July Monthly Music

So, did anyone make it out to North by Northeast (NXNE)? If you did, what did you think? Suffering from concert and new band withdrawal? Well, Monthly Music is back to remedy just that with some exciting music to pump up your summer. So, without further adieu…

Three Toronto bands you should know by now:

Bishop Morocco – This new-wave rock duo are something of a musical life wonder: two friends who discussed forming a band years ago meet up in a random town in the Netherlands and decide to move back home and give it a go. They released their self titled full-length last month. They’ll take you back closer to the ‘80s, but I keep getting this mental image every time I listen to the album of a bunch of hipsters dancing nonchalantly at a laundromat or something. Don’t ask.

The Burning Hell – Ah, quirky melodramatic pop from Peterborough. It’s like if the Decemberists decided to get really happy! Baby was a fun hit of 2009, but these guys keep coming back to my attention. Their hilarious lyrics and fun stage antics will always put a smile on your face. They’re currently doing a pretty big tour of Canada, and will play a show early next month in Toronto.

Flash Lightnin’ – Sometimes, you just have to get gritty in a bar. Part hard rock, part country, it’s like Toronto’s gone through a badass time warp. Flash Lightnin’ are energizing and head-bang worthy, perfect for a raucous-old-time on the town.

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Three up-and-coming Toronto bands:

Bravestation – I am really digging this new band. They make some dramatic shimmering tunes in a fluent wave that’s fascinating to listen to as it contracts and expands. They released a new EP recently, and it’s available to stream on their MySpace now. They’ll be playing a show at the El Mocambo with Old World Vulture and some other bands on July 17. Don’t miss it!

Shawn Clarke – Craving some soothing hometown country-folk? It’s a wonder Clarke isn’t that well-known yet like his musical companions Olenka and the Autumn Lovers and the Wilderness of Manitoba, but he’s definitely getting up there. His album Like Birds, Too Tired to Fly, is impressive and relatable.

DVAS

DVAS – Dance, dance, they say! This group’s new song, “Society,” is incredibly fun and party-worthy. So much so that you may want to just keep it on repeat and the party in your living room. The new album of the same name will be released on July 27, which pretty much means there goes the rest of your summer.

Three Toronto concerts you shouldn’t miss:

We Were Promised Jetpacks / The Coast at Lee’s Palace, July 3 – WWPJ are another one of those Scottish rock bands who play sadness with power and I think it will translate really well on stage. The Coast is a rising Toronto pop-rock band who just recently played a few gigs during NXNE.

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Bent By Elephants / Charlotte Cornfield at Cameron House, July 15 – Beautiful indie rock via Montreal will come and fill up this little venue with incredible warmth. They’re not here often, so you better catch them!

Hercules and Love Affair at the Mod Club, July 26 – This is bound to be an epic dance party and probably close to selling out already if it hasn’t yet. The electro-funk is gripping and colourful, and the Toronto indie rock music scene is pretty much ecstatic that they’ll be visiting.

P.S.: Toronto’s Harbourfront puts on some great events during the summer for free, like concerts! Check out The Slew on the 9, Rich Aucoin on the 10, Rah Rah on the 23 and Library Voices on the 25.

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