“Hestia” is from Little Sprout’s first full-length album ‘Fake Cake’. They constantly dispel any notion that they are just another “indie pop” band, with their rhythms punctuated with stops and starts, and with soft moments suddenly shattered with electric noise. It’s liberating and exciting.
A trippy experience, as Greenteeth’s soulful touches actually complement her electronic eccentricities rather than stand in stark contrast.
Devours reincarnates into his next musical fabulous entity with the new single “Memoirs of a Stretch Hummer”, his brand-new release following his 2019 album Iconoclast. This Vancouver based queer electro-pop creature holds nothing back, using catchy melodic dance sequences, sharp clang rattling beats and UFO/video game synth tones talking through the pressure, struggle and desire of queer sexual passion and love, and the murkiness between them.
Learn more about Devours through his online platforms.
Vancouver’s Gang Signs capture that high post-punk energy but infuse it with a visceral feel that is all so today.
From ‘AUDIO: An Experimental Noise Compilation’ (Excellent Jacket, Vancouver)
Irregular Dreams had the pleasure of speaking with Kim Glennie, who along with drummer Evan Heggen, form the band Mi’ens.
Is there a story behind the band name?
Mi’ens is actually one of my nicknames because I usually wear mittens. I drive scooters and the electrical is never working for the turn signals, so I have to signal with my mittens. Also, we are a two-piece, like a pair of mittens. It’s the first time I’ve written my own music, where I haven’t been in a band with other people writing melodic stuff. In French “la mienne” is mine. Then there’s the many moods you can have with music, and “mien” means demeanour or mood. So there’s a bunch of meanings, but it’s just fun to have a name that people go “how do you say that?” It’s a point of interest.
With a two-member band is there a special dynamic you need between you?
Yes. With a two-piece there’s nowhere to hide. You both have to come into it with some ideas. If you reduce the number of elements then those element must be more defined and interesting. We both like working with polyrhythms and polymetres, things that go in-phase, out-of-phase. Sometimes I’ll be playing one time signature and Evan will be playing a different time signature. Sometimes we both play with the looped time signature, and sometimes we branch off from that. Because there are just two of us there is more room to experiment.
How did you two get together?
I moved to Vancouver in ’99. I had lived in Montreal and went to school in Montreal. When I moved here I was in a couple of projects, but I really wanted to do my own project. I was working on layering loops, coming up with ideas. So I just put an ad out there for a drummer. I mentioned I liked Don Caballero, Fugazi, Battles, Slint. Evan answered the ad and we just started jamming together. He’s a very technical and talented drummer, so we came up with a lot of ideas together. We recorded our first demo and kind of kept going.
Tell us about your new album, ‘Future Child’.
It’s a thematic record because it’s almost like a sci-fi novel. The cover [picture] is based on a ‘70s cover of Dune I saw and I thought I want make something like that for my next album cover. We’re still finding ourselves in a little bit of a dystopia right now. “French Disko” and “Future Child” start off and it’s hectic, it’s energetic. There’s a little bit of anxiety there. It’s like someone going out into the city and they’re in their world. They’re just trying to get through their day, but then these things are coming up. All of a sudden we realize that there are all kinds of stuff that going on that we need to attend to, whether it’s the environment or the pandemic or whatever. So then it gets into to “Charge Dodger” and “Rift Valley” and things get heavier and weirder. On this journey, the character, maybe the listener, is trying to resolve things. Then there’s escapism on “Nu11 Set” and ‘Ice Cream Ponies”, and then with “Mondlandung” the characters actually blast off for another world. So, instead of handling what’s going on on Earth they are leaving this dystopia to find a new utopia.
You seem to like working with discordance.
That’s my “go to”. When something is discordant and it resolves itself sweetly there is more catharsis. There’s this contrast and you really want the resolution, and when you get it it’s…. I kinda feel that art owes you that catharsis. I definitely don’t do music for money, I do it because I think it’s so meaningful. When you think about what people have done during the pandemic, what has made them feel better, it’s usually music or film or art or reading. We completely owe it to ourselves to pursue those things.
On her latest album, ‘Mood Rock’, Glenham delivers on the title’s promise. Dreamy and atmospheric, “Barely Alive” epitomizes her unique style.
From the grimy, dire streets of East Vancouver comes Crack Cloud, epitomizing the very nature of post-punk.
Vancouver’s Jayda G (now based in London, UK) brightens up your summer with a bouncy tune. She makes it look effortless, even though there are layers of texture here.
Review by Mark Anthony Brennan
Although now based in Toronto, Tough Age are from Vancouver and their West Coast sensibilities are very apparent. They have a folksy lyricism, despite being driven by garage rock/proto-punk energy (in clear evidence on tracks like the colourful ‘My Life’s a Joke & I’m Throwing It Away’). Their music can actually be beautiful (check out the lovely instrumental ‘Mathers Ave’), and is often bouncy and upbeat. However, this can be deceiving as their poppiness is heavily tempered by a grim outlook. They actually give a false sense of ’90s fun while delivering lyrics that reflect the dark reality of the 21st century.
Tough Age have the instant appeal that could attract almost anyone, but it is primarily the serious listener who will fully appreciate that they are following in the tradition of Television and Talking Heads by playing lively music that serves as a vehicle for their commentary on modern day life.
One of our favourite westcoast bands, Mi’ens (Kim Glennie / Evan Heggen), is about to drop their latest album in September. As an exciting preview we have this cool vid of the pair pounding and shredding their way through this thrill ride of futuristic-sounding math-punk.