Entries tagged with: Thus:Owls
by Bill Pearis
Montreal's moody, cinematic Thus Owls (who seem to have have dropped the colon from their name) will release a new mini-LP, Black Matter, on November 6 via Secret City. The husband-and-wife duo of Simon and Erika Angell brought in Daníel Bjarnason (Sigur Ros, Efterklang, Ben Frost) to do the string arrangements here, which really gives the record an even bigger scope. We're premiering first single "Turn Up the Volumes," which is a bold and soaring piece of musical melodrama. Swoon along below.
Thus Owls are currently playing a few Canadian dates with Marie-Pierre Arthur and will tour the UK/Europe with old friend Patrick Watson (Simon previously played in Watson's band and they've toured with him before). All dates are listed below.
We already posted BV contributor David Andrako's favorite live photos (that he took) of 2013, and now here's another from longtime BV contributor Dominick Mastrangelo. The one of Palma Violets above is one of his "13 for 13" pics picks, and you can check out the rest, along with a list of his favorite songs of the year, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
YT//ST / Foxxtrott @ Arlene's Grocery 10/29/2013
The 2013 M for Montreal happens at various clubs across its namesake city from November 20 - 23. Like last year, in addition to it's industry conference/showcase side earlier in the week, the Friday and Saturday shows are part of M Fest which like a smaller scale CMJ or Pop Montreal with over 75 bands playing over those two days. This year's bands include Mac DeMarco, Born Ruffians, The Dears' Murray Lightburn, Thundercat, Thus:Owls, Laura Mvula, Young Galaxy, Pat Jordache, A Wilhelm Scream, Grand Analog, High Dials, Damien Robitaille, The Damn Truth, Kandle and more.
After partnering with the M folks at CMJ, SXSW and other festivals, BrooklynVegan will be co-presenting (with CMJ) our first show at the actual M for Montreal with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says (who've played M/BV shows at CMJ and SXSW) and Solids (who we've written about) at Cabaret Underworld on November 22. This will be the first time in ages that We Are Wolves and Duchess Says shared a bill together in Montreal. Tickets are on sale now, and the poster for that show is below.
You can check out the full M for Montreal line-up below and tickets for some of the other shows are on sale too. We'll be there the whole week so look for coverage then.
Some of the artists playing this year's fest were down for CMJ a couple weeks ago, playing the official M for Montreal showcase which happened at Arlene's Grocery on October 18. Our photographer was there for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (who played our party earlier in the day), and A K U A, plus Kandle (who played last year's M) and Foxtrott (who we've written about), both of whom will play M for Montreal. Pictures from their sets are in this post. Later in the night there were sets from Pat Jordache and related soft rock project CAMP, and others.
Full list of M for Montreal 2013 peformers, the flyer for the BV presented show, and more pics from the M4M CMJ showcase, below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
METZ & 'Songs of Darkness' @ Pop Montreal 2013
Back before Montreal was in NYC for CMJ, NYC was in Montreal for the annual Pop Montreal festival which we began by seeing DIANA and Empress Of followed by The Dodos, Braids, Suuns, Patrick Watson & more. After that came How Sad, Valleys, Angel Olsen, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Leif Vollebekk & more, and then Yellowman and Josey Wales, Brendan Canning, Pat Jordache, Secret Sun, Shuggie Otis & more. Day four went like this...
The final day of Pop Montreal was a light one. Everyone's sleep-deprived, yawns are everywhere and honestly, I don't know if I've been this exhausted at SXSW. The after parties at the church go well into the night. Such was the dancehall celebration the night before with Yellowman and Josey Wales and Sunday would prove to be the same as METZ closed out the festival, taking the stage well, well after midnight.
Before that though, there were still some tasty things on the menu and the day included one last trip to Divan Orange for Royal Canoe, and Fire/Works, and brunch.
I saw Royal Canoe open for of Montreal at Savannah Stopover earlier this year and was excited to catch their set but slow moving buses and traffic along Avenue de Parc - courtesy of a Canadian Football League game at McGill Stadium and a separate protest in Jeanne-Mance Park against the pending Charter of Quebec Values bill - meant I would only catch their last two songs. Still the sextet - who, like many bands at Pop, have a new record out (called Today We're Believers) - sounded great with two drummers, catchy hooks and enough good time rock-pop to get people moving mid-afternoon on a Sunday.
Then Fire/Works, the Montreal duo of Jonathan Peters and David Lagacé, followed with a much quieter set of folky songs.
A quick trip to Pop Quarters to unload my last drink ticket and then it was off to the Rialto for Patrick Watson's Songs of Darkness. Going well over two hours, the night was full of haunting, dark songs featuring a rotating cast of Montreal artists including Laurel Sprengelmeyer (Little Scream,) AroarA featuring Andrew Whiteman (Apostle of Hustle) and Ariel Engle, Leif Vollebekk, Lil' Andy and a lot more.
My first introduction to Watson was his Sacred Sunday on the last day of Pop in 2010 and this followed the same artist rotation policy as Songs of Darkness. It was one of the highlights of that festival and this performance at the Rialto was easily one of the highlights of my 2013 Pop. I kind of wish they were recording these performances cause they were all stellar.
I left at the two-hour mark to make my way to Cabaret Mile End for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It was my first time seeing them since 2006 and I really enjoyed their set. They've weathered being indie/blogosphere darlings and have lost a few members along the way, but the band has a new EP out and the Mile End crowd was ready to dance to old favorites like "Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" and "Satan Said Dance."
From there I headed over to Casa Del Popolo where the Best of the Festival was going on and caught another set by Thus:Owls which was nice but following the gorgeous backdrop/sunset the night before, plus growing exhaustion on my part, their set came off a little underwhelming.
A quick stop for poutine and then over to the final show of the festival: METZ. I first saw METZ at Il Motore during Pop 2012 (a few weeks before they played the BV-Non-CMJ day party) when a guy thrashed his head so hard he hit the monitor and was bleeding during their entire set. Talk about making a lasting impression.
They took the stage at 2am and as the mosh pit grew in numbers with each song, lead singer Alex Edkins eventually passed down the only rule of the night during a very short break between songs: "If somebody falls down, pick them back up, kiss them on the cheek and pat them on the ass."
From there it was one song after another - barely a chance to catch your breath between songs they came so fast - the band thrashing about on stage, fans being passed over one another, a dash for the stage to springboard back into the crowd, and a lot of moshing.
It was the home stretch and with a flagging group of festival attendees, METZ duly fired us up and hauled us across the finish line.
More pictures from the final day, below...
Shuggie Otis / Pat Jordache / Brendan Canning
Back before Montreal was in NYC for CMJ, NYC was in Montreal for the annual Pop Montreal festival which we began by seeing DIANA and Empress Of followed by The Dodos, Braids, Suuns, Patrick Watson & more. After that came How Sad, Valleys, Angel Olsen, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Leif Vollebekk & more. Day four went like this...
The penultimate day of Pop Montreal started a bit slower as the late nights started bleeding into early mornings and getting out of bed became harder and harder. The goal was to be at Little Italy Park for Pat Jordache and I made it just in time for them to take the stage. I enjoyed their set (you can catch them in NYC courtesy of M For Montreal at Arlene's Grocery). The BBQ and kids fair going on at the back end of the park, supplied a festive atmosphere as kids ran about in front of the stage covered in face paint.
I'd heard good things about Jessy Lanza - whose debut record, Pull My Hair Back, will certainly find her being compared to fellow electronic, synthpop countrywoman, Grimes - so I headed to Divan Orange to catch her set. I was pleasantly surprised in that her sound moves in warmer synth textures, providing a nice backdrop for breathy voice.
The goal was to head back to the hotel to regroup for the night but I tagged along to the Ubisoft rooftop performance featuring Swedish-Canadian band, Thus:Owls, and Montreal's Secret Sun. What started as a lark turned into two of the most pleasant surprises of my Pop.
Backed by a spectacular view of Montreal - and the full-swing, fall foliage of Mont Royal - Secret Sun, the duo of Anne-Marie Campbell and Simon Landry, crafted lush and languid alternative pop songs that were simply spellbinding. Campbell has one of those beguiling, siren-like voices that effortlessly moves from high to low and back again. (Check out the song "Stay Still" from their excellent Cold Coast EP.) The sold-out, rooftop audience was rapt as the sun set and out in the distance, Mont Royal slipped into darkness.
Thus:Owls, a full, five-piece band wrapped around core husband and wife duo Erika and Simon Angell, were every bit as impressive, spinning experimental chamber pop through a cinemascope. The song "White Night" from their new sophomore LP, Harbours, was stuck in my head the rest of the weekend.
After that it was on to the Rialto to see 70's R&B, blues legend Shuggie Otis, who sounded great though it would have been nicer to have done away with the cabaret tables and let the crowd right up to the stage to watch his guitar playing at closer proximity.
I made a quick stop at Rhodo's to catch Montreal band, Seoul, who someone tipped to me as the next big thing. I was told that nobody would be there because, "nobody knows about them," yet I arrived to a packed house that went "one in one out" right after I walked through the door. Their brand of dream-pop instantly evoked Wild Nothing, Soft Black and Washed Out. The girls up close were swooning all over the young four-piece in that way teenage girls with rock star crushes do. Their song "Stay With Us" is woozy and warm enough to soundtrack your autumn.
From there it was on to Casa Del Popolo to see Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning. I've been a fan of most of the BSS satellites, both group and solo-related, and enjoyed Canning's Something for All of Us. His new record, You Gots 2 Chill, is decidedly low-key and his set was reflective of that as many of the songs lingered in with instrumental intros, quietly sung lyrics, followed by a meandering jam session on the back end with many of the songs just fizzing out altogether.
Canning's set was stark contrast to the bombast and good-time dance party that ended my Saturday as Dancehall legends, Yellowman and Josey Wales, teamed up to pass the mic for nearly three hours. Even though I'd been anticipating this show since I saw it on the schedule - being a big Yellowman fan - the length of their set was a little ambitious as the duo outlasted many of the people at the after party. (Wales returned by himself to the stage and went on 'riding riddims' deep into the night.)
With a day full of great music in my head and a hint of daylight in the sky, there was only one thing left to do - go get a bagel. A warm, sesame, Fairmount bagel in hand (sorry St-Viateur), I hopped a cab back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep.
More pictures below...
the flyer (with most of the bands playing on it)
BrooklynVegan is proud to team up with M for Montreal again for a FREE Day Party in Austin on Thursday, March 15th from noon-7pm at Hotel Vegan (one of BrooklynVegan's FOUR DAYS in the venue located at 1500 E. 6th St.).
I'll let this full three-stage lineup speak for itself...
Stage 1 (Hotel Vegas Outside)That's all Austin bands on the BV Austin stage. It's going to a very great day
12:00 Of Monsters & Men
12:45 Glen Hansard (of Swell Season & the Frames)
1:30 We Are Serenades (formerly Serenades, mem. Shout Out Louds)
3:00 Korallreven (mem. of the Radio Dept)
4:30 The Drums
5:15 The Wedding Present
6:15 This Will Destroy You
Stage 2 (Hotel Vegas Inside)
12:00 Half Moon Run
1:30 Cold Specks
2:15 Cymbals Eat Guitars
3:00 The Velvet Teen
3:45 Yellow Ostrich
4:30 The Jealous Sound
Stage 3 (Volstead) (BV Austin stage)
12:15 Love Inks
2:30 Ringo Deathstarr
3:15 Silent Diane
4:00 The Young
In addition to the completely free lineup of 24 bands playing on THREE stages, we will also have complimentary drinks courtesy of HobNob Wines, the official wine parter of our entire week of FREE PARTIES at Hotel Vegan (check out HobNob's Facebook page for free music downloads), and a hosted bar courtesy of Sailor Jerry
Special thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making this party possible - including Vox, Blackstar and Korg, our official backline partners, as well as ASCAP, HobNob Wines, NadaMoo!, Sailor Jerry and M for Montreal! And special thanks to GBH Design for making our awesome flyer!
This is the first full day at Hotel Vegan announced. 2/3 of the Wednesday lineup is HERE. Friday and Saturday coming shortly.
By Bill Pearis
Half Moon Run
As an "international delegate" at M for Montreal, by Friday you start to get a little worn out. Your day is booked with meet-ups, panels, something called "speed schmoozing" and loads of bands. Most of it's fun or interesting but I went to sneak a catnap on Friday afternoon and ended up sleeping through one whole showcase. (Sorry, I.No and Bobby Bazini.)
But there was a lot of good in what I did see, including what most agreed was the best new band of the week, Half Moon Run. The Montreal trio match songwriting (and harmonies) of '60s folk rock with the atmospherics of Radiohead. A little too like Radiohead occasionally, but for the most part Half Moon Run had found their own way. I was instantly impressed but it took me a day to get their name right: I tweeted praise for something called Full Moon Circle, which I later realized was partially from one of their songs "Full Circle." (That song and another are streaming at the bottom of this post.) Maybe the name's not so memorable but their music sure was.
Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors
The afternoon show Half Moon Run were part of also featured Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors, punchy twang-n-roll dressed in Nautical outfits; Toronto four-piece The Midway State who make commercial-sounding alt-rock (clearly talented but definitely MOR); and the widescreen roar that was Passwords, who all the Brit journalists in attendance seemed to go gaga for.
After the unplanned three-hour konk-out and some much-needed dinner it was off to La Sala Rossa again for the official evening showcase, which was co-presented by CMJ. Hollerado headlined the show and are a lot of fun. And know their way around a giant hooks, the kind that would've made them hugely popular in the mid-'90s. Songs like "Americanarama" and "Juliette" (from their debut Record in a Bag) would've fit perfectly in between "Seether" and "Sucked Out" on a mixtape. As it is, Hollerado are merely Very Popular in Canada and fans are vocal and rowdy in a good-natured way. The band encourage it with confetti cannons, glowing beach balls and a cover of "Fat Bottom Girls." They also had awesome t-shirts at the merch table co-opting the Wu-Tang Clan logo and the Heisenberg sketch the Cousins pray to in Breaking Bad.
The showcase also had Parlovr on the bill who I've seen a handful of times over the last three years and have become a really solid live band. There's a lot of flying hair and the drummer is crazy tall with long arms flying the whole time. I'm not sure they have yet to write a song as catchy as "Heaven/Hell" which opens their set. If they have, they're not playing it yet.
Uncle Bad Touch
Also on the La Sala Rossa bill: Montreal's Uncle Bad Touch who recently signed to JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label and that probably tells you a lot about their sound. (Riffy, sneery, Nuggets-y party rock.) For those in NYC, Uncle Bad Touch play Death By Audio on November 29.
We also got duo TONSSTARTBANDHT who started off Animal Collectively but became progressively more prone to dissonance. I still don't know how to pronounce their name.
Like the previous night, they had us running across the street to Casa Del Popolo to see more bands. Toronto's Doldrums (aka Alrick Woodhead) was wonderfully ADD, twiddling knobs, hammering sample triggers and pacing around the stage. Too many ideas crammed into one 20-minute set? Maybe, but it was exciting seeing talent that is only just now beginning to show its potential.
The other band at Casa Del Popolo was Candian/Swedish combo Thus:Owls, the only band of the week to use a colon in their name. The band stay busy in Montreal, backing Patrick Watson and Marie Pierre Arthur (who would play the next night). Here, fronted by harpsichord-wielding Erika Angell, they are delicate and stirring and swoony. Angell's got some pipes.
After the Salla Rosa show, we headed over to the late-night after party at Club Soda, one of Montreal's many amazing venues. (Seriously, no city I've visited has more clubs with great sound, great lighting and intelligent layout as Montreal.) I walked in about three songs into Plaster's set which was pretty great. Squelchy and banging, they do live dance music right. If there was a little more flow in their set, they'd give Soulwax a run for their money.
Next was Misteur Valaire who some of you may have seen at one of our day parties during SXSW this year. Seeing them on their home turf, however, is something else. Montreal loves Misteur Valaire who, like a lot of groups genuinely popular with the locals, come with a thick slice of fromage coating everything they do. They definitely put on a show, complete with costume changes. Hipster nerd Franco-Canadian boy band who have serious musical chops applied totally in the pursuit of a good time. The crowd was going mental for the entire set, which didn't finish till 2AM.
At that point I was finished and left before Bran Van 3000 started, choosing instead sweet sleep.
Click through for a few more pictures from Friday's showcases, plus the Half Moon Run streaming player and some video of Hollerado and TONSTARTSSBANDHT in action.