EP Premiere: “Ear Factory” by Purveyors of Free Will

Purveyors of Free Will (aka Mark Anthony Brennan) releases his first EP in 3 years. Although primarily an instrumental (electronic) affair, the lyrical content adds a personally expressive dimension to tracks such as “The Day My Sister Ran Into the Sea” and “My God Has No Memory”.

Album Premiere: “Victoria’s Secret 2021”

‘Victoria’s Secret 2021’ is another collection of true nuggets from Victoria’s wildly creative music scene.

“Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune.”
– Thomas Fuller

Features: Zane Coppard, THE HEX, Charl Cilders, Low Alamode (ft. Shädoe Zølie), Elura, Mar Mar & the Grits, Purveyors of Free Will, suffer fools, Winnie Richards, Jordan Koe, The Municipality, Lamedh, Shed Monkeys, Finley Rose.

Premiere: “Terracotta” by Saint Idiot

Saint Idiot (Tomáš Andel) graces us with a brand new single, “Terracotta”.  The art pop/experimental track will be featured on the upcoming album, ‘Alternate Utopias from a Nostalgic Future’, a texturally lush vision of a mossy techno-utopia, and an album about healing in an age of hyperindividualism and polarization.

“In the streaming age a lot of us have gotten used to binging,” Andel says, “and so it’s become unnatural for us to step back and ask when we’ve had enough, or, in fact, whether we feel satisfiable in the first place—and it shows in a lot of things.”

“I think that we live in a domination-minded age that’s ceaselessly preoccupied with conquering the next horizon, getting more, more, more, and constantly expanding because we keep painting history as a race against some clock,” Andel says, “and I really want to make people think about growing laterally, with what they have, turning instead to the people around them as partners instead of competition.”

https://saintidiot.bandcamp.com/

Portrait photographer:  Kelsey McMillan

Nicholas’ Personal Favourites of 2020 – LP Albums

Here I present my top 30 favourite LONG PLAYS released in 2020 that personally caught my eclectic interests with excitement and awe. NOTE: This is a nonhierarchical list, in a randomized order.

Enjoy 💖

Animal Party – Enchantment [Plutoid] 🍁

Devouring Saturn – Fortis Rebis [self-release] 🍁

Lunatic Soul – Through Shaded Woods [Kscope]

Thanya Iyer – KIND [Topshelf] 🍁

Clara Engel – Hatching Under The Stars [self-release] 🍁

Speaker Face – Crescent [self-release] 🍁

Jonathan Hultén – Chants From Another Place [Kscope]

Erin Corbett – Swelter Molt Sweat & Mettle [Biblioteka] 🍁

PIQSIQ – Taaqtuq Ubluriaq: Dark Star [self-release] 🍁

Anna von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly [Southern Lord]

Animatist – INVERTED [Glue Gun] 🍁

ART the Band – ART the Band [self-release] 🍁

That Joe Payne – By Name. By Nature. [self-release]

Siamois Synthesis – Feu Aimant [Ambiances Magnétiques] 🍁

Falcon Jane – Faith [Darling Recordings] 🍁

Kate NV – Room for the Moon [RVNG]

Roger Eno & Brian Eno – Mixing Colours [Opal Music / Deutsche Grammophon]

Golden Retriever & Chuck Jones – Rain Shadow [Thrill Jockey]

The Golden Age of Wrestling – Tombstone Piledriver [self-release] 🍁

Moths & Locusts – Exoplanets [noiseagonymayhem] 🍁

SOMBRA – Free From Interruption [self-release] 🍁

Alber – Alber [self-release]

Ms Amy Birks – All That I Am & All That I Was [self-release]

Inner Odyssey – The Void [self-release] 🍁

Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity [Superior Viaduct] 🍁

Pantayo – Pantayo [Telephone Explosion] 🍁

Cedric Noel – nothing forever, everything [Front Porch] 🍁

Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking [Kscope]

Matthew Cardinal – Asterisms [Arts & Crafts] 🍁

Mary Lattimore – Silver Letters [Ghostly International]

🍁 : CANCON / Canadian Content

Post Image: Scope Overseer Photogenics / Nicholas Cooper

Nicholas’ Personal Favourites of 2020 – EP Albums

Here I present my top 30 favourite EXTENDED PLAYS released in 2020 that personally caught my eclectic interests with excitement and awe. NOTE: This is a nonhierarchical list, in a randomized order.

Enjoy ✨

householder – commonplace / escarpment country [self-release] 🍁

suffer fools – bourgeois death // dopamine ghosts [self-release] 🍁

Mark Wylie – Moonlight / Hide & Seek [self-release] 🍁

Angel Bat Dawid – Transition East / No Space Fo Us [International Anthem]

weatherboy – weatherboy [Lootbag] 🍁

Rafael Kahn – An Effort to Relax [Biblioteka] 🍁

Andrew Wiseman – Ambient 1: Arrival [self-release] 🍁

Ulrike – 2020_06-Works [self-release] 🍁

NAVI – Runes [self-release] 🍁

Laurence-Anne – Accident [Bonsound] 🍁

Stephanie Hayward – Dusk [self-release] 🍁

Uncaught (in promise) – Uncaught in Promise [self-release] 🍁

Renard Blanc – Combustion [Sexy Sloth] 🍁

Jennifer Reiser – JR EP Remastered [self-release]

CONDUCTOR – Aurora Program [Glue Gun] 🍁

Blastronaut – Nadrix, the Dealer [self-release] 🍁

Will Jarvis – Frustrated Illustrator [Plutoid] 🍁

Mothers Tongue – Everything You Wanted [Buzz] 🍁

World Eaters – Demo MK-1 [self-release] 🍁

Acid Mothers Temple / Yoo Doo Right – Split [Mothland] 🍁

Jackson Welchner – just a lil’ EP [Plutoid] 🍁

Habit – The Last Testament [self-release] 🍁

Elysian Sun – Buried In Light [self-release] 🍁

Matmos – For Alan Turing [Thrill Jockey]

Sonja – Grounding [self-release] 🍁

NNAMDÏ – Black Plight [self-release]

SAGES – The Glue Gun Records//Social Isolation Variety-Time Extravaganza EP [self-release] 🍁

jw. – Wildly Indecisive [self-release] 🍁

JONCRO – Twa EP [self-release] 🍁

iamthemorning – Counting the Ghosts [self-release]

🍁 : CANCON / Canadian Content

Post Image: Scope Overseer Photogenics / Nicholas Cooper

Nicholas’ Personal Favourites of 2020 – Singles

Here I present my top 30 favourite SINGLES released in 2020 that personally caught my eclectic interests with excitement and awe. NOTE: This is a nonhierarchical list, in a randomized order.

Enjoy 🎇

Fifth Species – The Silent Gale [self-release]

Animal Party & Feyla – Home Is A Haven [self-release] 🍁

JONCRO – Violet Hair [self-release] 🍁

Aeria – Let Me Go [self-release] 🍁

Stillness and Stars – Achievement Dispenser [self-release] 🍁

Anne Sulkowski – before [self-release] 🍁

The Breaking English – Summertime Heat [self-release] 🍁

Bicyclops – Fait Accompli [self-release] 🍁

Dusts of Binary – HoHum [self-release] 🍁

The Anchoress – Show Your Face [Kscope]

TRP.P – Tell Me [self-release] 🍁

Mobius Radio – Dive [self-release] 🍁

Apollo Suns – So Long Ethan [self-release] 🍁

Kitzl – Absolute Zero [self-release] 🍁

Dizzy Mystics – Centre of the 8 [self-release] 🍁

Subterranea –  Echochamber [self-release] 🍁

Other Families – Grone [self-release] 🍁

Dream Aria – The Hourglass [self-release] 🍁

Waxlimbs – It Speaks [Plutoid] 🍁

Jessica Moss – Opened Ending [Constellation] 🍁

ART the Band – Imaginary [self-release] 🍁

Jason Sharp – Gates of Heaven [Constellation] 🍁

Bombnivores – iSO [self-release] 🍁

Andy Wiseman – Tides [self-release] 🍁

Transstar – I, Bitch [Park Music] 🍁

That Joe Payne – By Name. By Nature. [self-release]

Elektryk Bestia – Solar Bubbles [Bestia Productions]

JESSA – Crazy Love [self-release] 🍁

Eine Kleine China – Zugzwang [self-release] 🍁

Ms Amy Birks – Christmas With You This Year [self-release]

🍁 : CANCON / Canadian Content

Post Image: Scope Overseer Photogenics / Nicholas Cooper

Baffled Octopi presents Ten of the Best Canadian EPs of 2020 (unranked, non-exhaustive)

FICTION EP” by SUUNS



“i’maclicheblues // when i was a monster” by suffer fools



“Princess of The Dead, Vol. II” by Sophia Bel


“Cocktail Hour” by Krill Williams



“Accident” by Laurence-Anne


“Be Still” by Hey, King!




“Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!” by Vile Creature



“Tower” and “Celestial” by Hermitess



“Scared Animals Return Home” by Truster



“Cell Press” by Cell Press

Baffled Octopi’s 25 Best Canadian Albums of 2020

25. “Make Yourself Hard to Kill” by Numbing

Artsy garage, with a thick coating of grunge, from Victoria’s Numbing.

24. “Self-cut Bangs” by Self-cut Bangs

Calgary’s Self-cut Bangs are members of Dark Time and Napalmpom, but together they make a resonating garage/post-punk splash of their own.

23. “Madness” by Mar Mar & the Grits

Three crazy gals from Victoria play Tarantino-style punk surf with reckless abandon.

22. “Bells in the Ruins” by Ora Cogan

Cogan’s latest release is one of her most adventurous (sonically) but is also one of her most gorgeous.

21. “DNA Activation” by Witch Prophet

Psychedelic soul folk is about the only way we can describe Witch Prophet’s tasty brew.

20. “Pain Olympics” by Crack Cloud

Crack Cloud is a collective based in Vancouver designed to be a “healing mechanism”. Their erratic, art punk music definitely does seem healing in these weird times.

19. “Welcome to Bobby’s Motel” by Pottery

For this band from Montreal, garage punk is a mere stepping stone for taking leaps into funk and new wave. And all with a tremendous sense of fun and adventure.

18. “Concorde” by Le Couleur

Elegant synth-pop that takes its grace from euro-disco but not its low-brow trappings.

17. “Monarch Season” by Jennifer Castle

Recorded completely solo, ‘Monarch Season‘ is an even more intimate experience than Castle’s previous releases. A masterwork of indiefolk.

16. “Worshipper” by Peeling

Toronto’s Anna Timoshenko is on top of her game and confident on Peeling’s latest release.

15. “Take” by girlongirl

Grungy garage with a melodic downbeat. How could you go wrong? They don’t.

14. “Future Child” by Mi’ens

Blistering math rock guitar shredding courtesy of Kim Glennie and her Vancouver band Mi’ens.

13. “Motherhood” by No Joy

Jasamine White-Gluz continues to take the band way beyond shoegaze, as ‘Motherhood’ takes us on an intriguing journey into many styles.

12. “Audomatic Body” by Lou Canon

The line between experimentation and audience appeal is a delicate one, but Lou Canon dances along it with ease.

11. “The Fink” by Lee Paradise

Dan Lee (formerly of Hooded Fang) uses his alt-pop sensibilities to harness in thunderous beats and dark electropunk.

10. “Which Way Am I?” by Tough Age

The poppiness on this album is heavily tempered by a grim outlook — the band actually gives a false sense of ’90s fun while delivering lyrics that reflect the dark reality of the 21st century.

9. “Atlas Vending” by METZ

METZ pummel us with their sonic power, but that doesn’t prevent their sparkling intelligence from seeping through.

8. “Meteors Could Come Down” by LAL

Atmospheric future jazz soul from the Toronto duo of Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray.

7. “Self Help” by Badge Epoque Ensemble

This Toronto group fuses many elements of ’70s jazz/pop and somehow wraps it up in a cool alt-contemporary package.

6. “Hatching Under the Stars” by Clara Engel

Engel’s haunting art-folk is painted on a sparse landscape. ‘Hatching Under the Stars’ is a work of art worth lingering over.

5. “God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It” by Backxwash

Backxwash blows a hole in hip-hop, opening up the depths of industrial despair.

4. “Is The Idea of Us” by New Fries

New Fries bounce with madcap art energy. Angular and unpredictable, the overall effect is hypnotic.

3. “For the Birds” by Dinah Thorpe

Thorpe is a singer-songwriter who is also an electronic artist. Occasionally her vocals approach the conventional and the music lapses into comforting beats, but for the most part it is a exceptionally idiosyncratic realm that she lords over.

2. “What’s Tonight to Eternity” by Cindy Lee

Patrick Flegel (aka Cindy Lee) warps the influences of Karen Carpenter, The Supremes and Patsy Cline into a weird, post-rock dream.

1. “Taaqtuq Ubluriaq: Dark Star” by PIQSIQ

Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik of the Northwest Territories embrace traditional sounds (such as throat-singing) but create a new musical realm of their own.

Baffled Octopi’s 25 Best Canadian Songs of 2020

25. “Everything of Beauty” by Les Deuxluxes

This duo from Montreal enliven psych-pop with a contemporary stomp.

24. “Elsabet” by Witch Prophet

Toronto’s Witch Prophet continues to entice us with truly bewitching future soul.

23. “I’m Zapped” by Freak Heat Waves

The warped post-punk vibes of FHW (of Victoria/Montreal) get downright laconic.

22. “Wait 4 You” by Non La

A delicious little serving of punked up love pop from Vancouver’s DJ On.

21. “Nonesuch/If” by Tremblers of Sevens

Heavy blues-rock duo from Victoria takes us on a sonic journey again.

20. “Speaking from Above” by Cindy Lee

Cindy Lee (aka Patrick Flegel, formerly of WOMEN) was apparently inspired by Karen Carpenter (plus The Supremes and Patsy Cline) but this has a definite metallic edge.

19. “Comme une fin du monde” by Le Couleur

From the Montreal band’s excellent album ‘Concorde’, this track is bittersweet, haunting and beautiful.

18. “Take” by girlongirl

This grungy visceral number by Toronto’s girlongirl kinda summed up our bitter 2020 attitude (and it doesn’t sound THAT much like Wolf Parade).

17. “Melt” by shn shn

A true sparkle of magic from Toronto’s Shanika Maria.

16. “Say Nothing, ARE Nothing” by Witched

Victoria’s Witched brews up a unique blend of styles to create a new, quirky statement.

15. “Alabama Echoes” by Elastic Stars

Colin Cowan’s Elastic Stars tap into both Sgt. Pepper and NIN for a trippy experience.

14. “PRAY” by SUUNS

Arguably current kings of Montreal’s post-rock scene, SUNNS’ sound is both grounded and limitless.

13. “All Summer Long” by Crying High (ft. Bridal Party)

In a way it’s a throwback to ’80s summer pop, but there is also a hint of weirdness in this track by Montreal’s Crying High (with help from Victoria’s Bridal Party).

12. “French Disko” by Mi’ens

 Evan Heggen provides the pounding on drums, while Kim Glennie shreds her guitar to her heart’s content (and ours).

11. “Doctor Dick Nibblets” by general gruff

Eccentric Victoria singer/songwriter general gruff comes up with an irresistible pop tune about elective surgery.

10. “Meteors Could Come Down” by LAL

The duo from Toronto rip a hole into another, mysterious, soulful world.

9. “Four” by No Joy

This wild instrumental flight makes a bold statement of its own. From Jasamine White-Gluz’s band No Joy.

8. “In Space (Sqwil)” by Krill Williams

Coy, quirky, with a jazzy swing — Calgary’s Krill Williams were the perfect cocktail for 2020.

7. “Hollow Face” by Lee Paradise

Exciting post-punk vibes from Toronto’s Lee Paradise (Dan Lee, formerly of Hooded Fang)

6. “Arctic Hallows” by PIQSIQ

The sisters (Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik of Yellowknife) create a musical language of their own — one beyond imagination and comprehension.

5. “Smoking at the Gas Station” by Helena Deland

This dreamy number is a fabric of subtle textures.

4. “L’express” by New Fries

A weird landscape of freeform word and stuttering musical statements.

3. “Bette Davis Eyes” by The Hex

A raucous and earthy version of “Bette Davis Eyes”, courtesy of Victoria’s The Hex.

2. “God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It” by Backxwash

The title track from their outstanding album plants Backxwash firmly on the crown of industrial hip-hop.

  1. “Justice” by Jennifer Castle

So blissfully beautiful that it seems like a dream.