Two Crown King

Genre: Alternative/Hip Hop

Picture from Facebook

Two Crown King is a band from London, Ontario and consists of Adam Dick and Sean Goodchild on vocals, Drew Hopeson as DJ, Ajay Massey on guitar, Scotty Parker on keys, Jeremy Pimentel on bass, and James Tanney on drums. The band first began in 2009 when Adam and Sean met in London, they began working on music together and by the end of 2009 they had a full band. Soon they released their first demo titled Is A Demo, later releasing two more EPs. This band is relatively new, so I’m excited to hear what else they put out in the world of Alternative Canadian music.

I listened to their track titled “We Get Down.” Firstly, my first thought is about their video, it is done quite well and features many different people dancing to their music in a variety of settings. They follow a solid formula in terms of form of this track which works in their favour, with the rapped verses followed by the alternative-ness chorus sung with a rougher type of vocals. The hook is quite catchy. Overall, their music is great.

Please check it out!

Video:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/TwoCrownKing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Crown_King


Hello Seahorse!

Genre: Indie/Rock/Pop

Picture from vivelohoy.com

Hello Seahorse! is by no means an unknown band, but they are to the majority of our viewership. Hello Seahorse! came to be in 2005 and are from Mexico City, Mexico.¡Son impresionantes! Hello Seahorse consists of singer Denise Gutiérrez, also known as Lo Blondo, Fernando Burgos (Oro de Neta) on keyboard, Gabriel G. De León (Bonnz!) on Drums, and José Borunda (Joe) on guitar. All of the memebers, minus Denise share various instrumental roles in the recording of their discography, ie bass, additional guitar, etc. Hello Seahorse! has put out albums in English and Spanish, but their later albums have mostly been in Español. Hello Seahorse! has opened the Beastie Boys, and The Killers and have also been nominated for many awards in the Latin Grammy Awards.

Below is my favorite song, “No Es Que No Te Quiera” (meaning, It Is That You Do not Want). Although they sing in Spanish, I really reccomend you check them out, even if you do not understand, I especially enjoy the chorus of this song in partricular. Their music is vibrant, full of texture, and deep. I have listened to their latest album, Arunima probably about a million times. They make good use of synths and keyboards, but while still providing a good and solid rhythm. Don’t let the Spanish intimidate you.

Check them out!

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/HelloSeahorseOficial?fref=ts

http://helloseahorse.com/

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The Darcys

Genre: Indie/Rock

Picture taken from The Darcys’ Facebook page

The Darcys are a band you may have heard of actually, after receiving acclaim from local publications  from their home town of Toronto. The Darcys are an intriguing group that list their influences as Heideigger, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Cormac McCarthy, which you can actually see in their music. The Darcys often sound subdued and nervous, and their questioning and hopeful tones are evident on their albums and fluctuate between being soft to tough, and often being both. Some of their songs can be indie dance floor anthems, where others are ones would be fitting to anxiously pace around your bedroom while also kind of swaying with it. Their songs are extremely varied in speed and tone, and their progression from their first eponymous album to their most recent album, “Warring”, is one that is constantly evolving.

They describe themselves as “art rock” which suggests that there is a conscious goal of creating music that is thought and emotion provoking for the listener, as well as being very visual. Their website, music videos, and their Tumblr even are very conscious of also making their music visual. While listening to their songs, there is a theme of fervour in how they sing and play, which really makes them stand apart from other artists that can be apathetic and not in an enjoyable way.

The Darcys are Jason Couse who is on vocals, guitar, keys, Wes Marksell who is on drums, Michael le Riche who plays guitar, synth, and does vocals, and Dave Hurlow who is on bass. Like mentioned, The Darcys are a Toronto based band who is signed with the Toronto record label, Arts and Crafts.

They also have a super active online presence and often respond to people on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which is always cool! Another fun fact about The Darcys is that they also make plenty of remixes for their own songs, and other bands which are also really good. They previously opened for Bombay Bicycle Club on tour in 2012, and they are currently going across to many high schools, universities, and local venues across Canada. Another thing about The Darcys that makes them unique is the huge number of shows they play, which speaks even more to their level of dedication to their music. Check out their website (link below!) for more details if there’s a show near you!

Here’s a link to one of my favourite songs of theirs, called “Itchy Blood”:

https://soundcloud.com/the-darcys
http://www.thedarcys.ca/
http://thedarcysmusic.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/itsthedarcys
https://twitter.com/itsthedarcys

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Spark Alaska

Genre: Bedroom Pop

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Picture from Facebook

Lorenzo Cook, otherwise known as Spark Alaska, is a 19-year-old musician living in Syracuse, New York. Lorenzo created Spark Alaska as his own musical side project during his freshman year of high school while living in Brussels, Belgium. I met Lorenzo a few years ago, and when I discovered his music soon afterward, I was instantly impressed. Over the past few years, Spark Alaska has released a full-length album, an EP, and a number of singles. His LP entitled Everything You Know Is Changing But It’ll Pass was released in August 2013. The album is a collection of sentimental songs which showcase Spark Alaska’s lyrical candour and melodic mastery. Some notable tracks include: “Scar So Easily”, “Roman Candles”, and “I Fell In Love Circa 1940” which features a recording of a speech made by Eisenhower during WWII.

Spark Alaska’s sound (which Lorenzo classifies as bedroom pop) brings to mind artists such as Youth Lagoon, Fences, and early Death Cab for Cutie. His songs are simple and charming, and mainly consist of guitar and vocals. The music has an acoustic indie pop vibe, paired with simultaneously heartwarming and heart-wrenching lyrics. Listeners get the sense that these songs were written about a multitude of experiences and the feelings that follow, making his music easy to relate to. Spark Alaska provides the perfect soundtrack for lying in a field on the hottest day of summer when you feel so happy your heart could burst, or for sitting alone in the dark in the middle of winter when sadness hangs heavily in the air around you. But regardless of the season, and regardless of what you’re feeling, I recommend you check out Spark Alaska.

Spark Alaska is working on the release of his sophomore LP. Listen to the single below called “Aloe Vera” which will appear on the upcoming album.

Links:
facebook.com/SparkAlaska
sparkalaska.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/SparkAlaska

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Stargroves

Genre: Indie/Pop/Electronic

New York band Stargroves has been covering songs by Sigur Rós, Stars, and Freelance Whales for a while. They first caught my eye when they became the one (and so far, the only) band that I’ve enjoyed listening to after checking them out when they followed me on twitter. Their covers did the original artists justice as the band’s influences are also some of my personal favourites. “Within Me A Lunatic Sings”, written in response to Sigur Rós’ “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur” (my personal favourite) is definitely an interesting and pleasing listen. We hear and read various interpretations and reactions to music but how often do we hear an entire song?

One of the main things that also stood out to me was lead singer Teddy Watson’s absolute passion for his music. To concentrate on Stargroves’ music, Watson escaped to Iceland early 2012, a sojourn which led to the creation of “Westfjords”. The emotional musicality uniquely interpreted by many Icelandic bands resound in Stargroves’ work. Accompanied by honest lyrics put to Watson’s familiar voice, Stargroves is able to unearth feelings of childhood euphoria. Songs like “Hats in the Air” are filled with hope and many others feature Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin, whose pure voice brings a little sunshine itself to the band’s music.

Along with Bryan Percivall on bass, Oskar Häggdahl on drums, and Enrico de Trizio on keyboard and accordion, the band has been recording several singles with Jeremy Sklarsky, producer of Freelance Whales’ Weathervanes, which will hopefully bring a full length album in 2014! Settle in with Stargroves and “say hello to the sun”.

Video:

Links:

http://www.stargroves.com

https://www.facebook.com/stargrovesband

http://www.methodshop.com/2012/09/stargroves.shtml

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General General

Genre: Rock/Folk

Picture from facebook

General General is a band I personally spoke to and had asked their persmission to blog about, after doing some digging, I discovered that the band got together when member Wyatt Fine-Gagné (vocals, guitar, madolin, banjo), Ben Carter-Whitney (vocals, guitar, and organ), Llewellyn Littermore (vocals, bass), and Landen Moore (drums) began playing music together in the basement of a McGill University residence (located in Montreal, Canada). According to their bio, the four members have brought together different musical backgrounds and influences. In July 2012 General General released “The Sea EP,” and more recently they have released another EP titled “Arms Fall Off” which I listend to on their bandcamp.

Their folk sound in combination of an array of instruments, traditional and not as traditional which is good. And I like it. The lead vocals on their track “Song for Mary Catherine”, has quite an emphasis on pronounciation which is a quality I like in this type of music. He sings all of the words clearly which kind of reminds me of the Bare Naked Ladies for some reason although I would not say General General sounds like them. Their sound is unique but different enough that it is not boring. Their music is relaxing but still with a catchy vibe, the listener can either dance and bob their head or simply sit back and close their eyes as they contemplate what to write about in a blog post.

All in all, I like General General and want to see what else they produce in the future, so if you’d like, click something below and show them some love. Cheers!

Music:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/GeneralGeneralMusic

https://twitter.com/GGtheBand

http://generalgeneral.ca/


Victoria Di Giovanni

Genre: RnB/Hip-Hop

Picture by Michelle Davis

I first met Victoria Di Giovanni when she opened for a band I play in, and while watching her set, I was captivated by her style, her vocals, her back-beats, and her stage presence! To give a bit of background, Victoria recently graduated from York University where she studied jazz voice and contemporary improvisation. Her musical beginnings began at the age of 7 with piano lessons and eventually song writing. By the time she was 14 she got into audio production, this is evident because she produces her own music to back her singing. At YPNHOI we’re all about Toronto, originality, and musicality, Victoria encompasses everything I look for when trying to find an artist to listen to. Her music is original, simple, and pleasurable, and her vocals are natural, and full of character.

I’ve got to talk about her actual music as well. Below is the track “The Cave” which I believe she played when I saw her performance. Firstly, it is very ambient and full, but is not skewed by an attempt at complexity. Many producers add way too many layers (yes I have done that) and miss the big picture when creating a track, but this hits it dead on. Her vocals are very clean with just the right amount of mix in succession with the music. So, enough of me, go listen to her!

Video:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/officialVDG

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