Six From the 6ix: Ryan Hemsworth & Lucas, Laser, John River, Beliefs, Chastity and Junia-T

Toronto's early October soundtrack includes Broken Social Scene singer Lisa Lobsinger's new band and noise music for a man-on-man makeout at Nuit Blanche

Ryan Hemsworth & Lucas, From Grace

Electronic musician Ryan Hemsworth is based out of Toronto but tends to collaborate with producers, vocalists and rappers in other cities. Case in point: Taking Flight, the Halifax native’s joint EP with Seattle-based Lucas. The second song to be released from the project is From Grace, an impressionistic cut that plays a slowed-down vocal sample against a series of whizzing and snapping beats and builds. Taking Flight is for free on October 9 via Hemsworth’s Secret Songs label.

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Laser, Do We All Feel It

Laser are a new Toronto-based band composed of Broken Social Scene singer Lisa Lobsinger and producers Paul Pfisterer and Marty Kinack. According to a press release, their second single’s propulsive rhythm and winsome atmospherics were inspired by their drives from the city to Kinack’s woodland studio. Its lyrical subject matter is a little more fraught, however. “This is a song about watching someone slowly destroy themselves while trying to protect yourself from how that feels,” Lobsinger says in a statement. “It’s about the choice, the guilt and the fear.” Laser’s debut album, Night Driver, is due out in early 2016.

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John River, The League

Mississauga rapper John River follows up 2012’s The Calm with the appropriately titled The Storm, a 12-track mixtape that features production work by Wondagurl and FrancisGotHeat. The Calm drummed up a lot of buzz locally, and so The Storm is not only a clever title but evocative of tumultuous experiences and lessons learned in the ensuing three years. Standout cut The League has furious flows and lyrics dense with autobiographical detail. Download the full mixtape here.

Beliefs, 1992

Shoegaze dream-pop is all the rage in the city’s indie scene, so much so that we might as well start a separate column called Shoegaze Track Of The Week. If we did, this week’s entry would be 1992 by Beliefs, aka Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe, who are preparing to release their second album, Leaper (a very shoegazey album title). As the single suggests, the band doesn’t obscure its influences, having bonded over late 80s/early 90s bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth at the outset. Leaper is out November 13 on Hand Drawn Dracula.

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Chastity, Saliva

Whitby noise rockers Chastity are participating in a Nuit Blanche art project this weekend that involves two guys making out in a gallery for four hours – reason enough for us to expand Toronto’s borders in order to include them. The video for their new single Saliva premieres Saturday (October 3) at Videofag (185 Augusta) between 11 pm and 3 am. Images of social strife (including a Stephen Harper cameo, naturally) will be projected on a wall in front of two boys kissing on a bed. According to Chastity’s Brandon Williams the message is, “Are we actually still talking about two people kissing when there’s actual fucked-up stuff happening in the world?” Seriously.

Junia-T featuring Yancy Deron & Tassnata, LEGOLEGO (Get Up!)

Junia-T continues to release singles and videos off last year’s independently released LP Eye See You. The latest is LegoLego (Get Up!), a feel-good song built around frenetic and tinny drums and a day-dreamy flute melody. The video finds the Mississauga rapper and the track’s guest MCs Yancy Deron and Tassnata doing what we all want to be doing as the temperature plummets in Toronto: riding around a California beach on Segways. | @kevinritchie

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