This Week in Sound: Broken Social Scene, Rachel Zeffira, Minotaurs, Wake Owl, Lee Harvey Osmond


Broken Social Scene will reunite for a performance in June (Image: Danielle St. Laurent)

Every Monday, we round up the most exciting music news happening in Toronto. In this edition, Arts & Crafts marks its 10-year anniversary with a music festival (including a performance by Broken Social Scene), Rachel Zeffira drops a new single and Minotaurs play The Tranzac Club.

They say if you love something you should set it free, and if it comes back then it was meant to be. Well, Toronto, our beloved Broken Social Scene could not stay away. After announcing an indefinite hiatus to dejected fans in 2011, the iconic indie rockers will be getting together again for one night to mark the 10-year anniversary of local label Arts & Crafts. The Field Trip Music & Arts Festival, to be held on June 8 at Fort York, will celebrate the past decade of impressive artist rosters and successful records for the mainstay label. And the lineup features the cream of the A&C crop: BSS, Feist, Bloc Party, Cold Specks, Zeus, Timber Timbre, Hayden and more. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday.

Another label with local roots, Paper Bag Records, recently welcomed Rachel Zeffira, an operatic pop-soaked songstress. Sultry, dreamy and mesmerizing, Zeffira offers a brand of dream pop which echoes classical tones with smooth electro leanings. It’s hard to lump her into a predetermined genre since she is a classically-trained opera singer and multi-instrumentalist — who also happens to work with Horrors frontman Faris Badwan in their duo, Cat’s Eyes. The two also founded their own record label, RAF (is there anything this girl can’t do?). Paper Bag just dropped a video for her single “Here On In,” part of The Deserters, out on Mar. 12.

Afro-beat rockers Minotaurs will be dropping their latest album, New Believers, on Jan. 22 via Static Clang. The new record is decidedly more dark and edgy than their previous one — not surprising, considering the band was influenced by Toronto’s G20 debacle and Quebec’s student protests. The press release even refers to it as “groovy and furious.” The Guelph-based band enlisted Paul Aucoin to produce the new album, along with Howie Beck to mix. It also features collaborations with Sarah Harmer (who joins them on tour) and Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija. Minotaurs will be at the Tranzac Club on Jan. 26, but in the meantime, stream the album here.

There is something so hauntingly beautiful about Wake Owl that it stops you dead in your tracks. Led by Vancouver-via-California native Colyn Cameron, Wake Owl’s six-track EP, Wild Country, is simplistically perfect. ’Nuff said.

Lee Harvey Osmond (otherwise known as Tom Wilson, former Junkhouse member, and currently with Rodeo Kings and Blackie) drops his much-anticipated record, The Folk Sinner, on Jan. 15. It’s every bit as gritty and dirty as we would have hoped, likely due in part to the stellar lineup of collaborators, which include Hawksley Workman, Oh Susanna and folks from Skydiggers and Cowboys Junkies. The album is available tomorrow on Latent Recordings.

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