As always, 60 minutes of the best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: shoegaze from Australia’s Flyying Colours and Kodiak Galaxy and Canda’s Zoon; Montreal pop and hip-hop from Le Couleur and Petite Papa (respectively), Mark Lanegan, Claire Birchall, EWAH & The Vision of Paradise; sunny guitar pop from Penny Diving, Port Juvee and Vim, and so much more.
Once again, the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond.
This week: delightfully abrasive punk from Bad Waitress, Tactics, Antibodies and Dboy; Pantayo and Caryn Borthwick channel No Zu; Birdz is On the Run; moody electronic pop from Lastlings and Poliça; Zoë Fox hits us with her debut album. And so much more.
Sixty minutes of the best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond to get your through your self isolation and social distancing.
This week, a couple of timely self-isolation tunes: a Joy Division cover from YACHT and the eerily timely Shut-In from Nova Scotia’s Beauts. Also! Transcendent punk from Welland’s Dboy, loundness from UZI and Gutter Girls, Ottawa’s Surrender w/ some tasty 80s synthpop, new Pet Shop Boys (fact: the U1 is a party train), Sparks and Donny Benét. Also, Danko Jones takes us up the mountain.
Isolation – Single
Pet Shop Boys
A Lifetime Away
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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.
It’s Winter Now
Double Date with Death
La princesse de l’au-delà (feat. Laurence Gauthier-Brown)
U & M E
Overtime (feat. James Baley & Jake Clemons)
The best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia & beyond! This week, some great tuneage to kickstart your new year: Dreamy pop from Melbourne (Flyying Colours, Spiral Perm), Sydney (The S-Bends) & Aukland (Na Noise) Canadian electronic tuneage from Smaller Hearts, Molly Drag & Lié. Alien Nosejob and Psychic Void get punky! Edmonton’s Brunch Club and Hobart’s Quivers deliver some exceptional guitar pop. And so much more!
It’s the end of the year, which means it’s list time! First up, my 30 favourite left-field pop songs from Australia, Canada and beyond. Enjoy.
30. BBQT Flinch
Delightfully bouncy guitar pop from Montreal. Not a bad way to kick off at top 30 list.
29. DZ Deathrays Shred for Summer
A perfectly named song from this Brisebane trio. Definite Jane’s Addiction vibe going on here.
28. Moody Beach Slave
27. Miesha & the Spanks The Girls are OK
In a world of microgenres, it’s nice to know that straight-ahead rock and roll, in this case courtesy of this fine Calgary outfit, is still a glorious thing.
26. Booji Boys New Repacement
Ditto for punk rock. No-frills, unadorned noisy perfection, straight out of Halifax.
25. The Vovos Venus
This weird and wonderful tune, from Melbourne’s The Vovos, is the epitome of left-field pop. Probably the most purely delightful song on this entire list
24. Ausmuteants Forever Cops
Melbourne’s Ausmuteants nail punk’s proud tradition of standing up to unjust authority. “Hands up; we’ll still shoot.” A harrowing glimpse of the nasty side of 2019.
23. Nooky Blackfellas
A harrowing, desperate cover of a 2009 Steel Warriors song from this Yuri man from New South Wales’ South Coast, who also happens to be one of Australia’s most exciting rappers.
22. IV League Comedown Sensation
Yet another soaring pop anthem from a Melbourne group that over the course of only a few songs has demonstrated an uncanny knack for soaring pop anthems.
21. Heart Attack Kids Do What You Do
Two guys from London, Ontario, who know how to bring the noise, with a detonating sound you can hear from space.
20. The Double Happiness No Place Nundah
A nostalgia-washed homage to a backwater town from this Brisbane band. I kind of love this song.
19. Quivers You’re Not Always On My Mind
Exhibit A for the theory, which I am starting right now, that Hobart’s Quivers are time travellers from the late 1980s. A mellow tune that has classic Dad Rock written all over it.
18. Tram Cops California Way
Jittery, wistful lo-fi goodness from a forward-looking Melbourne outfit.
17. Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba Bad Boys (Single Edit)
Seeing Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba open for Donny Benét (twice!) was one of the highlights of my year in Germany. Big Mike is a hulking, muscled blond dude from Cologne who looks like he’s either just come from or is going to the gym. He raps (in German) about working out and partying – he’s basically a Teutonic Andrew WK. And his music, courtesy of Mr. La Bamba, is a delightful throwback to hard-edged 80s dance music. One highlight of their live show (other than the very fit, shirtless men that seem to comprise 50% of their audience) is a rap that’s done to the tune of the Hall and Oates’ hit “Out of Touch” that kind of sneaks up on you (“Is… is he rapping in German to a Hall and Oates song?”) This song isn’t that one, but as a celebration of Kolsch Bad Boys, it’s almost as awesome (in the 80s sense of the word).
16. Ultra Magnus Duck
Nice heaviness and great flow from this Toronto rapper. Yes, please!
15. Jackie New at Drugs
Joyous power-pop from Toronto’s Jackie. I’m pretty sure I’ve never before heard a song about a mom (your mom) trying drugs for the first time. Jackie packs a lifetime of history and a staggering amount empathy into three minutes.
Fuck, what a great pop song.
14. Dead Little Penny Honeycomb
Curve-y shoegaze from Auckland. Mmmmmmmm…..
13. Hello Seahorse! Mujer
I’ve been a fan of Hello Seahorse! from the moment I saw them open for The Killers in Mexico City in 2009. Ten years later, they’re still delivering phenomenal tuneage, their secret weapon being Lo Blondo (Denise Gutierrez), who has one of the distinctive voices in all popular music – any language, any genre. Mujer, their latest, continues the winning streak.
12. Gold Fields Glow
Ballarat heroes return with some dancey goodness that showcases Gold Fields’ growth as a band.
11. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (The Lonely Island) Bikini Babe Workout
Few things brought me more joy in 2019 than The Lonely Island’s 30-minute ode to the Oakland A’s steroid addled heroes. There is no reason why The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience should exist – I’m pretty sure no one was clamouring for a 30-minute set of raps about/by Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire, but the world is a better place for its existence. It’s only a matter of time before The Lonely Island pull and Parker and Stone and stage a Broadway musical, right? Please say yes.
10. Donny Benét Second Dinner
An 80s disco-style ode to the joys of four square meals a day, this is vintage Benét.
9. Smaller Hearts Circuitry
The standout song from these Haligonians’ strong second album. Picture a warm Pet Shop Boys, or an optimistic Depeche Mode. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.
8. Tropical Fuck Storm The Planet of Straw Men
Angry, righteous, off-kilter and noisy, with the best male-female vocal tradeoffs in the business, Tropical Fuck Storm is the 2019 band we both need and deserve.
7. Pale Lips You’re A Doll
Another highlight of a year in Germany: Seeing Pale Lips play a small room in Münster in February, at a time when I was pretty much ready to head home but still had months to go. Tight, poppy, 60s-style rock and roll that I could listen to until the sun goes out.
6. Heart Beach Cliffhanger
Hobart’s (now Footscray) Heart Beach somehow find another gear. Cliffhanger injects an already fully formed sound (deliberate drums backing Yo La Tengo-style dissonance) with an epic level of soulfulness courtesy of Claire McCarthy plaintive vocals. A song made for movies – you know the scene. There’s something special about this band.
5. JuliaWhy? Starman
Sydney’s (now London, UK) JuliaWhy? take the next step. Muscular dreampop. Their new album is excellent. I can’t wait to see where they go next.
4. Sampa the Great Final Form
“Young veteran; new classic.” Long may she rule.
3. Sahara Beck I Haven’t Done a Thing Today
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Sahara Beck, the Brisbane artist who’s been recording since she was what, 15? (my goodness), gifts us with a wonderfully upbeat, Killers-esque tune in all the best ways. One of my 2019 go-to mood-lifters.
2. Sunscreen High Over Love
Pure, joyous guitar pop from a Sydney four-piece. Seriously – just go listen to it. I’m running out of adjectives.
1. Calmly Pet Tornado
This Perth four-piece (née Childsaint) has finally released their first album (huzzah!), and it doesn’t disappoint. Eight songs of heartbreak, regret, reseignation and resolve, capped by this quietly haunting acoustic tune. Beauty in despair.
New feature alert! With every podcast I’ll be highlighting one or two tracks that are currently living on repeat in my brain.
This week it’s London, Ontario’s Heart Attack Kids, whose Do What You Do, off their Back Luck Like Gold, is a straight-ahead slab of hard rock. Heavy? Check. Catchy? Yup. Brain melted? Most definitely. I’m currently living in Germany, a land still ruled by connoisseurs of Hard Rock. They would fit in perfectly here.
As always, your biweeklyish 60 minutes of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. On the show: Heart Attack Kids, Noughts, Necking and Metz sonically pulverize the house, Jess Ribeiro and Sun Sets West get languid, IV League do the anthem thing, Ali Barter gets real, Kenora and Jade imagine do pop their own ways, and Wordburglar celebrates Ontario’s capital city. Also a 2014 Black Cab superhit, just because it rocks. And so much more.
Sun Sets West
Living in L.A.
Torontaun (prod. By Diagnostik 80 w Fresh Kils, cuts by More or Les)
As always, your biweekly hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week, though, with a couple of thematically appropriate non-new tunes, one from ATR all-timers Pet Shop Boys and another from Toronto’s Leslie Spit Tree-o. I’ll never understand why these guys weren’t so much huger than they were. They sound as good in 2019 as they did when this song came out, what, almost 30 years ago. #thatcantberight
What’s new? How about some punk energy courtesy of White Dog and Batpiss? And Danko Jones! Pop-wise, Gold Fields and Yothu Yinki and the Treaty Project establish a nice groove. Also in here: BBQT! Fritz! Holiday Sidewinder! Just go listen.
Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project
Pet Shop Boys
In the Night
In the Night
Hard to Kill
I’m In a Band
Storm the Streets
Eagles of Death Metal
Long Slow Goodbye
Syrup, Go On
Don’t Go (Riding Down the Cosmic Drain)
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!