BTW-Astrocolor, Yoke Lore, Leif Hall, The Tiki Collective, Slow Leaves

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Victoria-BC’s six-piece electronica group, Astrocolor drops their new EP, Astrocolor III, April 6 th via eOne. The album follows Astrocolor II, a stunning beat-and-pulse driven record of techno, house and funk, blended with intricate strings and jazzy percussion. Astrocolor III, the third release in a trilogy of EPs on Softtone/eOne, sees the band’s instrumental and electronic roots expand into traditional song formats with feature vocals ( A Light Goes Out feat. Kuba Oms), acid breakbeat (Smell of Acid), alternative house (Daylight Savings", and electro-funk (Break Your Body). Produced by Neil Cooke-Dallin, Astrocolor III is built equally for a big night out in the clubs or a dinner party soundtrack at home.

Based in Victoria, BC, Astrocolor performs and record live electronic music, recalling the Chemical Brothers, Air, and St. Germain, and play on the edges of funky house, balearic, breakbeat, and ambient. Astrocolor has brought their celebratory live show to seminal western Canadian music festivals including Rifflandia, Song & Surf, Tall Tree, and Atmosphere Gathering. The band also made debut appearances last year in Toronto (Canadian Music Week), Seattle (Upstream Music Festival), Vancouver (with Five Alarm Funk at the legendary Commodore Ballroom), St Louis, and Chicago. Astrocolor’s catalogue of original material has well over one million plays on Spotify and a loyal following of regular listeners globally.

Neil Cooke-Dallin (Producer/DJ) owns and runs a great recording studio in Victoria called Burning Rainbow ( http://burningrainbow.com/ ), and is very passionate about discussing anything studio related, or being a technical audiophile. He also lives on a houseboat! Andrew Poirier (guitarist) is an accomplished woodworker and makes beautiful tables and furniture, using rugged west coast materials that he finds on his property outside of Victoria.Check it here: instagram.com/andrewpoiriermusic/ 

Push Too Hard video:

Astrocolor live show sizzle reel:

Astrocolor live at the Commodore Ballroom:

Absolutes, the forthcoming EP of New York indie-pop act Yoke Lore, explores the grey areas between black and white ideas while building upon the lush, sonic palette of his past works. The new music finds multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and visual artist Adrian Galvin polishing his heartfelt anthems and ruminating on finding balance amid respective oppositions by breaking through the notion that truth necessitates purity.

“These songs all gravitate around the struggle between two sides of something,” Galvin explains. “The opening track, Fake You”, is about the difficulty of realizing your perception of someone doesn’t necessarily match who they really are. Cut And Run” follows, conveying the instinct to flee versus the instinct to find a home, and Concrete” illustrates Galvin’s struggle between living in the city and being in the country. “So, they are all the conflicts of absolutes,” he states. “There must be a balance, some movement and some pull. A life of absolutes is no life at all.” As with his previous releases, Galvin drew the artwork for his upcoming EP using bifurcated lines and contrasting imagery to convey his messages of absolutes.

The former Walk The Moon and Yellerkin member’s solo musical endeavor combines echoing waves of banjo, vocals, and percussion to create unforgettable pop songs with tactile sincerity and conviction. Galvin first hit the ground running in 2016 with Yoke Lore’s debut EP, Far Shore. In 2017, the title track of his 2017 EP Goodpain hit #1 on Hype Machine, and quickly after his songs caught fire on Spotify, racking up over 10 million plays throughout the year.

Goodpain also garnered attention from major tastemakers such as NYLON, Consequence of Sound, Billboard, and more. Yoke Lore toured extensively through 2017 with acts like Aquilo and fellow Arts & Crafts labelmates Overcoats, while also making his way to the UK for The Great Escape and festivals like Field Trip in Toronto and Billboard Hot 100 in New York.

Following the success of his song “Goodpain”, Galvin was invited to Spotify’s New York City studio to record a stripped-down version the track, as well as two covers for his Spotify Singles: “Last Christmas” by Wham! and “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden. His holiday song graced Spotify’s Holiday Singles playlist alongside covers by Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, and Miley Cyrus.

After a successful first-ever run of headline tour dates, Yoke Lore found an unexpected new fan in pop idol Taylor Swift, who added his cover of “Truly Madly Deeply” to her “Songs Taylor Loves” Spotify playlist in 2018.

Yoke LorePhoto Credit Wes And AlexYoke Lore
Photo Credit Wes And Alex

Yoke Lore Tour
Apr 5 - Nashville, TN - High Watt
Apr 6 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
Apr 7 - Orlando, FL - The Social
Apr 9 - Charlotte, NC - Neighbourhood Theatre
Apr 10 - Raleigh, NC - The Pour House Music Hall
Apr 12 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Apr 13 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry
Apr 14 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Apr 15 - New York, NY - The Bowery Ballroom
Apr 18 - South Burlington, VT - Showcase Lounge
Apr 19 - Montreal, QC - Bar le Ritz PDB
Apr 21 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
Apr 23 - Pontiac, MI - Pike Room at the Crofoot
Apr 24 - Cincinnati, OH - The Woodward Theatre
Apr 27 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
Apr 28 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Apr 29 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
May 1 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
May 2 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
May 4 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
May 5 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
May 6 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
May 8 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
May 9 - Santa Barbara, CA - SOhO
May 11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
May 12 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
May 13 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
May 14 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
May 17 - Austin, TX - The Parish
May 18 - Houston, TX - House Of Blues
May 19 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
May 20 - Dallas, TX - House Of Blues
May 22 - Oklahoma City, OK - Tower Theatre
May 24 - Denver, CO - Ophelia’s

Lief HallLief HallVancouver electronic artist Lief Hall is pumped to announce the release of her new album Roses for Ruins Friday, April 6th. Hall will celebrate the album's release with a Vancouver Release Show at VIVO on April 6th and then will head out on a West Coast Tour with LA electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist ERAS starting on April 10th. Just out, Hall's second single'Lead Blood'. The first single, the title track, 'Roses for Ruins' was released earlier this year when the video premiered on Exclaim!

Previously a member of electronic duo MYTHS and no wave trio Mutators, Hall began her solo project while living in Berlin in 2014, creating layered experimental all-vocal compositions in her album Voices(2014) and integrating dark electronic production with layered vocal harmonies in her EP Transform (2015). Recorded by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor on Gabriola Island, Roses for Ruinsmarks a new direction for Hall's solo work, integrating acoustic instrumentation with Elisa Thorn on harp, Byron Peters on drums, Martin Reisle on cello and Jordan Koop on guitar.

Roses For Ruins is a collection of songs which blends electronic beats, foreboding synths and haunting vocal harmonies into pop-flirting melodies which explore the connection between the personal and the political, nature, technology and the subconscious. The second single ' Lead Blood' is a song that continues to bring the album's themes into focus.

"I chose to release 'Lead Blood' as the second single from the album because it differs distinctly from the first single, emphasizing the electronic production and evoking a more industrialized and technological landscape,” says Lief Hall. “Both tracks express elements that run through the whole album which interweaves metaphors of natural and technological landscapes while mixing pop with the avant-garde.”

Whether penetrating into the depths of the earth (in songs'Dark Seed', 'Glass & Obsidian' and 'Snakes'), entering into subconscious dreamworlds (in'Roses for Ruins', 'Fiction’s Refrain' and 'Dream to Forget'), exploring life as a machine (in 'Lead Blood') or entering into the burning industrial landscapes of global warming (in 'Paper Ash') the album is at once delicate and ominous, reflecting the complex relations of contemporary experience.

Roses for Ruins is being released on Hall’s new label, Aqua Aura Records, and will be available on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services on Friday, April 6th.

LIEF HALL TOUR DATES
April 6 - Vancouver, BC - VIVO (Album Release Show), w/ Mourning Coup, Michelle Mackenzie + sound installation by Gabi Dao
April 10 - Tijuana, Mexico - Net Net, w/ ERAS
April 11 - San Diego, CA - Kava Lounge, w/ ERAS
April 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Vertexx, w/ ERAS
April 19 - Portland, OR - Open Signal, w/ ERAS
April 21 - Vancouver, BC - Sunset Terrace, w/ ERAS

Surrealist dilletant and serious jazzhead Jaymz Bee is a huge supporter of so many artists, young and old and is always exploring and creating new ways to showcase them. In the case of the MUSE project, he’s assembled an all-star band to accompany 16 female singers of various stripes. Jaymz says, “It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Eric St-Laurent. A couple of years ago, when I told him I dreamed of having a large group of musicians and singers playing "Exotica" music; we quickly dove into blending world, jazz, surf and pop. The band has played several shows since and as it is a collective - members can change but the songs and sound remain. It’s always the same and completely different!

Muse collaborator Lorenzo DiGian Felice adds: “When Jaymz explained that this project would assist a number of young singers and veteran musicians (both financially and with exposure), I knew it would either be a successful business venture or I’d be a patron of the arts. Regardless, I knew I would feel great, and I was right. Throughout the process of making this recording, there was a magic in the air!”  

MUSE by The Tiki Collective is the type of record you can play in the evening by the pool; in the car to calm road rage at rush hour; after dinner with a glass of wine or to be enjoyed with headphones after a smoke. Music for chillin’.

Advance copies of "MUSE" will be available on CD at the concert for $20. For the time being the album won’t be on iTunes as the producers are negotiating with labels.

This concert is also the birthday bash for co-producers Jaymz Bee (April 13) and Lorenzo DiGianFelice (April 14).

The Tiki Collective releases its debut album, Muse, Thur. Apr.12 @ Lula Lounge.

Running order is Robert Scott and Genevieve Marentette 7:30PM, The Tiki Collective CD Launch 8:30PM, The Jay Danley Ethiojazz Band featuring Hilario Duran 10:30PM.

Grant DavidsonPhoto Credit Christopher DyckGrant Davidson
Photo Credit Christopher Dyck

Earlier this year, Slow Leaves (aka Grant Davidson) took to the road with Jenn Grant for a string of performances across Canada before heading out for a three-week European tour. Now, the JUNO MasterClass songwriter will return to the road in Canada beginning April, working current cookie Enough About Me.

Slow Leaves recently shared the new video for “Chinatown” from the album. Of the video, Davidson says, "It can be difficult working with actors. So when my family was out of town for two days, I borrowed a mannequin from a friend. The obvious challenge was filming while making the mannequin move at the same time. I also have many windows without blinds and wonder if my neighbours might have seen something they shouldn’t have.”

The influence of using a mannequin instead of an actor stems from the songwriting process itself. “When I think back to my teenage relationships, I think of moments of such intense drama that it sometimes felt like we were actors in a bad movie,” says Davidson. “When I wrote this song, I had recently seen Casablanca and Polanski’s Chinatown — both love stories but with very different endings. I think we enter relationships hoping to be in Casablanca, but sometimes we end up in Chinatown instead.”

Enough About Me is Davidson’s most personal album to date, reflecting on an ordinary life where meaning is invented and comfort is found in the realization that there are no answers. The album was born of the demos Davidson had recorded in his Winnipeg basement. Joined by frequent bandmates and collaborators Jason Tait (Bahamas, Weakerthans),Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities, Sheepdogs), and Julie Penner (Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think), these ten songs represent a true distillation of his influences while acknowledging, as the self-referential title suggests, that no man (or record) is an island.

After three albums released under his own name, Davidson shifted to the moniker Slow Leaves for the 2014 critically lauded release Beauty Is So Common. In 2015, Slow Leaves garnered further attention for his selection in the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class. With Enough About Me, Slow Leaves continues to spare nothing in creating vivid images and heartfelt connections — the culmination of where he’s been and where he’s going.

Slow Leaves Tour Dates
Apr 2 - Oshawa, ON - Moustache Club
Apr 3 - Toronto, ON - Burdock
Apr 4 - Ottawa, ON - Bar Robo
Apr 5 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo
Apr 6 - Campbellford, ON - Churchkey Pub
Apr 7 - St. Catherines, ON - Merchant Ale House
Apr 9 - Windsor, ON - Beer Exchange
Apr 26 - Calgary, AB - Ironwood
Apr 27 - Twin Butte, AB - General Store
Apr 28 - Camrose, AB - Bailey Theatre
Apr 29 - Red Deer, AB - Bo’s
May 2 - Slave Lake, AB - TBD
May 5 - Mission, BC - House show
May 6 - Vancouver, BC - TBD 

LIVE PORT HOPE, ON
Oriana Singers presents Handel's Messiah
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church
Apr.2 3 p.m.

LIVE QUEBEC CITY
Roch Voisine Tout Simplement tour
Grand Théâtre de Québec

Apr . 5 Apr. 6 8 PM

LIVE VICTORIA
Alvvays/Frankie Rose Capital Ballroom
Apr.3 8.00 PM.

LIVE ST.JOHN’S
Mark Stevens Tapas Bar & Grill
Apr.11 8.00 PM.

This year, Easter Sunday falls on April Fool’s Day. No kidding. Here in Ontario, ‘tis said when this rare conjunction of comedy occurs, if Jesus sees the Easter Bunny’s shadow upon rising, we get another go-round with a Model T Ford. Happy Easter y’all.