The Rock ’n’ Roll Revival Hour: Skydiggers, Royal Wood, Del Bel, The Darcys, Dragonette, Chris Murray, Neko Case
The venerated Toronto alt-country band Skydiggers are hitting the road in support of their fine new album, Northern Shore. It is the first new recording for the band since 2009’s greatest hits collection, The Truth About Us. For those who don't know, Skydiggers are a very influential band, formed by singer Andy Maize and lead guitarist Josh Finlayson, with roots in the city dating back to the late ’80s. The band scored their biggest hit with the song “I Will Give You Everything,” which rocketed to number 24 on the Canadian music charts. The band is planning a couple of big nights at Hugh’s Room on June 8 and 9 to commemorate the release on Latent Recordings.
You can still stream the entire album online, courtesy of Exclaim magazine.
The Royal Treatment
Cool Toronto crooner Royal Wood has announced a new LP, his sixth studio album, dubbed We Were Born to Glory — scheduled to be released on July 10 by Maple Music. Wood had this to say on his website: “I have named the album We Were Born to Glory. A title inspired by the idea that all life is born with the potential for glory. I have therefore distilled my journey into individual songs that are emotional snapshots of life through my lens as a human being. Of which I am viewing not only my own life (past, present and future) but the world at large. It is a celebration of experience...” Royal Wood plays in Toronto on June 10 as part of the Luminato arts festival.
Listen to the first single, “Not Giving Up”:
Ring Del Bel
In what could end up being a very exciting project, a musical collective dubbed Del Bel released its debut album, Oneiric, in the winter, and has now dropped a sweet new lo-fi b-side, “No Cure For Loneliness.” Del Bel features members of Toronto and Guelph bands, including Flowers of Hell, Bry Webb Band, The Happiness Project and Wayne Petti & the Thieves. The fuzzy, crackling and utterly charming release features ex-Constantines Bry Webb singing alongside Lisa Conway and was apparently recorded “in a lo-fi environment on a four-track cassette tape player.” A quick listen and I'm already a huge fan.
Check out Del Bel in action:
Last week, sci-fi fans celebrated Intergalactic Star Wars Day. In their honour, we give you this dude playing “The Imperial March” on a saw. Total badass.
Toronto band The Darcys are just embarking on a massive two-month tour of North America and Europe in support of recent releases, including their second album Aja, which was out this past January. They have also just released a cool new remix of Bombay Bicycle Club’s “What You Want.” The track is available for free courtesy of Q magazine, Arts & Crafts and BBC. Check it out:
How to train a dragon
Am I the only one who remembers little Martina Sorbara, daughter of MPP Greg Sorbara, as that folkie from Thornhill who made her own guitars (and clothes, I think)? A lot has changed, and her “electronic” band Dragonette continues to march to its own dancey, kinda poppy beat. As Dragonette prepares to release a new album (their third) to follow-up 2009’s Fixin to Thrill, the band announced an upcoming string of tour dates (no Toronto) and a new video for the single “Let It Go,” directed by Drew Lightfoot. And here it is:
We do the ska
With the impending arrival of legendary (in my head) ska musician Chris Murray on May 27 for a date at Lee's Palace, we (okay, I) have decided to feature tidbits from Murray’s past as frontman of Toronto band King Apparatus as well as his current California-based endeavours in the weeks leading up to the show. Murray left town for good years ago, but has continued to do his ska thing to great acclaim, touring the world and releasing records under the moniker Venice Shoreline Chris, followed by Chris Murray and now the Chris Murray Combo, a three-man crew with a new album on the way.
We start our journey back in 1991, when King Apparatus were a popular indie band in Canada after the release of their first self-titled album. This song “Five Good Reasons” chronicles Chris Murray’s adventures getting thrown out of local watering hole Call the Office in London, Ontario.
Rock ’n’ roll tweet of the week
@NekoCase, May 2:
HOLY. CRAP. Just escorted TINY baby fox across the highway to his mama. NOTHING ELSE WILL EVER BE THIS GOOD. Ok, you can kill me now. Dead.