Best Toronto music of the week: Picastro, Clairmont The Second and more

Plus: the first #NOWplaying playlist of the year, full of fresh songs from Toronto artists to start off 2019


Picastro: Mirror Age

Picastro’s new music video is basically one long zoom through a snowy forest toward a screen on which the band performs the song Mirror Age – and yet it’s multi-layered. It’s a performance video – sort of – and a tribute to legendary Canadian artist, musician and filmmaker Michael Snow – again, sort of. Director Samuel Kiehoon Lee calls the video he made for the long-running experimental orchestral folk group, led by Liz Hysen, “Michael Snow in the snow.”

“On one level, it’s an homage to his much-heralded film Wavelength (1967). But if you look closely, you can see the musicians aren’t really playing their instruments. A video is a representation of the music for the music. Lip-syncing is pretend, and here the band pretends to be pretending. But the snow is real.”

Much like the band – made up of Hysen along with Nick Storring, Matthew Ramalo (Khora) and Germaine Liu – it’s strangely mesmerizing, drawing you in and simultaneously making you think about why.

Picastro play a release show for their new album, Exit, on January 12 with Fresh Snow and Colin Fisher at The Baby G. See listing.

Clairmont The Second: Grip

Clairmont The Second is one of Toronto’s most perennially underrated rappers, but that might change with this new single and self-directed video. He goes hard in this one, with subtle g-funk undertones, a catchy hook and Solange-referencing bars. Biking through his neighbourhood, Clairmont spits like someone trying to get your attention. With a new album on the horizon, he should have it.  

#NOWplaying

Sure, lots of us are still in a post-holidays haze, but it’s the new year and we have a new playlist full of great songs from Toronto artists. Listen below for new music from the Darcys, Orville Peck, Alice Glass, MorMor and others. Subscribe here for a new one every Friday, and don’t miss our 101 best Toronto songs of 2018 if you haven’t heard them yet. 

@nowtoronto | @trapunski

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