Shura: 'Nothing's Real'

From the first time we heard 'Touch' we could tell that there was something special about Shura.  From the opening notes of the album 'Nothing's Real' it's clear that this is a record like no other.  The title track is evocative of so many classic 80's tracks, but that element is perfectly balanced with a darker, electronic side that keeps you guessing as the album progresses. 

A few tracks in you'll start to understand the full spectrumof this record; 'What's It Gonna Be' is an uptempo, infectious groove, where 'Touch' follows it with a mellow, downtempo rhythm.  Whether energetic or laidback, these tracks maintain the magnetism of the groove throughout the record.  'Kidz 'N' Stuff' begins with only the vocal, and on it's own there's a tangible, hopeful element.  The balance of electronics and live instrumentation is perfectly captured on this song.  The song is evocative of the memories of the first time we heard the XX, with an ultra clean sound paired with the rawest emotion.

'(ii)' shares the details of a powerful love, the type one can never truly be prepared for.  There's something in there that it is so vital, so universal, and lends a strange comfort to memories that few things aside from music can unearth.  Throughout 'Nothing's Real' and repeated listens the music brings memories to mind that eventually fade, being replaced with a mild, calming optimism for the future. 

'Tongue Tied' is possibly the ultimate example of this.  Both comforting and encouraging at the same...

"Don't walk away wondering..."

Words to live by...

Shura bring that vitality to their live performances of this subtly powerful music.  'Make It Up' was potentially the most stunning track in that environment.  In the bold, brand new Rebel in Toronto that song was the finishing touch in the audience falling head over heels for Shura.

Listening to 'Nothing's Real' lets that happen again and again.



Wye Oak 'Tween'

Listening to this record is a moving experience. It's like a score for one of those movies that is so amazing it kind of changes the medium for you. Baltimore duo Wye Oak seem to be capable of creating album after album of groundbreaking experimental rock and roll music that is never anything short of beautiful. 'Tween' is the fifth record from the band, and it's a doozy.

One thing that makes a band a favorite is either the inability or the unwillingness to make the same album twice. Wye Oak has done something bizarre and unpredictable and fantastic like they always do. 'Better (For Esther)' is one of our favorite songs both from Wye Oak, and ever - it's a sonic journey that is loud and chaotic but also so relaxed and meditative.

This album is magnificent, and we definitely consider it to be amongst the best of this year and beyond. Wye Oak have never done anything that we didn't absolutely love and this is no exception. Enjoy it for yourself! Please! You will be so happy that you did!

From the album Tween, out now digitally on Merge Records. Vinyl / CD out August 5.
Vinyl / CD:


Be Yōkai - Facefist EP [Space Hardware]


This is a project we fell in love with instantly. Be Yōkai's 'Facefist' ep is a million things while being only itself. It's deep dark techno with a bizarre jazzy house influence and a vibe from the future that we don't even know about yet. We pressed play, and we were in the zone. Instantly.

Be Yōkai is a new collaborative project combining mindbending visuals from animator Kristofer Strom and audio from Minilogue's Sebastian Mullaert and Swedish creator Douglas Holmquist. Needless to say, it's a deeply immersive and moving experience. These are innovative, passionate artists at the top of their game.

The videos are beautiful, beyond anything we could possibly describe. And the music is game changing. It's absolutely great. This is absolutely going to find it's way into our collection.

Buy 12” EP

Buy Digital EP



Thom Sonny Green - High Anxiety

This collection of warped, hypnotizing, vocal-free compositions is about to captivate you from start to finish. It's about to grab hold of you and leave a lasting impression. A positive beacon you know you can return to anytime you need it. It's going to drive you forward. It's going to make you even better.

Thom Sonny Green is clearly a brilliant musical mind. He's the drummer for Alt-J, (who we once thought we were too cool for. And then we saw them at Osheaga and we got it right away. So we try to never think that way about things.)

Anyways, Thom Sonny Green is a wizard. This project is nothing like Alt-J, except for that it's great music. He's gone off on his own path on this record into a (dare we say again) hypnotizing new direction. It's got a strong hip hop influence, but it's also extra dark and extra optimistic at the same time. At least for us.

You're going to want to play this the whole way through for maximum effect - so we won't bother telling which cuts are our favorites (they mostly all are).


Dearly Beloved 'Admission'

We always love it when a movie, a book, an album, whatever it may be - just jumps right into it. Like that new Mad Max movie. You don't get a second to breathe, and it's better that way.

This new record from Toronto rock and roll wizards Dearly Beloved does just that and then some. It makes us question if we could even handle seeing them live, or if it would be pure sensory overload. 'Admission' is a no nonsense, loud and heavy record with a million layers of airtight percussion, gigantic basslines, tons of guitars and lots of great vocals. Everyone in this brilliant five piece slays on this album, which draws from all kinds of influences and is full of facemelter after facemelter.

This collection of tunes is going to appeal to rock and roll fans across the board. And we're willing to bet their live show is as legendary as we can imagine. We look forward to seeing faves from this record like 'Who Wants To Know' and 'Currents' on a yet to be announced tour that we hope is coming soon! Enjoy!