Canadian Music Week is one of the most diverse concert series in the country, showcasing up-and-coming artists alongside national juggernauts like Lights and Tegan and Sara. Among the hundreds of talented performers that took to stage across Toronto last week, several acts included students from U of T, proving that there’s more to campus life than lectures and sleep deprivation.
What do computers, video games, and indie rock all have in common? They’re the three things that make Toronto based indie outfit Good Kid the talented, jovial group that they are.
Climbing its way up to Spotify’s Canadian Indie charts, Good Kid’s track “Nomu” is a banger if there ever was one. Upbeat and fronted with Nick Frosst’s beefy, commanding vocals, it’s no wonder why the track has cleaned up online. But how does the band fare live?
Good Kid’s live show is backed by arsenal of equally catchy tunes. Several match the energy of “Nomu” while others delight by slowing things down and letting Frosst’s vocals shine. But it’s not all smiles and laughs. Some songs delve into more sombre territory, leading Frosst to jokingly announce, “We’re Bad Kid now,” before kicking off a darker tune.
On Friday, May 13, the band premiered the single “Atlas,” which guitarist Jacob Tsafatinos says has the same catchy and fast-paced style of their first release. Whereas the release of “Nomu” had only been shared among the band’s peers, Tsafatinos believes, “this is our chance to try doing it right… We’re going to be hitting up every publication / blog we can think of … just promoting it as much as possible and see where that goes.”
Required Listening: Nomu
Andy Friesen is hardly the creep his band name would imply. He is soft spoken, cheerful, and kind, but onstage he adopts an entirely different persona. When the music starts, the timid individual who asks the crowd to inch a bit closer to the stage is taken over by the creature who belts out his songs with ferocity and unencumbered spirit.
Musically, the group emits the sound of young, unchained kids who love to get loud, while vocally Friesen paints the picture of a tired, haunted soul. “Gone to the Garden,” for instance, is a fast-paced and nostalgic track that stirs up feelings of uplifting melancholy.
Beach Creep doesn’t aim to be a technical band, but the occasional syncopated rhythm or tempo shift led by drummer Mitch Clark impressed, showing off their musical chops and tightness as a unit.
When a musician’s art can bring out a side of them unseen in any other circumstance, it’s something truly worth noting. Music can have a transformative effect on people, and a Beach Creep show is certainly one way to see firsthand how musicians become consumed by their craft.
Required Listening: Gone to the Garden
Formerly The Writer’s Society, the indie pop quintet Young Glass have been performing together longer than most college bands, and, as a result, offer a sound that is noticeably more mature than many of their contemporaries.
Oliver Darling’s vocals are impressive yet subdued. Complimenting these melodies is Sophie Cameron’s cello playing, a much appreciated contribution to the band’s sound that adds a beautiful layer of longing to songs like “Haunt.” The guitar, bass, and drums powered by Matheson, Ferarro-Hallett, and Williams, respectively, each add a layer of individualism to the forefront of the their sound.
Live at the 300 Club, Young Glass gave a performance that matches the sound they have crafted on studio recordings for the most part. In some categories the live show outdoes the recordings — the drums hit harder, for instance — while at other times the sounds from the recording aren’t properly emulated; the cello parts are tragically drowned out by the bass guitar when they deserve to be heard in full.
Young Glass has gathered quite a large local following in their five years together and after hearing them play it’s not hard to figure out why. They plan to release a full length album sometime in 2016, but until then select songs are available on the group’s SoundCloud page.
Required Listening: Haunt