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Red Leather brings us “Poison”

Things that could kill you are often disguised as something you come to enjoy, sometimes too much. You find yourself sinking into a pattern of abuse in a love hate relationship until you are too far gone. It is a daunting task to turn your back on your vices. If anyone can speak on these feelings, it’s Red Leather. With a dark past living all the cliches of Vegas, he too indulged to the point of no return. Though it’s not always substances that lead you astray. Marching to confront something as deadly as a relationship gone bad is not as straightforward as rehab or detoxing. It’s a tangled mess of emotions and picking up the broken pieces. Red sets a dark tone as you march through his latest single Poison.
Written by Octavia Allison

Highly Suspect with “The 8th of October”

As the track begins you feel like you are sitting inside the recording booth as frontman Terrible Johnny picks away. As he begins to sing it is an outpouring of emotions as he drags himself through the regrets of the past. Similar to 16 from their 2019 album MCID, both songs are wrought with emotional turmoil and grief. Chills run down your body as a gentle melody carries you through heavy topics. To end off the piece Highly Suspect delivers a classic and ripping guitar solo reminiscent of the band’s beginnings.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Takes One To Know One” says The Beaches

After releasing Blame My Ex, the album that catapulted them to the forefront of alt rock, The Beaches are back to being toxic. You would be lying if you said you never considered absolute psychological warfare with an ex. The Beaches are shamelessly admitting to bad behaviour in their latest single Takes One To Know One. Frontwoman Jordan Miller explains “this song is about exploring my own culpability in the messy parts of my new relationship, something I wasn’t really capable of doing until now.” Riding on wavy synth, Takes One To Know One is relatable in all the ways you would never admit.
Written by Octavia Allison

Valley and the “Bass Player’s Brother”

With their new album Water the Flowers, Pray For a Garden a little over a month away we have the chance to soak up Valley’s new single Bass Player’s Brother. A ray of sunlight washes over you as a bright melody leads you into the track. Descriptive lyrics set the scene pulling you into a deeper truth you would rather not admit. “In life we often find ourselves in realities that don’t suit our truth, yet we continue to drag ourselves back to the feeling of staying for love’s sake” Valley said when asked about the track. The full album has 12 songs in total that are “a brave exploration of the full spectrum of emotions with an invitation to also surrender control and trust the process” says the band. Valley will be playing at Budweiser Stage August 22 and tickets are on sale now.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Minimum Wage’s Self Titled Track

More grunge and distortion pours through your speakers with The Minimum Wage’s self titled track. With a demanding chant the band relays the crushing issues the working class endures. Attitude is prevalent while the band points out the blatant and ever-growing gap between the rich and the working class. This track blares as you hoist the flag for your cause. “The song underscores the tough choices faced by minimum wage earners and critiques the hypocrisy of the elite” according to the band. Minimum Wage is a song that gets you fired up as you at jarring riffs accentuate your anger.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Black Suit Devil with “Shut The Punk Up”

With speed and riffs you fly into the feature track from The Black Suit Devil’s latest album The Eternal Sleep. Shut The Punk Up is the headbanging anthem of the independent artist. It’s “a road song about life as a touring independent musician. The good and the bad times. Living in your car and travelling to new places. I wanted to showcase some great people that I have met over the years on my travels, so I name dropped a few people and places” explained The Black Suit Devil. The chanting throughout the piece and the bouncing tempo is reminiscent of The Dropkick Murphys punchy brand of punk. You feel the atmosphere of live venues built into Shut The Punk Up. It’s a look into a crazy lifestyle that the average person would never be able to fully delve into.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Takes Me Back” with JJ Wilde

Reflecting on her life so far, JJ Wilde dives into feelings, and memories. Her new single Takes Me Back  is reminiscent of many universal experiences we shared growing up. From getting high for the first time to actually calling your friends on the phone to talk, you feel the nostalgia seeping in. “his song makes me feel like a kid again.” says JJ. Takes Me Back is the idea light and bright track for your summer playlist. She will be at The Opera House November 22nd and you can grab your tickets now.
Written by Octavia Allison

AURORA with “Starvation”

What Happened to The Heart? asks AURORA in the title of her latest album. Despite the oftentimes light and soft delivery of her vocal AURORA commands attention like a hypnotist on stage, somehow drawn merely to their presence alone. Her Nordic origins play a big part in her sound and it reverberates and echoes to immerse you in each melody. AURORA is coming to History December 2 and tickets are available now.
Written by Octavia Allison

breakdown. with Yungblud

Yungblud has made it clear that mental health is a cause to champion with his latest single breakdown. He is open with his personal struggles, but he continues to push forward and be a role model for the many others that share the same feelings. Through this track he shares ways to bring not only yourself to a more positive place but how you can spread that love and kindness to others. Yungblud is moving towards a spoken poetry sound in his more recent projects and it’s quite the deviation from his Soundcloud beginnings. Thankfully we are here to watch this develop and take a fuller shape. With a touch more refining this punchy delivery can continue to be impactful, relatable and give hope to the underrated youth.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Six Feet Deep” with The Warning

Gravely distortion crunches under the impact of each guitar riff. With a Poltergiest-esque video, The Warning’s new single Six Feet Deep makes an impact. Frontwoman Paulina Villarreal knows how to make an impact delivering lyrics with strength and power as she calls out “can’t get any lower now, cause it’s over.” Their latest album Keep Me Fed dropped a week ago with 11 other songs that absolutely rip. The girls will be at The Danforth October 30th and you can grab tickets now.
Written by Octavia Allison

In the “Waiting Room” with Real Friends

Real Friends cry out in pain as they deliver a story of agony and survival through their latest single Waiting Room. Lyrics paint a vivid picture of your worst nightmare, and grunge vocals flood the frame with rage. The band puts real power behind angst in a heavy situation, yet you come out thrashing and wailing. For authentic pop punk check out Waiting Room right here.
Written by Octavia Allison

MGMT with “People In The Streets”

MGMT’s latest single People In The Streets has a somber start. Soft melodies are laced with subtle acoustic picking as you move slowly through this purposeful piece. There are bright spots and the song is punctuated but what sounds like gunshots that breaks up this melodic masterpiece. People In The Streets moves deliberately with grace as you ponder the picturesque lyrics.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Out Loud” with Cage The Elephant

You sit down beside frontman Matt Shultz at the grand piano. He begins to tell you pieces of a personal history and paint a picture of mistakes and regrets. As his voice reverberates you feel all the feelings he has become numb to. “Man I really messed up now” he calls out as Shultz ponders if admitting this will help overcome these problems. Out Loud is an introspective and moody track from the band’s latest album Neon Pill. Cage The Elephant is coming to Budweiser Stage August 27 and tickets are available now.
Written by Octavia Allison

Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold have “The Cure”

We constantly have so many questions for the systems and people in charge and Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold are demanding answers in their latest single The Cure. The infectious chorus calls out “who are we fighting for when we’re all fighting to be heard?” as emotions run high. Lyrics ensure you continue to challenge the power in this politically charged piece. The Cure is packed with fizzing distortion, crisp diction and raw angst.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Teacher Has a Gun” says Badflower

Badflower’s latest single is a catchy anthem of extremes called Teacher Has a Gun. As band’s do these days, the group posted a photo on Instagram with the not so cryptic comment “We have a lot of stuff up our sleeves. You will be fed.” It’s been 3 years since the band put out any new music so we are assuming that now it’s just a matter of time before they drop a full album (fingers crossed at least). Teacher Has a Gun is grungy and dark with a build up to a thrashing chorus.
Written by Octavia Allison

Fontaines D.C’s “Favorite”

If you were to look back at the over exposed and faded photos from your childhood, you feel the nostalgia for a simpler time. Fontaines DC’s latest single Favorite is uplifting soundtrack to let those memories flood back. Frontman Grian Chatten said the track has “a never-ending sound to it, a continuous cycle from euphoria to sadness, two worlds spinning forever.” Their new album ROMANCE is coming out August 23 with 11 tracks in total. Fontaines D.C will be at Queen Elizabeth Theatre October 11th and tickets are available now.
Written by Octavia Allison

Kid Kapachi asks “Can EU Hear Me?”

If you are craving some dirty punk, you need to know the name Kid Kapachi. Their latest single Can EU Hear Me? is a flurry of politically charged lyrics and punchy guitar bursts. As rhythm and cymbals rain down on you, you can’t help but headbang. The band’s latest album There Goes the Neighborhood is just as packed with heavy, driving tracks just like this one. Check out Can EU Hear Me? right here.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Showbiz” with Palaye Royale

Palaye Royal are on the cusp of a new era with their upcoming album Death or Glory dropping August 30th. So far they have released 2 singles Just My Type and Showbiz. Throughout the verses of Showbiz you can feel the energy charging up. As you guessed the song details the dark side of the music industry and serves as a grim warning to all those who dare pursue “the dream.” Lyrics move at a rapid pace and guitar riffs sting like the sharp pain of signing your life away. You sink into the melody and the seedy underbelly of the industry with this track.
Written by Octavia Allison

Milky Chance are “Naked and Alive”

Bright bubbly and riffy are all ways you can describe Milky Chance’s latest single Naked and Alive. With an upbeat tempo and tropical melodies interlaced with the classic Milky Chance feel, the track finds a home in your head. According to a press release the song is “an ode to self love and the celebration of spending time alone with oneself. We want to demonstrate that external validation is not necessary to feel alive.” As always the duo delivers a vibey summer single.
Written by Octavia Allison

Kojak with “Seasons”

With gritty vocals and a genuine folksy feel Kojak has come out swinging with their latest single Seasons. The song pushes forward with an undeniable rhythm and begs you to chant along. “Winters can feel long and drawn out in small-town Ontario,” says drummer Mitchell Cory “so with the changing of the seasons we felt naturally driven to create some tunes that reflected our rejoice in the inevitable tilt of the earth’s axis.” Seasons feels like sitting around a bonfire with some beverages, wondering how summer is slipping by, but making the most of it.
Written by Octavia Allison

Ariana Fig asks “How Do You Want Me?”

A soft and controlled voice is displayed in Ariana Fig’s latest single How Do You Want Me?. It’s a lofty track that drifts around your mind like each question she asks in the lyrics. Fig says the song is about “wanting to figure out how to please someone but not in a needy way.” It’s a thought that circles in many singles minds as they attempt to navigate the ever-changing dating world through apps, hook ups and how to know when to get serious. “Its about exploration and romantic pleasure” she adds. How Do You Want Me? is a hopeful melody that shine’s an optimistic light on a rather tangled subject. If you could honestly express your feelings as well as Ariana, relationships could be much more straightforward.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Tragically Hip “Get Back Again”

The Tragically Hip is synonymous with patriotism, heritage, and their excentric frontman Gord Downie. Though he passed away in 2017, Gord continues to be present still. The Tragically Hip have released a single from their vault called Get Back Again. The song comes from 1989 when the band was working on Up To Here. The album is being remastered, and reissued with 3 additional unreleased singles including Get Back Again. In a clip from a live performance, Gord himself describes it as “a weepy little thing” that stands on strong vocals and raw emotion. It’s one from the archives as the band recorded it before signing their first record deal. The song feels like Canadian nostalgia and a familiar friend.
Written by Octavia Allison

Highly Suspect and “The Blue-Eyed Devil”

2 years ago Highly Suspect dropped Midnight Demon Club and it was sonically different from their most memorable album Mister Asylum. The group has recently released 2 singles that set them back on the path to where they started. Blue Eyed Devil cuts deep with gritty blues vocals from the gut. There is a palpable sense of anguish as frontman Terrible Johnny remains on the run from his emotions. Highly Suspect’s upcoming album As Above, So Below is dropping in less than a month (July 19), with 11 songs in total. Titles like Suicide Machine and Champagne at Our Funeral you can’t help but be drawn to such an excentric band.
Written by Octavia Allison

Featurette with “Red Rover”

With a brooding music video, Featurette breaks through. The struggle to express your true self is delivered over pulsing rhythms and wavering synth melodies. “I’ve been the black sheep but I didn’t own that. I was trying to fit in and wondered what’s wrong with me. I realized there’s a lot ‘wrong’ with me that is the most right about me. I had to start being okay with who I am” explains Featurette. There is power in being individual and Red Rover pushes that to the forefront. The single holds energy while delving into your subconscious for a boost of adrenaline.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Trampoline Delay has “The Right Stuff”

With a cheerful late 90’s sound, you break into The Trampoline Delay’s latest single The Right Stuff. Though it has a positive melody, there are fully realized struggles at the surface. The lyrics talk tentatively about relationships, “love and loss amidst the turbulent journey of life” says the band. You are quickly thrown deep into the plot of an early 2000’ss movie, lip gloss, mean girls and all. As you dig deeper “it’s an introspective exploration of life’s pressures, the weight of regret and the awakening to what truly matters.” Check out The Right Stuff here.
Written by Octavia Allison

Glass Animals with “A Tear In Space (Airlock)”

Glass Animals have released a poignant new track called A Tear In Space (Airlock). Brief melodic stings are threaded together over a heartbeat. Vocals climb to peak and engulf you in a sonic orb of energy. Glass Animals’ upcoming album I Love You So Fucking Much drops July 19 and the group will be at Budweiser Stage August 20 for their ‘Tour of Earth and tickets are available now.
Written by Octavia Allison

Conversation with “Broken Bottles”

You are thrown into a dimly lit, grungy bar where everyone is in the studded and leather uniform but no one is dressed the same. Conversation’s new single screams out with a desperate last-ditch effort for attention. Broken Bottles crackles with pain and anguish all while delving into the seedy underside of a post apocalyptic wasteland. According to the group they wanted to “channel that Crisis-era energy” mixed with “metalcore and a pinch of soca for the breakdown.” You roll through the solid lyrical jabs the chorus throws out. You can’t help but to headbang and thrash to this heavy alt tune.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Open Up” with Ellis in Transit

Ellis in Transit presents us with an ethereal new single called Open Up. A wavering and tentative baseline moves into an echoing display of visceral power. Haunting vocals call out “happier” and the melody dances gently like a mist over a lake. It intertwines with a cosmic energy to engulf you in this indescribable feeling of possibilities and presence. Ellis in Transit has simply created a mind-blowing track with Open Up.
Written by Octavia Allison

Judgement shares “Currents (Inhale)”

If the elder emo inside of you is looking for the quintessential post-hardcore love song for your playlist, Judgement delivers with Currents (Inhale). Lyrics describe how love can leave you breathless all while incendiary riffs burn through the melody. Smooth vocals build to the crescendo of emotions in the chorus. The lyrics cleverly compare living without love to living without air. It can’t be done, and you will struggle on the way down. Currents (Inhale) fully captures an all too familiar feeling. You can catch Judgement in Hamilton at Doors Pub: Taco Joint and Metal Bar June 14th.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Lad Classic with “Leone”

As you tour backroads aimlessly, watching trees roll past, you turn up the stereo. The Lad Classic brings you the perfect song to ponder to. Leone leads you down the winding path ahead with wise words of what you have yet to encounter in life. According to the band the song speaks on “mental health issues and the importance of finding that support system or being someone’s support from the other side of it.” Brooding alt collides with folksy undertones to create this intoxicating track. Check out The Lad Classic right here.
Written by Octavia Allison

Milky Chance is “Golden”

From their latest album Living In A Haze Milky Chance released a video for their song Golden. The track pulses while you watch the 8-bit version of frontman Clemens Rehbein move through a pixelated amusement park. You listen through the high points in a relationship and feel the wavy barbs of synth vibrate your brainwaves. Milky Chance’s stoner alt-pop is addictive and you can take a hit right here.
Written by Octavia Allison

Twenty One Pilots and “The Craving”

We are down to the wire in the last hours before the release of Clancy. Twenty One Pilots have been carefully picking up all the hints they have left behind on previous albums, spanning years. Today the duo released the last single The Craving. It’s a light dreamy melody diving into questions and uncertainty in relationships. Everything will come together for Clancy. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun will be stopping at Scotiabank Arena September 27th and tickets are available now.
Written by Octavia Allison

The Interrupters with “Alien”

The Interrupters released their album In the Wild last year. Frontwoman Aimee Allen throws herself back into trauma to emerge stronger. The band’s song Alien was the pinnacle of this strength and growth. The animated video the group released adds to the heart-wrenching tale of being an outside and illustrates how lonely that can truly feel. Check it out right here.
Written by Octavia Allison

Fortunate Losers pack their “Suitcase”

Grungy guitar reverberates through the storyline that Fortune Losers play out in their song Suitcase. The track was released in 2023 as part of the group’s self title record. With their new cinematic video you become fully immersed in a story of regret and loss. Lyrics slip through slowly but are deliberately placed to pack a punch. Right as frontman Devon Cox calls out “so pack your things in a black suitcase while you dream of the faces you might try to save” you feel yourself spinning as distortion vibrates through your head. Fortunate Losers guide you through this emotional thrashing.
Written by Octavia Allison

Small Town Strip Club is “Runnin”

Stratford natives hit the scene hard with their song Cheap Shot being picked up as the intro music for the Spittin Chiclets podcast, but they have so much more to offer. The band just released a single called Runnin. Bluesy undertones and smooth guitar licks are the foundation for this enticing alt rock track. You continue to saunter forward with punchy vocals leaving a lasting impact. The band tells the tale of a fugitive spiraling through self-destruction and daunting decisions. Small Town Strip Club has perfected their storytelling, blending it seamlessly with their slick musicality. And with such a kick ass name, I know we will see them everywhere in the future.
Written by Octavia Allison

Harm and Ease with “Camino Loco”

I am not exaggerating when I say I have been waiting for the release of this single for at least 6 months. Harm and Ease teased a track called Camino Loco long ago and just that small sample held me in suspense ever since. With a Latin flavour from the band’s Argentinian roots, there is a fiery energy that exudes from this single. This band has a hell of a story, so when they ask you to “come with us and travel down this crazy road” you are in for a ride. Not only did Harm and Ease record music in Buenos Airies only to lose it in a fire, they spent time busking and moved from Argentina to Toronto. Their experiences have made them such versatile storytellers, who refuse to be tied to just one genre.
Written by Octavia Allison

Black Suit Devil is “Buried In You”

Black Suit Devil wastes no time kicking off his latest release Buried In You. It bares a resemblance to a Guns and Roses sound in the wailing vocals and gritty rock feel. Black Suit Devil is all too aware of the things going on in this word. Lyrics reflect a hope for rebellion or at the very least the ability to think for yourself. It’s a powerful move toward a solution. Clocking in at 7 and a half minutes, Buried In You takes you through the passion, disillusion and momentum of a movement. His upcoming album The Eternal Sleep comes out June 28.
Written by Octavia Allison

“Just My Type” says Palaye Royale

Straying from their usually moody, broody selves, Palaye Royale has released Just My Type. Lyrics still take cynical jabs about romance and relationship but overall they fend off hesitations as they accept a toxic trade off. By no means do I think the band is abandoning their mysterious and grungy roots. It’s nice to see the versatility all while encapsulating their core sound.
Written by Octavia Allison