All the Rage no. 77, March 22, 2020: Anthropocene Dream

As always, the best in new and indie music from Canada, Australia and beyond. There’s no better way to enjoy your social isolation, right?

On the show: mellow chillness from Kashka and Molly Drag, tasty loudness from Montreal’s Double Date with Death, delicious power pop from NOBRO and Bloods, poppy confections from U.S. Girls and Hello Seahorse!, Heart Beach with a side dish of homesickness, a spiky punk punch from Cable Ties and Rata Negra.

I really need to get something to eat.

The show:

The setlist:

KASHKA
It’s Winter Now

NOBRO
Marianna

Double Date with Death
La princesse de l’au-delà (feat. Laurence Gauthier-Brown)

OPT/out
Holocene

Cable Ties
Sandcastles

Rata Negra
¿Qué Tendrá?

Bloods
U & M E

Spectres
Provincial Wake

U.S. Girls
Overtime (feat. James Baley & Jake Clemons)

Hello Seahorse!
Gratitud

Funeral Lakes
Anthropocene Dream

Victories at Sea
Ice Data Centre

Art d’Ecco
I’ll Never Give You Up

Diamondtown
The Voice

VIM
Waiting

Crystal Eyes
Wishes

Heart Beach
Together

Go Get Mum
Moving Day

Molly Drag
Walking Out

 

All the Rage no. 58, December 12, 2018: My favourite songs of 2018

In which I look back at my favourite left-field pop songs of 2018, from Canada, Australia and beyond. So many excellent songs, so many excellent bands came our way in 2018 that this list only scrapes the surface. Let’s get to it! Your setlist and song-by-song reviews below.

 

  1. Rebel Yell, Stains (feat. Gussy)

So many great songs passed over the All the Rage airwaves in 2018 that it was incredibly difficult to choose the cut-off song, as it were: my “Rest of 2018” list is 33 songs long. That said, isn’t this a great piece of menacing electronic tuneage? I think my first exposure to Rebel Yell, a.k.a. Brisbane’s Grace Stevenson, was via a remix of a Lovely Head song. So when Hired Muscle, her debut album arrived last June, I was definitely on board. All in all, not a bad way to begin the countdown.

  1. Smaller Hearts, Chipper

Pet Shop Boys meets Stereolab, with hints of Depeche Mode? Yes, please. “Chipper,” and their whole album, hint at greatness to come from these Nova Scotians.

  1. Würst Nürse, Hot Doctor

I like to think my musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but if there’s anything that I’ve learned in putting together this show and podcast for the past three-plus years it’s that I definitely have a type, or a few types. And one type is definitely loud, aggressive, melodic punk with a social conscience and a sense of humor. Which is to say that I’ve got all of the time in the world for “the world’s first and best nurse punk band.” Being serious is easy; writing a straight-up Rawk song about sexism that includes the line, “I want your hot beef injection,” is something else. And that something else is Satirical Feminist Transcendent Rock Awesomeness.

  1. IV League, Superstar

Pure, anthemic pop. A glittering fight song.

  1. Civic, New Vietnam

Punk as fuck.

  1. Haolin Munk, Deep Space Float (feat. Lee Reed)

Chill as all get-out. And from just down the road in Hamilton. And it’s part of an odd concept album about aliens and space or some such. Check it out.

  1. Savour the Rations, Thank the Lord (feat. Domba, Kwame, Raj Mahal & Gibrillah)

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/5738271

Hard, heavy, profane Australian hip hop. Um, yes, I’m in.

  1. Choses Sauvages, Ariane

Mellow Québécois pop. I’ve already used the word “chill” to describe another song on this list, but it definitely applies here, and I’m too lazy to check a thesaurus.

  1. Donny Benét, Love Online

Finally seeing Donny Benét live (in Paris, no less. On a boat, no less) was a personal highlight of 2018. (I have no doubt that his January concert in Cologne will feature similarly in my 2019.) So was the release of his latest album, The Don. 80s-style synth-based pop combined with sexy-adjacent lyrics is his stock in trade. Think Chromeo-style come-ons delivered by someone posing as a gone-to-seed Lothario who, despite outward appearances, still has It. His secret is that the music is tight and his lyrics are clever without ever descending into parody. Being serious and sincere is easy, being funny and clever is difficult. Anyway, yeah, “Love Online” is a great song, but I could’ve picked any song from The Don. Treat yourself. Check him out. You deserve it.

  1. Flowertruck, Come Across

But just because it’s easier to be sincere than funny and clever doesn’t mean there’s no place for sincerity in my favourite songs, “Come Across” being a prime example. It leans heavy on the melancholy and angst and hits those feels like a pro, ably assisted by a chorus that’s been lodged in my mind for months.

  1. Speedy Ortiz, Lucky 88

See above re emotional heft, which Speedy Ortiz has become expert at delivering. They’re fast becoming one of the United States’ most dependable and exciting rock bands.

  1. Paupière, Défunte Lune de Miel

And now for some bouncy Québécois pop. Still disappointed that I missed them when they came through Toronto earlier this year.

  1. Babygirl, Over in No Time

Sad, beautiful dreampop from Toronto. Wonderful delicateness.

  1. Tram Cops, stolen land

A moody and haunting track out of Melbourne. Yeah. It sticks with you.

  1. Constant Mongrel, 600 Pounds

Heavy, in tone and content. A song from the soundtrack of a world in a bad spot and spiralling.

  1. Orlando Furious, Rage

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/arD_5YGJdQ0?rel=0

Stream of consciousness unlike anything else I heard this year. Discordant, dissonant, unsettling. 

  1. Tim & the Boys, Hey

Driving, straight-ahead rock and roll with a nice aggressive edge…. Geez. I feel like I’m trying to write about wine. You can use words like “mouthfeel” all you want, but it basically comes down to, do you like it? Yeah, I like this song. I like it a lot. It’s my 14th-favourite song of the year. It rocks. It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t buy these Sydneysiders’ album in Canada until months after it was released Down Under.

  1. Confidence Man, Don’t You Know I’m In a Band

In 2018, Confidence Man followed up on a couple of ridiculously enjoyable singles with a ridiculously enjoyable debut album. Case in point, this tongue-in-cheek assertion of pop star entitlement that is itself a near-perfect pop song. I want Confidence Man to be around forever, please.

  1. BBQT, High Wasted

Charming, off-kilter indie pop from Montreal. One of my two go-to summer songs on this list.

  1. Muncie Girls, Picture of Health

So, Muncie Girls is one of only three non-Canadian or -Australian bands that made my top 30, which should give you a good idea of how much I like this song. “Picture of Health” is pop-punk done right, and I’m particularly taken with their stuttered repetition of words in the song’s earwormy chorus. I’ve never heard that done before, and it Sounds. So. Cool.

  1. Little Ugly Girls, Tractor

Australian (from Hobart) riot grrrl band with tracks preserved in amber since the 1990s and whose album was only released this year. “Tractor” roars.

  1. Chromeo, Room Service

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/B-_xw6lf9T8?rel=0

We’re all running low on energy. Chromeo makes the case against going out, and for staying in and getting down. I’m convinced.

  1. JuliaWhy?, Pocket

More proof that the future of rock and roll is female.

  1. Metric, Now or Never Now

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/4Eh6mc993AIHTEpj3LFIlp

The live version of this song was a standout when I saw Metric in Utrecht in November, leading me to revisit it on the album. Verdict: It’s among Metric’s best.

  1. Petra Glynt, Surveillance

Probably the most epic tune on this list, “Surveillance” is an uncompromising and abrasive piece of artpop that had me thinking of U.S. Girls or an unvarnished Grimes. Bonus points for making a danceable song about living in a surveillance society.

  1. Sunscreen, Tide

My choice for 2018 summer song. A gentle pop tune that nails that end-of-summer feeling. 

  1. Phantastic Ferniture, Fuckin ‘n’ Rollin

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/00F5GpqtjDr750q3M2Bkfm

Reminds me of Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phonenix in that all of the guitar pop songs on this Sydney band’s debut album sound timeless, like they always existed. Perfection.

  1. Sahara Beck, Here We Go Again

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5s2JcXMkuhkEF8MYeWFrW1

I’ve been a fan of Sahara Beck since coming across her song “Brother Sister” on triplejunearthed.com. After a 2016 debut album on which she seemed to be trying to do everything at once, Beck comes through in 2018 with the superb “Here We Go Again,” a song built on the same emotional depth that characterized her previous work. I’m very excited to see where she goes next.

  1. Superchunk, Reagan Youth

Who would’ve thought that a 30-year-old band would deliver the year’s most insightful take on how everything went wrong in the United States. A song that is as musically vital as it is emotionally necessary.

  1. U.S. Girls, Incidental Boogie

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5DZBl18zByeRXwRotKcVvF

From the first time I heard U.S. Girls’ “Incidental Boogie” in 2015 (on the Free Advice Column EP), it was clear that Meg Remy was someone to watch. Fast forward three years later, and U.S. Girls’ latest album, In A Poem Unlimited, is deservedly topping best-of lists. The whole album is great: rage at social injustices mediated by elaborate, sultry (and sometimes menacing) pop arrangements. In writing and performing a pop album of great substance, Remy (working with myriad conspirators) is performing at pop’s highest difficulty setting and succeeding brilliantly. Easily the best album, with the best songs, of the year. And the re-recorded “Incidental Boogie” is just harrowing in its bleakness.

So there you go. See you in 2019!

All the Rage no. 49 – June 23, 2018: Feel-good hits of the year

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Good music equals good mood. The proof is streaming below.

Your setlist:

Shirley & the Pyrmaids, One Life

Expanda Fuzz, Check Your Watch

Moaning Lisa, Good

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7137071

VOIID, Not For You

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7135436

White Blanks, Go Right Now

Georgia June, Pressure

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6529526

Muncie Girls, Picture of Health

Wax Mannequin, Boring

Fritz, Biggest Fool in the World

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7119326

Loose Tooth, Keep Up

Seaside, Golden Girl

Stars, One Day Left

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xXW1BB6N1gg?rel=0

Single Tear, in your arms, in my arms

Chromeo, Room Service

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/B-_xw6lf9T8?rel=0

All the Rage no. 46 – April 16, 2018: Sonic Productivity/Sonic Procrastination

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: So I recorded this back in mid-April and thought I’d be able to get around to polishing and posting it while in Brazil. That didn’t happen, but better late than never. Anyway, for your listening pleasure, I present to you the sounds of Le Plaisir, Suss Cunts, Primitive Calculators, and a super-stunning piece of musical genius by Rebel Yell. And more. Wow.

Your setlist:

Rebel Yell, Stains (ft. Gussy)

Confidence Man, Don’t You Know I’m in a Band

Tim & the Boys, White Guys

Civic, Burning Steel

Sloan, Spin Our Wheels

Blush Response, Cruel

Choses Sauvages, Ariane

Midlife, The Gloves Don’t Bite

Kwame, Wow

Le Plaisir, Chilblains

BBQT, High Wasted

Suss Cunts, Tempter

Amya Laucirica, Under the Tide

Stella Donnelly, Mechanical Bull

All the Rage no. 45 – April 8, 2018: The Don

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Donny Benét’s new album is finally out, and it’s fantastic. Let’s start with that. New Primitive Calculators! Birdz & Omar Musa! Dakk’One! So much more! Listen up!

Your setlist:

Donny Benét, Love Online

Birdz & Omar Musa, About Me

Dakk’one, Lullaby

White Hex, Gold

Primitive Calculators, Power

Preoccupations, Antidote

Candy, Apartment in the City

Flowertruck, Come Across

Soft Wounds, Story

Wild Meadows, Fever

 Hit Bargain, Capitulate

Talk Show Host, We’re Not Here to Make Friends

So Young, Sixteen

All the Rage no. 40 – January 13, 2018: First of the New Year!

Welcome to 2018. Show 40. The best in Canadian and Australian left-field pop, with a special guest appearance from UK band Artificial Pleasure. Let’s get to it!


Your setlist:

IV League, Change My Mind

Artificial Pleasure, Wound Up Tight

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/XkMFonp28sw
Yon Yonson, Pattern Recognition 1

Lovely Head, Show Up (Rebel Yell Mix)

Donny Benét, Melodie

Miteh, Filament

Ghostkeeper, Transam Sister

TOPS, Dayglow Bimbo

Blessed, Headache

Spirit Desire, Going to Denny’s

Jon McKiel, Conduit

Sunscreen, Tide

Adderall, Embrace

All the Rage no. 38 – December 17, 2017: Best of 2017, 30-16

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond.

It’s list-making time! Here are my 30 favourite songs of 2017. First up, Numbers 30-16.
Your setlist:

30. Tapas (feat. Jeepz, G. Grand & Hyf), Havana Nights

Tasty hiphop from my hometown of Ottawa. Been following Jeepz for a while, and his effortlessly cool beats here don’t disappoint. MCs G. Grand and Hyf bring it as well. Solid beginning to the 2017 top 30, right?

29. Mezko, Trust

Sydney’s Mezko bring the 90s alternative dance to the second decade of the 21st century. Cool.

28. She-Devils, The World Laughs

Slinky, dreamy music that sounds like it was beamed here from one of the lusher lounges of the 1960s. These Montreal women bring it.

27. Alex Lahey, Every Day’s the Weekend

Ladies and gentlemen, the future of rock and roll.

26. Foxy Morons, Ex

From Hobart, a plaintive bit of relationship wisdom. Sadly, after one glorious EP, Foxy Morons are no more, a victim of the pull of the mainland, in their words. Oh, well. The world is a better place for their brief time together.

25. Kashka, New Moon Blues

I saw Kat Burns, aka Kashka, at the Heartbeat Festival, held in a house and backyard of a Toronto townhouse. There couldn’t have been more than 25 of us in attendance. She and her backing string quartet (trio? I’m blanking) set up in the living room, which was the perfect venue for her intimate, mesmerising, gentle tunes. New Moon Blues was a particular standout. I’m a fan.

24. The Afghan Whigs, Arabian Heights

Greg Dulli’s been churning out soul-infused rock in the Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers for almost 30 years, and Arabian Heights continues his winning streak. One of the most consistently rewarding American rock musicians of his generation.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/99xg4DtM-V8?rel=0

23. Moody Beach, Vanilla

In a perfect world, this song would be a Top 10 worldwide pop juggernaut.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/d307sJoN9ZQ?rel=0

22. The Courtneys, Tour

Optimism’s been a hard thing to come by in 2017, so we can thank our lucky stars that The Courtneys have stepped up to deliver some of that pure power pop. Perfect, joyous driving music.

21. Birdz, Crown Thieves

Public Enemy once described a previous generation of political hiphop as the Black CNN. On his debut album, which counts this song as a standout, it’s clear that Birdz, from Australia’s Northern Territory is continuing the tradition of politically aware hiphop, alongside Australians like Briggs, Trials, and Lucky Luke (coming right up). Call it Black CNN International. I’m not steeped in the intricacies of hiphop by any stretch of the imagination, but there seems to be a definite 90s tinge to the music. And did I mention that it sounds great? Cuz it does.

20. Laura Sauvage, Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)

80s inspired synthpop that would make the Pet Shop Boys stand up and take notice. Given that PSB are at the very top of my personal pantheon of rock gods, there is no higher praise.

19. Lucky Luke, Jacks

On this one, there’s a definite 90s West Coast hiphop thing going on, all in service of a cool song about an abandoned Australian mining community. Socially conscious hiphop that grows your brain.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/VZHjgA4eVaw?rel=0

18. Leather Jacuzzi, Leatherette Spa

For the first punk rock entry into my top 30, it’s Calgary’s Leather Jacuzzi. Loud, ferocious, with a wicked sense of humour, these ladies are doing it right.

17. La Fièvre, La Chienne

Dreamy, resigned feminist pop from one of my new Canadian favourites.

16. The OBGMs, Beat Up Kidz

This is why you shouldn’t skip the opening act. Saw these Toronto punkers open up for Danko Jones a couple of years ago and they blew me away. High-octane punk rock. Yes. Here’s hoping their just-released debut album garners them the attention they so richly deserve.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/KKX8L52h2Sc?rel=0

All the Rage no. 24, Oct. 23, 2017: Putting the “ish” into biweeklyish

First show in four weeks, which means even more mind-blowingly excellent left-field pop from Canada and Australia. Lots of new singles from some show favourites this week. Also, RIP Gord Downie.

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?light=1&feed=%2Fbhaggart%2Fall-the-rage-no-24-oct-23-2017-putting-the-ish-into-biweeklyish%2F

Your setlist:

Whalehouse, Sexy Whale Beach Party
The
Tragically Hip
, Born in the Water
Lazertits, New Friend
Shame Spiral, Untitled I</a
The Preatures, Yanada
Donny Benét, Konichiwa
Heart Beach, Perfect
Right Shitty, Bandaid
Expanda Fuzz, The Last of the Who Heads
Wet Lips, Here if You Need
JuliaWhy?, Candy
No Sister, Overpass
Wild Meadows, Feel the Noise
Tidal Rave, The Sea
Owen Meany’s Batting Stance, Growth

 

Episode 31: triplejunearthed.com is Rock and Roll

As always, the best new left-field pop, mainly from Australia and Canada, but if it’s from elsewhere and it sounds good, I’ll play it.

The best new indie and underground music, including an unholy number of tunes I found on triplejunearthed.com.

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fbhaggart%2Fall-the-rage-no-31-august-22-2017-triplejunearthed-is-rock-and-roll%2F&light=1

Your setlist:

Fog Lake, inference (i)
La Fièvre, La Chienne
Gauci, Hurry
The Goods, Make Your Move
ggpeach, Far as I go
Twist, Benefits
Lowtide, Alibi
Heaps Good Friends, Olympic Sneakers
Rackett, Prey
Moody Beach, Vanilla
Cut Copy, Standing in the Middle of the Field
Baker Boy, Cloud 9 feat. Kian Brownfield
Maddy Jane, No Other Way
Sore Points, Don’t Want To
Coloured Clocks, Not the Same Anymore

Episode 30! Showing the love for Canadian and Australian music for over 30 weeks

As always, the best new left-field pop, mainly from Australia and Canada, but if it’s from elsewhere and it sounds good, I’ll play it.

The best new indie and underground music. Plus, sadly, RIP Dave Rosser.

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fbhaggart%2Fall-the-rage-no-30-august-5-2017-cancon-auscon-terrific-tuneage%2F&light=1

Your setlist:

The Afghan Whigs, You Want Love (f. James Hall)
Holiday Party, I’m Still Here
Morning TV, Let it Lie
Crystal Eyes, High Moon
A. Swayze and the Ghosts, ICU
Beaches, Void
Gold Class, Twist in the Dark
Batpiss, You and Me
TR/ST, Bicep
Reef Shark, World in Space
Dianas, Heart of Me
Durs Coeurs, Assez C’est Assez
Alvvays, In Undertow