Interviews

KROY – THE VOODOO STARDUST OF SCAVENGER | The SBTS Interview

September 22, 2016

 

KROY | Photo: Maxyme G. Delisle

KROY | Photo: Maxyme G. Delisle

KROY’s debut album, Scavenger, is a treasure of a record; a deeper trip with each listen. A beautifully crafted collection of songs unfolds into a stimulating experience. Sex, assertiveness, regret, loneliness and self-destruction are all here woven within her lyrical spells among brilliant arrangements.It is both haunting and seductive thanks to KROY’s otherworldly voice and her use of instrumentaation and dynamics. This record is meant to be listened to loud.

For some, this may not be the first music they’ve heard from Camille Poliquin. In addition to her 2014 EP Birthday, she released Little Mourning last year under Milk & Bone, her duo with Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, which earned her nominations for both a Juno Award and the Polaris Music Prize. Although the first full-length KROY record is just about to be released, most of the songs on Scavenger were written before Milk & Bone was even a thought. After listening to both of Camille Poliquin’s projects, it is obvious that she has a clear and realized sound, aesthetic and identity as an artist.

Scavenger introduces KROY as a visionary artist. The record fully immerses the listener into another world the way only great albums do. To listen to the entirety of Scavenger at full volume is like receiving a gift. It immediately offers you a journey. From the moment the album begins with “Hull”, we are invited into its dark tunnel of sound. KROY’s vocals create a trance-like state through the darkness as we follow her siren song further inside her constructed world. Strobes of light and bass-heavy vibrations stimulate the darkness. Her cathartic poetry, through her delicate high register, is deceptive voodoo stardust. KROY’s lyrics are an arsenal of gutting statements that speak from the deep recesses of hurt. Fighting and succumbing to desire, the defensive walls built by rejection – these emotional purgatories are the foundation of the album. Scavenger‘s theme of desire vs. rejection is delivered within the dark electronic dreamland of exhaling electric keys and drum machine heartbeats. KROY’s ability to convey the dim, lonely environment her lyrics were born out of is brilliantly juxtaposed by a handful of songs that burst out of the soundscape as individuals. It is the album’s simultaneous unpredictability and cohesiveness that makes this such a stellar debut record. Scavenger is a true tour de force.

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SBTS Playlist Series

Sandbanks Music Festival | SBTS DJ Set

September 9, 2016

When Stories Behind The Songs was asked to DJ the 2016 Sandbanks Music Festival with an all Canadian music set, we stuck to our roots and incorporated a mix of indie artists and iconic acts pulled from the pages of music history. Dig into the beauty of the Canadian music scene with over four hours of music. Always curated, always golden.

Listen on Spotify for the complete playlist (due to label restrictions, some songs are restricted from YouTube).

Listen to more of our curated playlists with the Stories Behind The Songs Playlist Series.

Subscribe to the Stories Behind The Songs YouTube and Spotify channels to stay connected.

Features

September 7, 2016

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Interviews

BANKS – WAXING DARK POETICS | The SBTS Interview

September 7, 2016
BANKS | Photo: Thomas Whiteside

BANKS | Photo: Thomas Whiteside

 

BANKS’s sophomore record is a gripping artistic experience. Stretching past the seduction of 2014’s Goddess, BANKS explores a quietly explosive tension with The Altar. In a fury of songwriting, she laid her fears, doubts and contemplations on the altar to be confronted, shed and reincarnated. Another cocoon to crawl out of and observe as the past. Another body of work that reflects her signature sound of shadowy electronic soundscapes. That lingering darkness woven into all of BANKS’s songs is at the forefront of The Altar from the disarming chorus of “Fuck With Myself” to the vulnerability of the closing track “To The Hilt”. Her raw, fearlessly unguarded lyrics are the backbone of her albums and what her listeners clutch to. She is this generation’s model of a female songwriter who embraces her pain and transforms it into poetic melodies that mean something. But her fearless and unguarded lyrical approach is a stark contrast to Jillian Rose Banks in person. Jillian is soft-spoken, humble, genuine, shy and a self-proclaimed highly sensitive person. She gives off a sweet, approachable energy while quietly, her guard is up, protecting her emotions that ripple under the surface. 

The day I met with BANKS, part of me was afraid I wouldn’t get my interview. She was suffering from jetlag, was an hour-and-a-half behind schedule and had just been pressured into an impromptu photo shoot by one of the other media outlets there to interview her. The last thing I thought she’d want to do was her last interview of the day. As I was preparing myself for disappointing news, the door to the studio’s control room opened and she walked in with a slightly weary but kind smile. It took less than ten seconds for us to connect over her music and suddenly a wide smile and emphatic tone took over her body. It was immediately obvious how much her music and its connection with other people means to her. As our conversation grew deeper, she opened up about feeling overwhelmed and lonely, how it feels to have songs start pouring out of you, and how she felt mute after the album was finished. She was exposing herself and I was so grateful that she was sharing her honesty with me. Knowing our time together was running out, I began to thank her when she softly interrupted me with the offer, “You can ask one more.” From an artist who was exhausted and feeling overexposed earlier that day, that sentence was such a gift. That is the sweetness that floats through the lingering shadows of her music and makes it so enthralling. That is the dichotomy of BANKS.

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SBTS Playlist Series

SBTS STANDOUTS – The August Collection

September 1, 2016

It’s the last month of summer and the new music released in August shows it! Hazy electro pop, sassy, dusty daydreams and breezy mid-tempo tracks compile this month’s standout new releases. Soak up the last of the summer heat with the SBTS Standouts – The August Collection. Always curated, always golden.

The SBTS Standouts playlists feature our favourite new releases from each month. Here is our curated collection of the standout tracks from August 2016.

Check out the best of the year so far with the January, FebruaryMarch, April, MayJune and July collections.

Listen to more of our curated playlists with the Stories Behind The Songs Playlist Series.

Subscribe to the Stories Behind The Songs YouTube and Spotify channels to stay connected.

Interviews

THE MUSICAL PROGRESSION OF BRENDAN CANNING | The SBTS Interview

August 30, 2016

Brendan Canning | Photo: Kristina Ruddick

Brendan Canning released his third solo album Home Wrecking Years this month and after spending an afternoon with him, the record seems to reflect exactly who Canning is. Instantly inviting with a steady mellow pulse, both Canning and his music have an infectious vibe. When we meet at his Toronto home, he is relaxed and completely unpretentious as he invites me into his legendary living room (everything from songs being written to music videos being shot to the 2015 film Diamond Tongues starring July Talk’s Leah Fay Goldstein – which Canning acted as executive producer and composer – has been filmed in Canning’s living room). The space is beautifully bohemian with shelves of vinyl and books hugging the walls. The sun glistens over the musical instruments and curious treasures that fill the room. As we take his small, aging dogs for their walks, the chilled-out essence of the record is once again reflected in Canning’s real life. We slowly wander down Draper street and into a dog park among people practicing their meditation and yoga. We laugh at the extreme summer heat as we sweat through our shirts. As we talk about creating, performing and listening to music, Canning speaks with the experience and knowledge that comes from a life in music: his career as a DJ, a solo artist and member for almost two decades of Toronto’s sweetheart band, Broken Social Scene which he co-founded in 1999 with Kevin Drew. Perhaps one of the most evident reflections of Canning in Home Wrecking Years is his musical intelligence. The record incorporates aspects of various genres including bossa nova, pop-rock and chillwave all the while maintaining a sound that is simultaneously instinctive and precise. The album unfurls organically thanks to its smartly curated tracklist leaving the listener’s soul feeling warm and full. As we walk through the park, our interview begins to feel more like a Sunday afternoon hang, just like the album sounds.

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Interviews

Plants and Animals Waltz Back With Epic Sprawling Album | The SBTS Interview

August 23, 2016
Plants and Animals | Photo: Caroline Desilets

Plants and Animals | Photo: Caroline Desilets

 

Four years ago, Plants and Animals finally came up for air after an intense five years of nonstop writing, recording and touring that saw the release of three albums. The Montréal three-piece knew they wanted to write another album but they needed to escape the whirlwind and reset. Listening to their instincts, they took time to balance their lives again and avoided the pressure of a deadline. They started families, collaborated with other musicians and met in the studio whenever inspiration brought them there. Out of this relaxed approach, a new album was born. Waltzed In From The Rumbling is the result of three years of casual, natural creation that invited in new inspiration from Serge Gainsbourg and Van Morrison to J Dilla and John Coltrane. The band’s jazz instrumental roots led the recording sessions resulting in a complex pop record that has the unpredictability and epic sonic journeys that have become signatures elements of Plants and Animals albums.

Stories Behind The Songs chatted with Plants and Animals drummer Matthew Woodley before their performance at the Field Trip festival in Toronto about the creation of Waltzed In From The Rumbling.

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SBTS Playlist Series

SBTS STANDOUTS – The July Collection

August 2, 2016

July saw a ton of new music from emerging indie artists like The Belle Game and Glass Animals as well as solid tracks from veterans Plants and Animals, Sam Roberts, and Hot Hot Heat. Throw on our July Collection for those summer days that are begging for a refreshing soundtrack of groovy danceable beats and soothing vocal harmonies. Always curated, always golden.

The SBTS Standouts playlists feature our favourite new releases from each month. Here is our curated collection of the standout tracks from July 2016.

 

Listen on Spotify for the complete playlist (due to label restrictions, some songs are restricted from YouTube).

Check out the best of the year so far with the January, FebruaryMarch, April, May and June collections.

Listen to more of our curated playlists with the Stories Behind The Songs Playlist Series.

Subscribe to the Stories Behind The Songs YouTube and Spotify channels to stay connected.

SBTS Playlist Series

WAYHOME JAMS 2016 | SBTS Playlist Series

July 21, 2016
WAYHOME 2015 | Photo: Stephanie Horak, Stories Behind The Songs

WAYHOME 2015 | Photo: Stephanie Horak, Stories Behind The Songs

The second of our two WAYHOME playlists is all about celebrating your wanderlust and getting into party mode with almost four hours of curated music.

To get you psyched for the weekend we’ve created a playlist of our favourite party songs by the artists taking the 2016 stages. Crank it up, grab a drink and get your festival on.

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SBTS Playlist Series

WAKE UP WAYHOMIES! | SBTS Playlist Series

July 21, 2016
WAYHOME 2015 | Photo: Stephanie Horak, Stories Behind The Songs

WAYHOME 2015 | Photo: Stephanie Horak, Stories Behind The Songs

The first of our two WAYHOME playlists is the perfect soundtrack for your morning chill time with over five and a half hours of curated music.

Nothing helps you ease into your festival morning like some good tunes. WAKE UP WAYHOMIES! was created out of the best feel good songs by this year’s WAYHOME performers. Throw on the music, chill in the sun and take in the good vibes.

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