Destroyer – ken

Simple. Direct. Obvious. These are not the adjectives normally applied to Destroyer songs. Yet, speaking to Dan Bejar about his project’s 12th studio album, ken, these are the words he repeatedly reaches for. While the record’s lyrics—featuring a blond Che Guevara, lunatics in satin, and a bride who pisses herself—are as enigmatic as fans have come to expect from the Vancouver indie veteran, many tracks are spare, and, musically at least, relatively straightforward. “You would have to go back to the ’90s to find this many two-and-a-half minute songs on a Destroyer record,” Bejar says with pride.(Pitchfork)

Esmerine – Mechanics of Dominion

A sequel of sorts to 2015’s Lost Voices, Esmerine’s latest offers a dynamic response to the dire state of the natural world we’re bound to in eight crossover chamber pieces.(Exclaim!)

Matthew Good – Something Like A Storm

There are many underrated song writers in Canadian rock history, and I’ve always felt Matt Good tops that list. That point is further bolstered with his latest solo effort entitled Something Like A Storm.(Pure Grain Audio)

Matt Mays – Once Upon a Hell of a Time

Mays started recording Once Upon a Hell of a Time in Los Angeles, at a studio once owned by Elliott Smith. He then moved on to the Farm Studios in Vancouver, then the Sonic Temple in Halifax and the Boiler Room in New York, finally landing in Montreal to finish working on it with Loel Campbell of Wintersleep at Breakglass Studios. After years of honing these songs in different locales, Mays says he’s finally ready to put them out into the world.(CBC)

Odonis Odonis – No Pop

In the virtual reality debate, it seems that there are two sides to be taken – one unsatisfied and underwhelmed, wary of strapping a bulky headset over one’s eyes, and the other perpetually enthused by the ‘immersion’ that said bulky headset has to offer. Post Plague sees the members of Odonis Odonis join the latter camp, becoming the latest musicians to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon with a VR music video for ‘That’s How it Goes’ . Citing transhumanism as a major influence, from iterations in the writing of FM-2030, the techno of Terence Fixmer and film Ex-Machina, the bandmembers attempt to figure out what tomorrow will sound like. Responding to the rapid obsolescence of recent technologies and the implications of AI, they wonder what it means to be human – ironically, concerns that by now find themselves somewhat dated.(The Quietus)

Tegan and Sara – The Con X: Covers

Tegan and Sara released their fifth album, The Con, on July 24, 2007, but the original reviews read more like misogynist clippings from the 1970s. NME called the sisters “little more than twin airbags.” This website offered a confusing and offensive attempt at a compliment stating that “Tegan and Sara should no longer be mistaken for tampon rock.” The press could only see the siblings, then 26, through the lens of their queerness. Writing for Rolling Stone, Robert Christgau, the self-styled “dean of American rock critics,” was confused that this wasn’t, in fact, the focus of their music. “As lesbians who never reference their oppression or even their sexuality,” he wrote, “Tegan and Sara don’t have men to lash out at, put up with or gripe about.” So he gave them something to gripe about: The idea that music made by queer artists should inherently contain shame and struggle is gross, and also overlooks the loathing that oozes from within on The Con.(Pitchfork)

Tough Age – Shame

Tough Age reshaped themselves into a power-trio for their third LP ‘Shame’, as founder members Jarrett Samson (guitar/vocals) and Penny Clark (bass/vocals) have teamed up with drummer Jesse Locke (Century Palm, Simply Saucer) to rattle out their whip-cracking new album; a record that’s taut and wiry with little to no flab. ‘Shame’ is a rough ‘n’ ready affair that bristles with an impulsive, fidgeting nature. Guitars prick like the needled claws of a mischievous pack of kittens but without any of the cuteness. Whilst the fretwork pangs and convulses, there are moments where riffs explode with a chaotic fury – notably on the album’s closing eponymous track. Basslines intertwine with rapid drumming and when combined with the nervous-energy ripples of guitar, ‘Shame’ judders with a tightly wound urgency.(Northern Transmissions)