds Good Feels Good

4/5 The members of 5 Seconds of Summer have spent their careers trying to defy the media-perpetuated boy band label that they have been given. The band gained a massive following on YouTube, but rose to international fame opening for One Direction, the quintessential boy band of the modern age. Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin have all risen to teen heartthrob status yet insist they are more punk than pop. Their latest release, Sounds Good Feels Good, reinforces the pop punk image the band has worked…

Half Moon Run – Sun Leads Me On

3.5/5 More than three years after their first album, Canadian folk-rock band Half Moon Run have finally released their second studio album, titled Sun Leads Me On. Popularity and anticipation has been building steadily since their debut as they played numerous tour stops, such as Ottawa Bluesfest in 2013 and Osheaga in 2014. This album was − for the most part − worth the long wait. It has the same heavy percussion and wide selection of instruments as Dark Eyes, but with more of a folk influence. The Montreal-based band…