MUSIC REVIEWS FROM THE HEART OF TORONTO

2017: A MUSICAL MOTHERLODE


Ok, so let’s face it: 2016 was a bloody miserable year any way you sliced it! It was the
warmsest year on record (sorry climate change deniers), iconic musicians dropped like
flies, Trump and Clinton waged the most soul-destroying Presidential campaign in
history, and all of this wasn’t helped by the fact that is was a rather lean year for
records! Well, fret no longer friends because 2017 is going to be the tonic that cures all
that ails us. Lets take a look at the tantalizing list of new music coming our way!


Broken Social Scene - Release Date: TBA
The story is that the horrific attack at The Bataclan venue during the November 13th
massacre in Paris is what inspired the Social Sceners to get back together and make
some new music. Kevin Drew and co. felt the immediate need to play some shows and
that led to this rather unexpected new album...their first 2010’s Forgiveness Rock
Record.


Chavez - Cockfighters EP - Release Date: Jan 13
File this one under: unexpected! Matatdor Records indie rock darlings Chavez are about
to release their first new music in twenty years. Though this can’t technically be called a
reunion, as the band never split and have actually continued to play shows sporadically,
it certainly came out of the deep blue. Their two previous releases, Gone Glimmering
and Ride The Fader, were fuzz-rock classics and the first taste from Cockfighters (Bully
Boys) maintains that quality. Here’s hoping an LP is not far off.


Constantines - ???
No official word yet, but the band did play new material during their string of reunion
shows in 2015 and there seems to be more than enough momentum to make it all come
together.


Jeremy Enigk - Release Date: TBA
The former Sunny Day Real Estate man has been hard at work piecing together a new
record for the last few years, but he finally seems to be nearing the finish line. Judging
by his Pledge Music campaign (which is at 179% of his goal) there are more than a few
interested ears out there. It’s been eight years and one Sunny Day Real Estate reunion
since his last effort.


Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody - Release Date: Jan 13
Those psych-rock weirdos from Oklahoma are coming back with their first new music
(not counting Miley Cyrus collaborations and Pink Floyd covers) since 2013’s The
Terror. Oczy Mlody sticks with their more recent reliance on synthesizers, but judging by
the early releases from the record, the mood is far more upbeat then what preceded it.


Fleet Foxes - Ylajali - Release Date: TBA
In the time since Helplessness Blues came out, Fleet Foxes lost a drummer (J.Tillman
became Father John Misty), Robin Pecknold went back to school at Columbia and Sub
Pop has been replaced by Nonesuch. Pecknold has been saying that the new album
will depart from their traditional folk sound, but as to what awaits us...only time will tell. It
appears that the Foxes have added ex-Walkmen sticks man Matt Barrick to fill the void
that Tillman leaves behind.


Grizzly Bear - Release Date: TBA
Fresh off campaigning hard for Bernie Sanders, Grizzly Bear have regrouped (or maybe
not) and are on the verge of releasing the follow-up to 2012’s Shields. In an October
tweet the band said the “album was 90% done...last update until you hear it”, so it
shouldn’t be too much longer now. Veckatimest and Shields have raised the bar very
high, so the pressure’s on.


The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy - Release Date: Mar 24
The Reid brothers have somehow managed to put their differences aside for more than
a few minutes and have produced their first new material in nineteen years. Youth
(Killing Joke’s Martin Glover) is producing and playing bass, so they’re certainly in more
than capable hands. First single “Amputation” is promising, if a bit restrained, so we’ll
have to see what the whole record bears out.


The National - Release Date: TBA
The Cincinnati ex-pats are on one of modern rock’s greatest winning streaks...need
proof? Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, Alligator, Boxer, High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me
is a discography any band would kill for and no one should bet any serious money
against them not doing it again. They average a new album every three years, so
they’re a little over due and that should bode well for fans.


Zack de la Rocha - Release Date: TBA
The Rage Against the Machine provocateur has toyed with the idea of a solo album
since RATM split at the turn of the century...but nothing ever seemed to happen. Sure,
there have been numerous false starts over the years and there was even that
awesome collaboration with Jon Theodore on One Day as a Lion, but never a solo disc.
Frankly, it appeared that most fans had simply lost interest and moved on, so it caused
more than a minor ripple online when it was announced that de la Rocha had an album
in the can and an EL-P produced single (Digging For Windows) ready to go.


Spiritualized - Release Date: TBA
Jason Pierce has stated that this could be the final Spiritualized record, so you can bet
that this sucker is not getting released before he’s damn good and ready. Pierce has
battled drug addiction, serious illness, revolting bandmates and perfectionism in all his
many years fronting Spiritualized, so there’s no possible chance this guy’s going out on
a sour note!


Spoon - Release Date: March
These guys have mastered the fine art of indie rock and it’s ever changing parameters,
so it will be interesting to hear where Britt Daniel’s tastes will take us this time out. He
has already said that “I feel like we’re on to something...we’re covering some new
ground.” Interestingly, this record finds Spoon back on Matador...the first time since their
debut in 1996!


Wolf Parade - Release Date: TBA
Like all good reunions, this one came from out of nowhere, especially when you
consider that both Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner were both well established in
numerous other projects. Not just content with just playing old songs upon their return,
the group released an EP of new material to coincide with their initial run of dates. The
EP was of such quality that it further heightened everyone’s excitement.