Trevor James and The Perfect Gentlemen is made up of three good friends – Trevor, Tyson and Shawn. Together, they are currently playing a residency every Wednesday night at the Garrison in Toronto, offering the public a glimpse of their upcoming EP, Happy to Be Here, which will be launched in early October, also in Toronto.
Vancouver’s Sun Wizard is a catchy band whose music is as brilliant as the sun. The group is made up of four friends: James, Mally, Ben and Francesco. The lead singer has the perfect rough voice to make their rock tracks appealing and enjoyable and my favorite one off their new album, Positively 4th Avenue, is “World’s Got a Handle,” a song that reminds me of Razorlight.
“10 Buildings” can take you back to the 1990s, as it has a very similar sound to Nirvana, and overall, with its diversity, Positively 4th Avenue is an album worth listening to because it has the knack to transport you into the band’s own psychic world. Song writer and guitarist James Younger took time to answer some questions before the album’s September 20th release.
“Captivating,” “fascinating” and “inspiring” are the words that come to my mind when I listen to the music of Sean Nicholas Savage; his songs are catchy and can make you feel good in an instant. It was at Le Divan Orange in Montreal that I discovered him, as his performance really stood out because of his enthusiasm; he confidently danced the night away, even dry humping the stage from time to time. He was living in the moment and for himself – and that was beautiful to watch!
Once in a while, there is a great gig that really makes a difference in your life. This is how the Writer show in Montreal was for me; their entire performance was extremely uplifting and refreshing, like a nice warm shower…of emotion! The evening started with an amazing interview with the two multi-talented and friendly brothers that form the band: Andy and James Ralph. They began their show with the track ‘Miss Mermaid,’ which was even more brilliant live than their recorded version. Their live performance confirmed that when two such talented people collaborate, there is no need to add more members to the band.
Portland, Oregon’s Ravishers are a mature band that delivers catchy and happy tracks; its members sure know how to put their talents to good use. As their songs build to a climax, one can easily get carried away. I find that most of their songs always provide a positive energy, and their lyrics are worth listening to as they can make you reflect on your own life experiences. The piece Nobody Falls in Love Anymore is my favourite one off the album: it has the melody, the lyrics, and the perfect rhythmic elements that attract you in and make you think about love in the society of today. Overall, their new self-titled album, Ravishers, is filled with creative and enthusiastic tracks that remind listeners of the Californian sun. I recently had a chance to chat with writer/frontman Dominic Castillo…
I have to be honest and say that the first time I listened to Sandman Viper Command, I was not impressed. It was once I heard them live at Le Divan Orange in Montreal that my appreciation for them grew. Their gig convinced me that this band is worth paying attention to. What made me change my mind about them was their great enthusiasm and their ability to create a rich sound for their audience. During their performance, the four boys (Rob Janson, Daniel Reardon, Matt Meyer and Aaron Harvey) proved that they are pretty good at what they do: their instruments were always in harmony with one another, and I could tell that there was an honest collaboration between each member of the band. By the end of their show, I could even see some similarities between their sound and that of The Rolling Stones. Overall, this is a talented band that delivers songs that are a good mix of garage rock inspired by the 1960s and indie pop.
Q) What is the main message your music tries to convey?
Jesse Harris is an exceptional artist who holds many talents. From winning a Grammy for composing “Don’t Know Why” to producing the soundtrack for Ethan Hawke’s “The Hottest State,” Harris never ceases to come up with creative melodies. Most recently, he released two different albums – Cosmo and Through the Night. Cosmo is composed of 12 instrumental pieces and Through the Night is an ensemble of 14 jazzy tracks on which Harris sings about themes such as dreams and love.
Whether I am listening to the pieces found on Cosmo or to his vocal melodies from Through the Night, Harris always has the same effect on me – he relaxes me. In fact, the regular harmony within his compositions always succeeds in touching deep inside my heart and soul. What is most fascinating about Harris’ music is that his songs always have the power to take the listener on a calm and peaceful journey. Overall, the two new albums confirm that Jesse Harris is a prolific artist who is gifted with the talent for making distinctive sounds that guarantee to touch anyone who listens.
Q: Is there a difference for you between composing the rhythm for an instrumental piece and for a vocal one?
After watching Michou’s video for “Growing Younger,” I was immediately intrigued by the band and ended up spending about an hour browsing through different uploads of them on YouTube. From a Christmas song they recorded last year to hilarious clips that they regularly post while touring, I could not stop clicking ‘next video.’ In every clip that I saw, each of the band members was always smiling and laughing, which incidentally had the same effect on me. So when Mike Hargreaves showed up for our interview in his slippers and with a big smile on his face, I immediately knew that my feeling about this band had been right.
Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Michou is a fun band that is there to make you smile. What’s good about them is that while they don’t take themselves too seriously, they always come up with well-written songs that provide instant happiness. The group is made up of four close friends: Mike Hargreaves (vocals), Ryan Frith (bass), Sasha Cvetkovic (trumpets) and Stefan Appler (drums). The boys enjoy each other’s company so much that whether they’re on tour or back home, they always meet for a big daily breakfast, which is Mike’s favourite part of the day.
When I asked Johnny Flynn what two words could best describe his music, he chose “soulful” and “honest.” The talented songwriter and poet could not have selected better adjectives to portray his deep and beautiful sound. He is one of the greatest lyricists, resonator guitar players and charismatic performers that have recently come out of the British music scene.
The vibrant artist surely knows how to write a song. For Flynn, storytelling is the best way in which he can express himself. While listening to his lyrics, I often feel as if I were wandering into a more humanistic period of time. Probably not a coincidence as he told me that Shakespeare is a writer he looks up to.