Snowy season music preview
Five gigs & five albums to get you through winter
WINTER 2017: ALBUMS Although most music lovers are eagerly anticipating the new Bell Biv Devoe album, slated for release in the coming months, here are five noteworthy Canadian records that will find a place in our stacks this winter season.
The Sadies: longstanding roots rockers the Sadies release their latest album, Northern Passage, on Feb. 20 via Dine Alone Records. The Toronto band has been turning out some seriously fine music for the past 20 years. The psych-folk single “Riverview Fog” has a powerful punch. The Sadies play Massey Hall on Feb. 2.
Serena Ryder: Yes, this album has been pushed back and is now an early 2017 release at best. But with such a powerful first single in “Got Your Number,” fans are clamouring for more tunes from the talented Torontonian with the powerful pipes.
Kid Koala: The groundbreaking Canadian DJ is back with an innovative new album dubbed
music to draw to: satellite. The ambient record is this compelling artist’s first sans samples, and he employs a number of instruments and techniques to create a lush atmosphere. Kid Koala plays three shows at the Rivoli, Jan. 26 to 28.
Jenn Grant: Juno Award– nominated singer-songwriter Jenn Grant follows up 2014’s
Compostela with her sixth album, Paradise, slated for release on March 3. Grant has released “Galaxies,” the first single off the new album, a groovy piano ballad with a richly textured sonic landscape suitable to the otherworldly song title. She plays in support of her new album on March 24 at the Great Hall.
Austra: Buzz-worthy Toronto electronic music project, founded by Katie Stelmanis, readies its third and most ambitious album,
Future Politics, for release on Jan. 20. The band plays a release show on the same date at the Mod Club. WINTER 2017: SHOWS Although it’s not always easy to trudge through the snow to check out a concert, there are a few very good reasons to brave the winter weather in 2017. Herewith, a few bands that are sure to thaw out your frosty bones for a night.
Sam Roberts, Jan. 20, Rebel (Sound Academy): The Montreal rocker released his latest album,
Terraform, in October, and he hits town with his big hair and even bigger sound. This guy turns out the hits and is sure to please. Along for the ride is local fave Hollerado, an equally high-energy pop-punk act that loves nothing more to entertain a big and exuberant room. Adam Ant, Jan. 29, Danforth Music Hall: Yes, that Adam Ant, of “Goody Two Shoes” fame. To many in Canada, Ant is only remembered for his charming post-punk hit from the ’80s, but this charismatic performer, who may actually be the true inspiration for Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, has been thrilling crowds, mostly in the U.K., for decades.
Run the Jewels, Feb. 19, Danforth Music Hall: The American hip-hop group, featuring El-P and Killer Mike, has been praised by critics and provides a seriously engaging and high-energy live performance. The group is in town in support of its third album slated for release this month.
Black Joe Lewis, Feb. 28, Lee’s Palace: If there is one band sure to blow the roof off of winter, it’s this hard-working, wonderfully loud and bluesy band from Austin, Texas. Although he dropped the Honeybears from the name, it’s the same brilliant sound on full display on the new album that drops in February. Do not miss this show.
Wilco, March 15 and 16, Massey Hall: One of the great ones, Jeff Tweedy’s band of folkie rockers turns out some of the finest tunes going, including the new album,
Schmilco, and there is no better place to catch Wilco live than the venerable Massey Hall. Sure to be a magical winter’s night.
Serena Ryder’s jazzy first single has people clamouring for the arrival of her new album