You can expect big things from these local artists this fall, from genre-stretching hardcore veterans to the next big R&B star
In Another Life (Constellation), September 14
The last couple of years have seen eclectic singer/songwriter Sandro Perri delving deeper into his electronic side with his Off World project, but In Another Life marks the first new solo work under his own name since 2011’s widely acclaimed Impossible Spaces. The title track blends his acoustic and synthy sensibilities – a sprawling, 24-minute pop opus about how ruminating on a problem may never actually result in a resolution. The second side of the LP features a similarly playful exercise in songwriting with the help of buds André Ethier and Dan Bejar of Destroyer.
Sandro Perri performs at Tranzac on November 4.
Nudes (Creamcake), September 28
You might recognize composer and multi-instrumentalist Casey MQ’s name after having worked with L CON, Junia-T, TiKA, Cadence Weapon and Zaki Ibrahim. Now it’s Casey’s turn to step into the spotlight. So far, MQ has shared the song Between Water, a soaring, beat-forward mutated pop track that makes it easy to understand why the former Unbuttoned vocalist and songwriter’s production and vocal talents are so often sought after.
Dose Your Dreams (Arts & Crafts), October 5
Dose Your Dreams is shaping up to be a wild, daring record that revels in excess. Raise Your Voice Joyce brims with an intensity we haven’t heard from Fucked Up in some time, Normal People is the sound of the band’s disparate hardcore and power pop influences being forced to make nice and get along, while House Of Keys is a relentless rager propelled by lumbering synth bass line and Owen Pallett’s distinctive strings. Those songs plus the two cryptic Bandcamp releases the members of the band may or may not have been involved with are a good, and weird, sign. In an interview with NOW for an upcoming feature, guitarist and songwriter Mike Haliechuk recalls someone telling him their last album, Glass Boys, sounded unconfident, like they weren’t having fun. “We took that to mean that people want some crazy mayhem. That gave us clearance to do a nutty thing again.”
Fucked Up performs at the Horseshoe on October 19. See listing.
TPC (Dine Alone), October 5
Fall is proving to be a busy time for the Monks siblings. Katie Monks’s Dilly Dally came back from the dead earlier this month with their sophomore LP, Heaven, and now Dave Monks’s Tokyo Police Club are also dusting off their chops for their fourth full-length album, TPC, despite nearly calling it quits. If New Blues is any indication, the long-running indie rockers have plenty of gas left in the tank – the song is as tight and tuneful as they’ve ever been.
Apricity (Last Gang), October 12
Producer mastermind Harrison is readying a follow-up to his 2016 debut album, Checkpoint Titanium. Details are scant so far but he’s released two new singles in anticipation. Celica Supra is a slick instrumental ride, which according to a press release, is the album’s centrepiece, while Atmosphere is a lithe track that came together once vocalist Daniela Andrade got hold of it. We can expect more of Harrison’s colourful future-focused explorations of rubbery R&B.
Being Human In Public (Universal Music Canada), October 19
R&B artist Jessie Reyez is building on the momentum of her breakout 2017 EP, Kiddo, with another new EP set to arrive in October. She’s been steadily releasing tracks every week or so in the lead-up, like the terse F*** Being Friends, the Spanish-language Sola and the Kehlani-featuring “I dodge dick on the daily” independence anthem Body Count. Her laser precision, incisive wordplay and personality-filled vocal performances are impossible to ignore. In addition to her own hectic release schedule, Reyez has been keeping busy with collaborations with everyone from Sam Smith to Calvin Harris to Eminem, and she has an extensive North American tour lined up.
Jessie Reyez performs at Danforth Music Hall on December 3 and 4. See listing.
A Short Story About A War (Secret City, October 26)
A Short Story About A War marks Shad’s return to the mic since departing from his gig at Q in 2016 and hosting the docu-series Hip-Hop Evolution. Sure, there was the neon, 80s-inspired record under the name Your Boy Tony Braxton, but this is the first official Shad release since 2013’s Flying Colours. Single The Fool Pt 1 (Get It Got It Good) wastes no time in delivering the buoyant, whip-smart hip-hop we’ve come to expect from the artist, built on a tottering jazz instrumental that carries itself like a New Orleans second line spilling out into the streets. With production assists from Polaris Prize-winning Kaytranada, A Tribe Called Red’s 2oolman, plus features from a diverse, vital cast including Lido Pimienta and Ian Kamau, this album is the return we’ve been waiting for.
Shad performs at the Great Hall on December 14. See listing.
Grenades (Folkways/Acronym), October 26
Kaia Kater is a promising young songwriter primarily known for playing the banjo, but her latest album, Grenades, finds the artist branching out well beyond her comfort zone. With roots across the world, spanning from Grenada to Montreal to West Virginia and now Toronto (where she’s recently moved), Kater’s album speaks to the tensions of being between so many places. As a modern folk artist, she’s just as capable covering Frank Ocean as she is a folk standard. The album also tackles the tension of being in between times.
Hundred Flowers Groove EP (Coastal Haze), October
The pillar of Toronto’s electronic scene is following up to the dreamy electro of last year’s Electrical Encounters with a new EP. Cindy Li describes its sound as “meditative house and breakbeats with a side of downtempo and IDM-inflected electro.” The four-song set will feature three original tracks plus a remix by Central of Regelbau/Help recordings.
Ciel performs at SoSo Food Club on September 28 and at Bambi’s on October 4. See listing.
Anne (Western Vinyl), November 16
Destroyer and DIANA saxman and composer Joseph Shabason stunned fans last year with debut album Aytche, which beautifully explored ambient and jazz influences. Described as a “musical essay on Parkinson’s Disease,” follow-up album Anne is named for and dedicated to Shabason’s mother, who struggles with the degenerative illness. The dreamlike first single, Forest Run, shows Shabason navigating the obviously heavy and personal material thoughtfully, juxtaposing audio clips of his mother speaking candidly about her experience with a luminous melody that builds through slow, careful repetition.
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