Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Great Saskatchewan Mix Tape.

I don't know a single person who hasn't been enjoying the indie music coming out of Canada for the last couple of years. Well... let me rephrase that. People have been enjoying the indie music coming out of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal [myself included]. A real crime has been committed in overlooking the talent in the more sparsely-populated provinces that make up this great nation.

So, my Canadian Mix Tape project has begun: the plan is to pick a province, and dig through it's respective talent pool to showcase the other Canadiana sound that isn't rolling out of that musical clown-car we call Montreal.

First up to plate is Saskatchewan. I may be an Alberta girl now, but that misunderstood prairie province is where I transitioned from a love of the Backstreet Boys to an obsession with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - insane, right? It's where all my magic happened. It only seems right to start this project there.

Library Voices is a Regina band I caught for the first time in February (on one of my frequent jaunts back to Saskatoon). Once I absorbed the fact that LV boasts a 10-member ensemble, I became enamored with their sound: something like the 306's answer to Broken Social Scene... or maybe The Most Serene Republic. And their live show pretty much kicks ass.

My 22nd birthday treat to myself was an Amigos show featuring Golden Smoke, with openers The Vicious Crystals. They both do a kind of psychedelic rock that reminds me of the more experimental phases of the Stones. That was a gooood birthday.

Carbon Dating Service will forever remind me of University. The first tracks I ever heard of theirs all revolved around the Synchrotron (which I saw everyday on my hikes to and from campus). Their Shoegaze-pop was part of the soundtrack to my textbook toting years.

Recently reformed, Junior Pantherz are a well-known staple in the SK music scene, and we're so happy they're putting out tunes again. I really dig the vaguely BRMC sound of this track:

Fronted by past Canadian Idol contestant Josh Palmer, comes Saskatoon's The Rebellion. These guys can write a catchy fucking pop hook and between the three of them, have a pretty freaking bad-ass backstory.

For the times I need some chilled out alt-country with a touch of indie-rock, I'll throw on some Slow Down, Molasses. These guys are pretty much a pillar of the Saskatoon scene. Now you're in the know.

Be ready to switch gears in a hurry, because next is prog-metal band Adolyne. These guys were my very first show at Amigos after moving to S'toon, and subsequently taught me that earplugs at live shows are a great, great investment. Read: play them loud.

Quite and unassuming in person, and forces to be reckoned with on stage, is Saskatoon's best kept secret: The Fjords. They also happened to provide the background to a pretty awesome date I went on... I'll keep the music + experience = tied memories rambling to a minimum. Have a listen!

You may have heard him before, as the introductory track to Live on CBC Radio 3 with Grant Lawrence. That's SK's Maybe Smith! And we really, really love him. Too bad he's always touring in Japan and stuff. I still haven't had a chance to see this guy live.

Edit: turns out he's playing at the Brixx in Edmonton on July 8th. I love how I ask and then receive, as of late. ^^

Maybe Smith - Hearts Like Bears

Full disclosure: this next band is composed of some friends of mine. Don't let that detract from their awesomeness. Ready to drop their second effort, is Volcanoless in Canada. If you have the chance to see them live, do it: there ain't no party like a ViC party. For reals. I've had the bruises to prove it.

Even though I've talked about them before, they deserve another mention. Deep Dark Woods is kicking ass and taking names lately. Blame it on the recession... their alt country twang is perfect for the dark days.

This is just the sampler plate of Saskatchewan's offerings to Canada's amazing music scene... tapas, if you will. Hopefully it has whet your appetite.


  1. Sweet! I'm always looking for new music - your blog rocks :)

  2. Glad you like it! Will have a whole smattering of new stuff up very, very soon! :)

  3. Oh wow. Are these artists from Saskatchewan? Cool. :D Thanks for sharing these to us.

  4. Every last one of them is from that little nugget of a province. :)