VIDEO PREMIERE

Toebow - Key Song

By Gerard Marcus

New York indie pop wizards Toebow’s entire persona seems to exist in the surreal. They describe themselves as a “cartoon psych pop party,” and their recent debut album ‘Themes’ and accompanying video for “Mr. Tony” have done a great job of creatively honing the power of the outlandish. Their new video for the track “Key Song,” directed by Bernard Feinsod, is no different, stylishly showcasing a day at the beach with the group–a perfect visual accompaniment to the fun loving, playful tune. But their surreality manages to shine through, the peppy tone and sunny vibes in stark contrast to the song’s story of the end of a toxic relationship. It shows the beach as place to process and meditate, spending some time in the sun with friends to try and cope with stresses that seem ever present and extremely distant all at once. It’s a perfect summer track for an imperfect life, and it has me looking forward to many days at the beach. 

VIDEO PREMIERE

Alexia Avina - All That I Can't See

By Abigail Clyne

Like the recording of the Montreal musician’s album, Alexia Avina’s video for the track “All That I Can’t See” takes to the countryside; this time to make art with the body. Shot on film, the video grounds the track, a meditation on the fears and anxieties that envelope us. The acoustic guitar and sparse vocals pair beautifully with dancer Stephanie Jacco’s organic movement in field and pond as she dreamily dances about in a white cotton dress. She yearns to escape her fallible human body, “If I were a lake / my body wouldn’t break / beneath it’s own weight.” Sometimes dancing in nature can be the best balm for the anxieties of life. 

VIDEO PREMIERE

2012 BID ADIEU - SOMETHING TO TELL YOU

By Gerard Marcus

2012 Bid Adieu is a DIY artist collective headed by Jordan Clark and Gray Hall, featuring a lot of our favorite artists in the New York scene. Their output to date has consisted of three singles and two videos which all exude creative experimentation and high levels of musicianship. The new video for “Something To Tell You” keeps that trend alive. The track, fronted by Hall on vocals and guitar, deals with themes of escapism. How do you move on after finding yourself in a situation where remaining would only make things more confusing. The video, directed by Jeff O’neal, helps bring that story to life through creative use of isolation and distortion, with a spotlight on Hall allowing the emotional content of his words shine through. It’s another truly intriguing piece from the New York based collective, and has me very excited for their debut “We Died In 2012: This Is Hell,” set to release Friday, June 7th of this year.

Words from Jordan Clark himself:

As it stands, We Died In 2012: This Is Hell serves an open-letter to the internet set to release Friday, June 7th. “Something To Tell You” is 2012 Bid Adieu’s third single off their debut album. Sung by Gray Hall, “Something To Tell You” is a conversation with someone who the singer no longer has a relationship with. Frustrated and seeking answers that he is not receiving, the singer ultimately knows that he’ll have to leave the situation (“I’ll move to a city”). While 2012 Bid Adieu’s album begins with a more generic look at escapism in the internet-age, "Something To Tell You," the final song on the album, looks at the singer’s own struggles with escapism.

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW: Corridor

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By Phillipe Roberts

Photography by Julia Leiby

Digging through the sprawl of YouTube thumbnails, I decode a video title using the shriveled remains of my high school French, and see myself in the crowd watching Corridor as they tear through a blistering set closer at Montreal’s L’Escogriffe. Somewhat. Darker skin in a dark room isn’t the best for video resolution, but through the sticky heat, I can make out the exact spot in the crowd where my melted mind took in the rush of the still-unreleased Corridor song rolling over us. Where, at 3:35 in the video, I helped lift a gentleman in his 70s up and over the front row, hurling him back into the waiting arms of the cheering bodies behind me. The green glow of the strobe flickers, and he’s swept away - frolicking in the waves of strong hands as the music spirals overhead. 

“That’s my roommate’s father,” bassist and vocalist Dominic Berthiaume explains. I’m sitting with Corridor in First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, where Corridor are unwinding in the sanctuary green room before the final show of a short tour with rising indie upstarts Crumb. We sit scattered in the pews after their soundcheck, and Dominic gives me a brief lesson in Montréal scene mythology. “He produces our albums and is famous in the scene. He goes to the shows of every band that his son worked with, takes photos, and gets wild. And once he gets wild, everyone in the room goes off.” Guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Robert tucks a curl back under his hat and chimes in. “That was our fifth anniversary show, so he really went for it; he took the mic and started screaming into it, just rocking harder than anyone,” he says, “But we played our first show ever at L’Esco and we’re happy the celebration there was something special.” 

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Alongside L’Escogriffe, which has tripled in size from the small 100 capacity venue that nurtured the band, Corridor has blossomed into a staple of Montreal’s music scene. While the scene may face the same demographic challenges that plague all burgeoning DIY communities - Dominic briefly laments the shift away from house shows due to gentrification and the accompanying noise complaints - Jonathan focuses on the continued inspiration of seeing “waves of young people moving to Montreal to make loud art,” much as they did six years ago.

For these new arrivals, Corridor’s sound is a warm - if not entirely familiar - welcome home, a lesson on generating novel returns from a time-tested formula. The quartet, rounded out by Julian Perreault’s razor sharp lead guitar and Julien Bakvis’s metronomic swagger behind the drum kit, play an unusually bright take on post-punk, leaning heavy on the treble as the two guitarists weave hypnotic arpeggiations over an effortlessly punchy rhythm section. Corridor’s music is flooded with lyrical themes of transcendence, awakening, and escape, tucked away inside songs of almost traditionalist devotion to the all-consuming power of the chiming, nostalgic guitar riff. On 2017’s Supermercado, there’s the ecstatic six-string buildup of mid-album stunner “Data Fontaine,” and the sugary New Wave lead on the effortlessly romantic “L’espoir sans fin.” Or how “Demain déjà” slides seamlessly from the jagged bravado of its slashing opening chords into twinkling notes that gradually wink out into the night, sounding like a twisted collaboration between the Byrds and Joy Division. This is a band that knows and loves the power of the instrumental outro, who can rock out with the best of them without ever lapsing into prog-rock silliness. 

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Wedged between Camp Howard’s 90s slacker pop wanderings and Crumb’s chilled-out psychedelia, Corridor’s live intensity would feel out of place if the unsuspecting crowd wasn’t fully enthralled by the second song, a particularly rowdy take on Supermercado single “Coup d’épée.” Cheers from the room egg on Dominic, who asks if there are any French speakers on the audience. A few excited folks howl in approval, contrasted with a few half-hearted “Oui”s and some nervous laughter as burgeoning fans snap into awareness that, no, the PA wasn’t acting up. The band laughs, tunes, and carries on. 

This is a regular occurrence for Corridor, who are used to smashing through the language barrier night after night. But this particular tour has been full of new milestones and highlights for the band, not the least of which is managing to sleep on beds for every night of the tour. “That was a first,” Jonathan laughs, “We still have to share beds, but we’ve gotten way better at planning it out.” All credit to Dominic’s vastly expanded AirBnb game, which also netted them a pair of new fans along the way. “We were staying in Richmond and booked two nights in one spot. We told the guy we were staying with that we were in a band and he was really excited,” he explains. “His daughter had a pair of tickets to our show, and ended up taking him with her when her friend cancelled. He didn’t realize it was us playing until we talked about playing a second show, and he ran up to the merch table raving to buy a shirt right after.” Corridor is for the family. 

Mixing on the band’s third album is slated to begin as soon as they return to Montreal, and you can feel a renewed energy coursing through them as they discuss the still-untitled record. “It was kind of a rushed recording,” Dominic says, the pew squeaking beneath him as he adjusts his posture. “We were in the studio for 30 days, with one day off per week.” I ask them to describe the new sound in a word or two. The band puzzles over the question. Chins are stroked. Glasses are cleaned. Jonathan gives it a shot. “Wacky?” A chuckle of agreement from Julian and Julien. Jonathan elaborates, “We had a few days to work on arrangements and we ended up putting in lots of samples.” Dominic cuts in, “Car crashes. F1 racing. Bottles breaking on the ground. Sampling from Felix the Cat.” He’s giddy at how much this clearly leaves unsaid, a wild look in his eye at how ridiculous this sounds given their tightly focused rock sound. I admit that I’m surprised, and, as a fan, even a bit nervous. “Don’t worry,” says Jonathan, with the quickest of smirks, “You'll recognize us.” 

Second-hand anxiety be damned; the strongest crowd reactions of the night come from a pair of new tunes with no samples to be found. The first takes their fixation on mantra-like incantations to new heights, bending a repetitive phrase around two clashing chords to the effect of a grittier Panda Bear tune. The second hones their signature twin-guitar attack to its sharpest point, an explosive melody that calls to mind Deerhunter’s spaced out jams, taken at a breakneck pace. Both are absolutely thrilling, and left the crowd in awed disarray. Throw down on all the Felix the Cat samples you want, Corridor. We might be shoveling sweat out of our eyes from dancing, but we’ll recognize you. 

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PREMIERE

Slow Dakota - Creation of the World

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By Abigail Clyne

Don’t let the joyful nature of the track fool you–Slow Dakota’s new single, “Creation of the World,” is asking the big questions. The title alone hints to this track being more than meets the eye. PJ Sauerteig (Slow Dakota) is joined by Margaux Bouchegnies on vocals and Corey Dansereau on trumpet. Throughout the song, the duo ponders where their urge for expression comes from. “I can’t decide if I write from some Great hole inside,” they sing, and compare their way of creation to that of Christ, “If Christ spoke Mountain Ice all because His Life was flat and dry.”

Later, the pair wonders if their inspiration perhaps comes from a more positive place, “Or do I sing from some Great abundance, bubbling high.” In the end, much like the different expressions of God shown in the Old and New Testaments, it seems a balance has been struck. Creation, and therefore expression, comes out of both desperation and love. The constant plucking of the guitar and later addition of the trumpet allows for this self analysis to never become dour. We all need a helping hand to guide us through the weighty questions, and Slow Dakota makes it both easy and profound all at once.