Click below to watch "Even The Darkness Has Arms"
One day the Eagles will wake up in hell and wish they had done it like The Barr Brothers.
Becoming The Barr Brothers, A Band Of Friends And Neighbors
A strong wind is favouring the Barr Brothers on the eve of their second album and the return to Montreal in November.
Montreal folk quartet the Barr Brothers appear prominently on the cover this month. A group recognized for taking a unique, contemplative approach to Americana, our feature explores their transformation from jam band to songwriting masters and the knowledge and execution of various musical languages they employ on their sophomore effort, Sleeping Operator.
Trois années après la parution d’un album homonyme qui aura consacré le groupe autant localement qu’à l’international, The Barr Brothers récidive avec Sleeping Operator, une suite plus ambitieuse, mais surtout plus démocratique.
We knew from the first time that they burst onto the scene and blessed us with their albums Zeroes QC and Images du futur that Suuns is without a doubt or exaggerating one of the most important groups of the era.
The Barr Brothers are thrilled to share a second track from their new LP 'Sleeping Operator'. Premiering this morning on ICI Musique, CBC Music, Paste and Clash Music, "Half Crazy" has "a stone cold groove with a menacing edge" (Clash Music).
This song, Half-Crazy, could be described as the tenacious offspring of the North African desert music of Mali/Morocco and the sweat and electricity of the Chicago and Mississippi Delta blues. That music is like a stem-cell, really open to going in many directions. On this track, we wired the harp through a dirty little amplifier. I played my early 40's Oahu lap-steel. Andrew uses a loping high-hat feel, and the electric bass pushes the whole thing. The lyrics got a nudge from our friend Nathan Moore--we're all half-crazy, half clear as a bell. explain Brad Barr from The Barr Brothers.
‘Sleeping Operator,’ will be out October 7 on Secret City Records but you can pre-order the album right now via iTunes. As of tomorrow, you will get two tracks instantly when pre-ordering the record.
"The results might rankle the odd folk purist, but they speak for themselves: Tall Tall Shadow, a record haunted by the recent passing of a good friend, is Bulat’s best and most distinctive work yet. Comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neko Case and Sandy Denny can still be made, yes, but you can hear her truly finding her own voice here."
The Barr Brothers recently shared a first track from the album, "Even The Darkness Has Arms", which premiered on Voir in Canada, KEXP in the United States and The Line of Best Fit in the UK. Listen below >>
The album is also available now as a preorder on iTunes, which gives you the instant download of this track, click here.
Tiny Mix Tapes premiered the video today, click here to read the full article.
"I’m a enthralled with Thus Owls’ performance of “How In My Bones” live at La Tulipe in Montreal. Thus Owls really lays down a retro-psychedelic blues-rock vibe here that harnesses that before-its-time nostalgia. And they’re totally not afraid to feel it too. Also, I’m convinced that all good groups have vocals from everyone involved. I love it when tambourines are used in today’s musical world. Yes!!!"
The 2014 Polaris Music Prize Long List was announced yesterday in Calgary during Sled Island Festival. Awesome news for Secret City, all 3 releases put out during the eligibility period are in nominations!
That’s right, Basia Bulat’s Tall Tall Shadow, Thus Owls’ Turning Rocks and Owen Pallett’s In Conflict are part of the 40 best Canadian albums of the year. Basia Bulat was also the musical surprise guest at the Conference and played two songs from her latest record at the National Music Centre. Congratulations to our artists and to everyone who made the Long List.
Fingers crossed for the Short List, which will be announced on July 15th in Toronto at The Carlu. To view the complete list, click here.
The Barr Brothers are thrilled to announce the release of their long-awaited follow-up, the intense and expansive ‘Sleeping Operator,’ out October 7 on Secret City Records.
‘Sleeping Operator represents an immense creative output. The group, featuring brothers Brad on guitar/vocals and Andrew on drums, classical harpist Sarah Pagé, and pianist/bassist Andrès Vial, recorded 40 tracks in the process of making this record. The 13 songs on ‘Sleeping Operator’ are meditative and explosive, exploring the far reaches of folk laced with West African influences, hypnotic modernist pulsing and beyond. While the record extends into cinematic and other-worldly territories, it maintains a campfire-like intimacy throughout.
The album was produced by The Barr Brothers and recorded and mixed by Ryan Freeland (Bonnie Raitt, Aimee Mann, Ray Lamontagne) in Montreal and Los Angeles. The band was joined by local neighborhood guests from Arcade Fire (Richard Reed Parry), Patrick Watson’s band, The Luyas, Bassekou Kouyate’s band and Little Scream along the way. Known for their unique orchestrations, the band used a plethora of instruments to embellish this album including a variety of horns, marimba, ngoni (West African stringed instrument), an instrument made by a fan called a cardboardium, hammered dulcimer, and pedal steel to make a sound that is sui generis.
Today's song of the day is Thus Owls' song "How in My Bones" from their new album Turning Rocks.
Miracle Fortress's brand new single, Here's to Feeling Good All The Time, Has been released just in time to put it on your summer playlist. You can get your hands on the track by visiting iTunes or you can listen to bellow! This is what Graham Van Pelt had to say about his new single:
"Hi! I'm very pleased to announce the first in a series of Summer 2014 singles from Miracle Fortress, Here's to Feeling Good All The Time. The song is a head-noddy piano groove built around an insistent beat from Greg Napier, his first to feature on a Miracle Fortress recording. "
Graham provides a lyric eulogizing some of the confused relationships of his tourist-town youth. Artist Sophia Burke provides the cover photograph and design. Damian Taylor polished up the mix.
Owen Pallett's brand new record, In Conflict, is finally out today and is available on CD, LP, Deluxe LP and digital.
The album is getting raving reviews :
“In Conflict is a fantastic argument for Pallett's virtues as a pure pop singer. 8/10” - Pitchfork
“’In Conflict’ is a beautiful and powerful album” ***** - Time Out London
“The swooping strings, wistfully romantic melodies and percolating synthesizers effectively walk the line between serious experimental art rock and flamboyantly emotional synth pop, resulting in some of his most accessible work yet. ****” - NOW
“…on In Conflict the Canadian composer has managed to translate that energy into his recordings ,making his music as invigorating as it is soothing, as exciting as it is impressive and as complex as it is accessible. 8,5/10” - The Line of Best Fit
“In Conflict is ominous, gloomy, and marked with some of the most playful arrangements Pallett’s laid to date. The depth of field in this album alone is a pleasure…” - Consequence of sound
9,5/10 - Magnet Magazine
Owen was in the CBC building last Monday to perform and speak with Jian on Q about his new album, In Conflict . To hightlight the event, he performed as a worldwide premiere "I Am Not Afraid" , watch it below and listen to the full interview by
Congratulations to Basia Bulat who got voted "Female Artist of the Year" at the SiriusXM Indie Awards earlier this month.
Speaking of SiriusXM, check out the session she did with them at SXSW in Austin last March.
‘In Conflict’, the fourth solo album from Pallett (previously writing under the name Final Fantasy), is a sublime demonstration of why he’s held in such high regard. Striking a fine balance between avant-garde and accessible, it’s an intense listen, but full of universally appealing, sparkling melodies, with Pallett’s unfaltering falsetto melting over the top. Don’t be surprised to find passages from ‘On a Path’ or ‘I Am Not Afraid’ lingering with you.
Towards the end of the album, stripped-back love songs give way to something approaching grandiose orchestral rock – a term that understandably fills people with dread. With Pallett at the controls, however, it’s a glorious, engulfing journey, layered with furious riffing and epic vocal turns.
‘In Conflict’ is a beautiful and powerful album, light as a feather in its delivery of complicated musical and lyrical ideas, but packing a punch that’s sharp enough to floor most other records released this year.
Owen Pallett debuts a brand new video clip in advance of his upcoming album, In Conflict, for the single "Song For Five & Six". Directed by Jeff Scheven, the video features the choreography of Robert Binet, Choreographic Associate of The National Ballet of Canada, as well as the impressive dancing of students of Canada’s National Ballet School.
It should also be made known that the new in-store release date for In Conflict is now May 27th in Canada.
Turning Rocks is out since early this week and it already garnered rave reviews, see below.
The album itself is available in digital, CD and LP formats (the LP comes with a download coupon). Lots of ways you can get your hands on it, depending on your preference. It’s available on iTunes, on Amazon in both CD and LP format, and directly from us as well. And of course it’s available in stores across North America, the UK & Europe.
- The Line Of Best Fit
“It's at once familiar and foreign (...) and immediately work its way inside the listener's head and heart.”
- Andrea Warner CBC Music
“brings together organic and high-concept elements in a way that coheres intricately … striking a heady balance between warm instrumentation and a stylish veneer.”
- Pop Matters
“one of the most fascinating, challenging and wildly diverse albums in recent memory. 5 stars”
- Jeff Monk, Winnipeg Free Press
- Aidan Morgan, Prairie Dog
“The song ‘How, In My Bones’ treats pieces of a lingering childhood memory filled with emotions of shame, loss and the inevitable experience of learning from mistakes,” Erika explains. “Erika shared a lot with us - her memories, photographs of her childhood, the place where she grew up and things she remembered doing and feeling there, which inspired most of our choices,” says Mylène Simard, who directed the video alongside collaborator Becca Blackwood. “I became interested in creating moving portraits where objects and artifacts would be strewn around Erika, in a way that evokes hazy dreams or faint memories … and have her feel ‘stuck’ in these portraits, the way we can obsess over moments that transpired years ago, or events that still haunt us.”
"exquisite experimental chamber-folk" - The Wall Street Journal
Thus Owls have shared a second track from their forthcoming album Turning Rocks, entitled “How, In My Bones” via thusowls.com. The song - available as a free download online for a limited time only - is a fitting showcase for Thus Owls’s sound, with Erika Angell’s emotive vocal delivery complemented by some deft interplay between Simon Angell’s signature guitar-work and new keyboard player Parker Shper, who features on both Wurlitzer and Farfisa organs.
Turning Rocks will be released on April 8th and is available for pre-order as of today from Secret City's online store and iTunes.
Basia Bulat performed on Canada AM this morning to highlight her Juno-nomination for Tall Tall Shadow in Adult Alternative Album of the year.
If you missed it, click here to watch!
Basia will be on tour with The Head in The Heart shortly, check out the full tour dates here.
"The Riverbed" is the first full track released from Owen Pallett's new album, In Conflict, and showcases a more brutal tone of songwriting from Pallett with a building arrangement that ratchets the tension in its frenetic build. Appropriately, the accompanying video compliments the mood with its own dramatic struggle. The Eva Michon-directed clip was filmed in Los Angeles and stars career actor Jim Pallett as the protagonist. Owen himself also has a small role in the video as "Jerk #4.” “Typical Hollywood bullshit,” Owen says, about having his supporting role cut down to a mere few frames.
To compliment and contrast "The Riverbed," a lyric video for "On A Path" is also debuting today exclusively on T: The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times piece includes a Q&A with Pallett on In Conflict, and his Academy Award nomination, alongside Arcade Fire, for Best Original Score (Spike Jonze's her).
We've just announced our official SXSW showcase, featuring label artists The Barr Brothers, Basia Bulat, Thus Owls as well as Timber Timbre, Leif Vollebekk and MaicaMia.
Join the event on Facebook and RSVP here: HotMassSXSW.com
One of the best listening experiences at SXSW, the intimate seated shows in the historic church’s sanctuary offer a rare chance to escape the hectic crowds and hear artists perform without distraction.
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
St. David's Bethell Hall
301 E. 8th St, Austin, TX
Doors at 6pm
7:00pm - MaicaMia
8:00pm - Leif Vollebekk
9:00pm - Thus Owls
10:00pm - Basia Bulat
11:00pm - Timber Timbre
12:00am - The Barr Brothers
Poster art by Jack Dylan
Montreal/Stockholm band Thus Owls have premiered a video for “As Long As We Try A Little,” the first from their upcoming album, Turning Rocks, out on April 8th via Secret City Records. To create the video Thus Owls turned to friend, fellow musician and filmmaker Joe Yarmush (Suuns), who shot it on a very cold day in Montreal in January 2014.
Many sites have premiered the video in different territories, Voir.ca in Quebec, Exclaim! in Canada and Clash Magazine in the UK.
We are pleased to announce the new album from Owen Pallett, In Conflict, out on May 13th in North America. In Conflict was written and produced by Pallett, recorded with the core rhythm section of Robbie Gordon and Matt Smith, and features contributions from Brian Eno and The Czech FILMharmonic Orchestra, amongst others.
Owen Pallet has signed with us for Canada. In addition to releasing the Canadian edition of In Conflict on May 13th, We will also be reissuing a deluxe edition of 2010’s Heartland later this year.
In Conflict, is full of love songs— more specifically, songs about liminal states and our loved ones locked in battle with them. “The record is meant to approach ‘insanity’ in a positive way,” Owen says.
Owen Pallett will be touring North America and Europe with his band throughout the month of May, including two album-launch shows in Montreal on May 9 at Sala Rossa and in Toronto on May 10 at Danforth Music Hall.
In Conflict, will be available on CD, digital, standard edition LP and on limited edition double LP (with three bonus tracks) via our website. You may pre-order the digital edition via iTunes by clicking here, and the 2LP edition via Secret City by clicking here.
Congratulations to Basia Bulat for her nomination at The JUNO Awards in the Adult Alternative Album of the year category!
Don't miss the gala on Sunday March 30th on CTV!
Montreal/Stockholm band Thus Owls have signed to Secret City Records, and will be releasing their new album, entitled Turning Rocks, on April 8, 2014. The first song on the record, “As Long As We Try a Little,” premiered today via Fader.
The band will be making their first appearances in support of Turning Rocks at SXSW, with North American and European tour dates to be announced shortly.
To read the press release and story behind the album, click here.
To say that Basia Bulat's Tall Tall Shadow was a big part of Secret City's year is an understatement. We're really proud of Basia and this release, and as the year winds down are happy to see that we're not the only ones. The Huffington Post named Tall Tall Shadow the Canadian album of the year, besting some pretty big names including Arcade Fire and Drake, and calling it "a masterwork from a woman ready for prime-time." We couldn't agree more. Exclaim! has the album in the #4 slot in their Top 10 Folk albums of the year. And in case for some reason you don't follow Bob Odenkirk on Twitter, it's also his favourite album of the year. Good call, Saul.
Sans se péter les bretelles, ce quartette montréalais s'impose parmi les plus intéressants du rock anglo, montréalais, québécois ou canadien. Bien que très rock, la force des concepts l'emporte largement sur celle des muscles. - Alain Brunet
Basia is featured in The New Yorker's "Winter Preview" this week to highlight her new release, Tall Tall Shadow and her upcoming show in New York City at the Bowery Ballroom on November 23rd.
To read the article, click here.
We're pretty excited to let you know that "Game Shows" from Plants and Animals is the musical accompaniment to the climax in the film from Magnolia Pictures Best Man Down. The film is currently in theatres in selected cities across Canada and the US and is available on Demand and on iTunes.
In so, the live version of "Game Shows" from the Pop Montreal show is ready for listening now, click here.
The complete Pop Montreal show will be broadcast by SIRIUSXM on Iceberg 161 and XM's The Verge 173 on Nov 22, 10pm EST and Nov 24, 7pm EST.
Plants and Animals are currently on tour in the US, see below for complete schedule:
11/08 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
11/09 - Hudson, NY @ Club Helsinki
11/13 - New Haven, CT @ BAR
11/14 - Portland, Maine @ Empire
11/15 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
Big congrats to Patrick Watson for winning a Félix in the category "Artiste québécois s'étant le plus illustré hors Québec" for a second year in a row at l'ADISQ.
Patrick Waston is on the Voir cover in Quebec City to highlight his upcoming Orchestra shows with l'OSQ on November 7 and 8.
To read the interview, click here.
Directed by Stephanie Comilang.
"As the days were getting shorter and summer was coming to a close I flew to Berlin to work with director Stephanie Comilang on a video for Tall Tall Shadow. We holed up in a studio with her creative team in Kreuzberg and didn’t see daylight for 48-hours. We made a secret, lo-fi dance club for ourselves and brought a forgotten camera and lost tapes back to life. We left with a video of light and shadows, equal parts a throwback to VHS and analogue techniques and an homage to a few of our favorite artists." - Basia Bulat
Basia Bulat's long awaited third full length album, Tall Tall Shadow, is out today. It's available on iTunes, Amazon, directly from us, and wherever fine records are sold.
Bulat was featured last week on CBC's Q with Jian Gomeshi, who called her "a musically gifted artist starkly putting herself in the spotlight." Now Magazine recently gave the album four stars, stating “aside from the fundamental beauty of her vocals, the raw emotion in every note creates a sense of intimacy,” adding “the title track is one of the best Bulat’s ever written.” Yesterday, The New York Times featured the album in their Sunday Playlist, gushing “Ms. Bulat has a voice well suited to interiority, warm and honeyed.” Her worldwide tour begins tomorrow night in Montreal.
Most of the songs on “Tall Tall Shadow” (Secret City), the third album by this singer-songwriter from Ontario, unfold like notes to self, even when they’re addressed to a notional “you.” These songs bear titles like “From Now On” and “Promise Not to Think About Love,” and strike a sound that nods to Fleetwood Mac and the early Joni Mitchell. Ms. Bulat has a voice well suited to interiority, warm and honeyed, though it cuts through the reverberant throb of the music.
It's been nearly three years since folksinger Basia Bulat's last album, Heart of My Own but the lengthy wait has paid off. The Canadian folksinger's latest, Tall Tall Shadow, is a highly personal work born out of love and sadness.
Listen to the interview and performance by clicking here.
Plants and Animals are pleased to announce their 2013 Fall Tour, which sees them playing shows in Canada and the northeastern US. The tour kicks-off with a special show at Breakglass studio during Pop Montreal and includes a two-night stand in Kingston, Ontario at the Grad Club, stops in Edmonton, Ottawa, Buffalo, Portland, Maine and wraps up in Burlington, Vermont. A full itinerary is below.
FALL 2013 TOUR DATES
09/26 - Montreal, QC – Breakglass Studio (Pop Montreal)
09/27 - Kingston, ON – The Grad Club
09/28 - Kingston, ON – The Grad Club
10/12 - Edmonton, AB – McDougall United Church
10/25 - Ottawa, ON – Nature Nocturne of the Canadian
11/07 - Buffalo, NY - Iron Works
11/08 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
11/09 - Hudson, NY - Club Helsinki
11/13 - New Haven, CT - BAR
11/14 - Portland, ME - Empire
11/15 - Burlington, VT - Signal Kitchen
Click here to buy tickets
Pop Montreal is back and there's a ton of Secret City artists playing shows this year!
Patrick Watson is on the cover of Voir this week with Murray Lightburn and Kid Koala to highlight the festival, click here to read the full article.
Complete list of shows >>>
Patrick Watson was shooting a scene in Montreal this week for the new upcoming Win Wenders movie, Everything will be fine. He wrote an original piece for the score and is also playing Lighthouse during a concert scene shot at Théâtre Outremont.
Win Wenders is a longtime fan of Patrick's music, you can read the full La Presse article in french by clicking here.
The Polaris-shortlisted and Juno-nominated folk-pop singer-songwriter, 29, turned heartbreak into some of her most direct and affecting ballads
Basia Bulat,’s much-anticipated third album, Tall Tall Shadow, will be released on October 1st. Having already shared the striking title-track, she is now offering another preview of the record in the form of a live video of ‘It Can’t Be You’, which premiered this morning via Paste.
Basia has also expanded her fall tour schedule to include stops in Los Angeles, London, and Berlin, in addition to her previously announced headlining shows and September support dates with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Click here to view the complete tour dates.
Basia Bulat played her song It Can't Be You live in the studio of BBC London today! The song is from her new album, Tall Tall Shadow coming out Sept 30/Oct 1st worldwide.
Have a listen by clicking below >>
Suuns' latest album Images du futur has been getting attention from new exciting sources. Their epic track "2020" soundtracks the new European trailer for Only God Forgives, from the director of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn. The movie stars Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas and is set in the glittering city of Bangkok. The forboding track with its pulsating bass - what Alternative Press called "a menacing undercurrent" - and a sly sidewinding guitar riff add live wire tension to the trailer.
Secret City Records will release Basia Bulat’s long-awaited third album, Tall Tall Shadow on September 30th / October 1st. Co-produced with Grammy-winning engineer Mark Lawson and Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Tall Tall Shadow marks something of a departure from her earlier work. “This time around I felt braver,” Basia says, “I wanted to play with electric and electronic sounds, exploring the boundaries of the folk music some people know me for.”
Tall Tall Shadow is available to pre-order on iTunes as of today, and the single can be streamed here.
We've just announced the first string of tour dates in support of the album, more will come shortly including an European tour.
08/13/13 - London, UK - Servant Jazz Quarters
08/31/13 - Dundas, ON - Christie Lake Conservation (Harvest Picnic)
10/01/13 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret du Mile End
10/04/13 - Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
10/05/13 - Ottawa, ON - National Arts Center
10/10/13 - Toronto, ON - Polish Combatants Association
11/06/13 - Stoughton, WI - Stoughton Opera House
11/07/13 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
11/08/13 - St. Louis - Off Broadway
11/10/13 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub
11/12/13 - Nashville, TN - The Stone Fox
11/13/13 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
11/14/13 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
11/15/13 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/20/13 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
11/22/13 - Somerville, MA - Johnny D's
11/23/13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/29/13 - Calgary, AB - Festival Hall
11/30/13 - Edmonton, AB - Avenue Theatre
12/04/13 - Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub
12/05/13 - Vancouver, BC - The Rio Theatre
12/06/13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
12/07/13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
12/09/13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
More than 50 000 people gathered at the Place des Festivals to watch the Barr Brothers perform two sets last Saturday night as part of Montreal's International Jazz Festival. The band just announced a Quebec tour to complete their fall itinerary, which also includes a number of tour dates in the UK. Click here for the full tour dates.
If you would like to read the french reviews of the shows, click here.
Congratulations to Suuns ! Their last album, Images du Futur is in the 40 albums making the Polaris Music Prize Long List this year.
To read the full long list, click here.
The Short List will be announced on July 16th in Toronto at the Drake Hotel.
The Barr Brothers are pleased to announce today that they will be performing at the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal on Saturday, June 29th as part of its free outdoor programming in the Quartier des Spectacles.
The band will be playing two sets of 60 minutes in the evening (9PM and 11PM) on the main outdoor stage, Scène TD. For more details, click here.
Patrick Watson is pleased to announce a trio of very special shows in Montreal from November 15 to 17. Patrick Watson will be joined by l’Orchestre Cinema l’Amour at Eglise Saint-Jean Baptiste, continuing with the series of orchestra shows that began two years ago with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and which also include upcoming performances in Paris and Quebec City.
Tickets for these shows will be on sale Friday June 7th at noon, visit Patrick Watson's official website.
The Cinema l’Amour Orchestra will be a local 60-piece ensemble built from scratch with local musicians, and both new and past collaborators. Watson will be joined in Paris by the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, and in Quebec City by Orchestre Symphonique de Québec (OSQ) as previously announced.
Suuns have released a video for “Sunspot", an abstract analog assembly by Montreal artist Malena Szlam.
Suuns will be performing at the Montreal International Jazz Festival this year. They will be closing the Nuits Heineken series at Club Soda on July 7th.
Tickets go on sale Saturday May 4th at noon.
SUUNS @ FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE JAZZ DE MONTRÉAL
SUNDAY JULY 7th - 11PM
CLUB SODA - 1225 SAINT-LAURENT
RVSP on Facebook!
« De Wilco aux longues digressions du rock des seventies en passant par les plates-bandes d’Arcade Fire ici joyeusement piétinées, les amalgames indiffèrent vite, car Plants And Animals parvient à un épanouissement dans le classicisme rock qui n’appartient qu’à lui. »
Exciting news! The Barr Brothers are opening for the mighty National in Montreal this summer! Both bands will play under the stars on the Lachine Canal on the 13th, to buy your tickets, click here.
The new album from The National, "Trouble Will Find Me" will be out on May 21st, while The Barr Brothers are currently in studio working on their sophomore album.
The National + The Barr Brothers
Thursday June 13th
Lachine Canal, Centennial Esplanade
Cool beans! Diamond Rings is set to perform at this year's edition of Osheaga Music & Arts Festival this summer in Montreal. Other performers include Vampire Weekend, The Cure, Mumford & Sons, New Order, Phoenix and much more.
We'll keep you posted when the day-to-day schedule is out so you don't miss Diamond Rings outside at Parc Jean-Drapeau!
Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
Featuring Diamond Rings and many others.
August 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2013
For tickets, click here
Patrick Watson is proud to announce two shows with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec on November 7th and 8th.
Patrick Watson and his band will be performing pieces from their most recent album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard, as well as other songs from their existing repertoire. The entire performance will be executed with new arrangements under the direction of orchestra leader Stéphane Laforest. The shows are presented as part of the Coup de foudre Hydro-Québec series and are on-sale now.
Here are all upcoming tour dates:
03/28/13 Boston, MA || The Sinclair &
03/30/13 Magog, QC || Vieux-Clocher de Magog % SOLD-OUT
03/31/13 Sainte-Thérèse, QC || Théâtre Lionel-Groulx #
04/02/13 Terrebonne, QC || Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne %
04/03/13 L'Assomption, QC || Théâtre Hector Charland #
04/05/13 Baie-Saint-Paul, QC || La Ferme # SOLD-OUT
04/06/13 Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean || Théâtre Palace Arvida %
06/15/13 Manchester, TN || Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
06/28/13 Antibes, France || Nuits Carrés
06/29/13 Marmande, France || Garorock
06/30/13 Laval, France || Théâtre de Laval
07/04/13 Cluse, France || Musiques en Stock
07/07/13 Paris, France || Pleyel (Days Off Festival) *
07/12/13 Winnipeg, MB || Winnipeg Folk Festival (main stage)
11/07/13 Quebec City, QC || Grand Théâtre de Québec !
11/08/13 Quebec City, QC || Grand Théâtre de Québec !
& with Jocie Adams (The Low Anthem)
% with Leif Vollebekk
# with Thus:Owls
* with l'Orchestre National d’Île-de-France
! with l'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec
"Images du futur" is available everywhere in Canada via Secret City today! Out in digital, CD and LP, the sophomore album from Suuns is already getting raving reviews, here's a quick look at what the press has been saying so far:
"Images du Futur is a heavy, slow rock album that will be jarring for those expecting big hooks, but it’s also rewarding for anyone willing to formulate their own interpretation. 4 étoiles "
- The Gazette
"Pop hooks aside, Images Du Futur is not a feel-good record. But if you can deal with some dark, creepy, bummer vibes, it reveals new layers with each listen. 4 stars"
- NOW Toronto
« Plaintives, indolentes, lascives, les mélodies (vocales et synthétiques) se déversent en contrepoint sur des pulsations binaires, hypnotiques, addictives. Hors du commun, ces ambiances spectrales et choix harmoniques relèvent à la voix d'une solide culture rock et d'une connaissance musicale supérieure à la moyenne. Parce qu'elles plongent l'auditeur dans des fluides étranges et le ramènent à la surface au moment opportun, ces Images du futur sont en bonne voie de marquer l'imaginaire. De zéros à héros? 4 étoiles »
- La Presse
Diamond Rings is proud to announce that he will be supporting British New Wave pioneers, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) through two strings of shows in April and July, which include Canadian dates in Vancouver and Toronto.
Currently in the midst of his headlining Runaway Love tour in Western Canada, Diamond Rings has also confirmed a number of live dates at SXSW. He will bring his March tour to a rousing close at CMW in Toronto on March 22nd, where he will be performing alongside Metric, Matt Mays and Yukon Blonde at the SiriusXM Indie Awards. Further information and tickets are available via Diamond Rings’ official website.
UPCOMING 2013 TOUR DATES
March 06 – Calgary, AB @ The Commonwealth
March 07 – Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
March 08 – Saskatoon, SK @ Louis' Pub
March 09 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid
March 14 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Waterloo Records In-Store @ Waterloo Records – 1pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – SXSW – FILTER/Dickies Day Party @ Lustre Pearl – 4pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Express Showcase @ Austin Music Hall – 7:15pm
March 15 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Brooklyn Vegan Day Party @ Old Emo’s – 1:30pm
March 15 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Spotify House (DJ gig) @ Spotify House – 4-6pm
March 15 – Austin, TX – SXSW – VEVOtv Showcase (acoustic) @ Ghost Room – 8pm
March 22 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus - SiriusXM Indie Awards
April 5 – Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore *
April 6 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox*
April 7 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom*
April 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot*
April 12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency*
April 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre*
July 7 – Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Bluesfest @ LeBreton Flats
July 11 – Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall*
July 12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
July 13 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*
July 15 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Club*
July 17 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5*
July 19 – Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall*
July 20 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall*
July 22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre*
July 23 – Chicago, IL @ Metro*
August 10 – Squamish, BC @ Squamish Valley Music Festival
Suuns, qui signifie zéros en langue thai, peut se targuer d'avoir créé un son qui n'a rien à voir avec l'idée qu'on se fait du « Montreal sound ».
Fondé sur des rythmes virils et métronomiques, futés riffs de guitare, chants d'attitude rock, post-punk, post krautrock, post-Velvet. Bien que totalement rock dans la dégaine, le quartette puise dans le minimalisme contemporain de la musique instrumentale dite sérieuse comme dans celui des musiques électroniques également associées au minimalisme.
Plaintives, indolentes, lascives, les mélodies (vocales et synthétiques) se déversent en contrepoint sur des pulsations binaires, hypnotiques, addictives. Hors du commun, ces ambiances spectrales et choix harmoniques relèvent à la voix d'une solide culture rock et d'une connaissance musicale supérieure à la moyenne. Parce qu'elles plongent l'auditeur dans des fluides étranges et le ramènent à la surface au moment opportun, ces Images du futur sont en bonne voie de marquer l'imaginaire. De zéros à héros?
Montreal’s Suuns made a strong first impression with their 2010 debut, Zeroes QC, combining ominous, pulsing synths with dissonant post-punk guitars and unexpected bursts of pop harmonies. Rather than mess with a good thing, they’ve simply refined that bag of tricks on the sequel, once again working with producer Jace Lasek.
Recorded with the Montreal student protests filling the streets around them every day, Images Du Futur is more dissonant than its predecessor. The uneasy, tightly coiled mood can start to feel oppressive, but then suddenly a big major-key melody comes out of nowhere to break the tension.
Pop hooks aside, Images Du Futur is not a feel-good record. But if you can deal with some dark, creepy, bummer vibes, it reveals new layers with each listen.
After having received an incredible collection of entries from aspiring film-makers since its launch before Christmas, Patrick Watson and creative group Genero have since announced the winner of the ‘Blackwind’ video-making competition. Chloé Poirier-Sauvé from Canada has had her beautifully crafted piece awarded the title of the single’s official video.
On choosing a winner, Patrick Watson had this to say:
“We never thought there would be that many good entries. Crazy. And of course, we couldn't agree on what should win."
“In the end, we decided to go with a video that impressed us with its artistic qualities. It struck us as more than a music video: it stands on its own as a work of art, which just happens to be inspired by our music. This wasn't an easy choice. Some we liked for the story, some for the beautiful images, some surprised us, others simply touched us. And they go in every direction, which amazes me: who would think one song could inspire so many different feelings and ideas?”
Big congrats to The Barr Brothers for their nomination in the "Adult Alternative Album of the Year" category at the 2013 Juno Awards! To view the entire list of nominees, please click here.
Make sure you tune in to CTV on April 21st to watch the gala!
To mark the announcement of his 2013 Runaway Love Tour, Diamond Rings is kicking it elementary school and offering up a baker’s dozen of oversized Valentines in the form of his limited-edition heavy-weight silkscreen posters. Thirteen lucky winners across Canada will receive a signed and personalized Diamond Rings Free Dimensional poster.
To enter the contest, fans are invited to tweet their favourite love-related Diamond Rings lyric (bonus points for a rhyming couplet!) @diamondrings with the hashtag #runawaylove. Winners will be choo-choo-chosen by John O himself, and posters will be post-marked on Valentine’s Day, set to arrive before the start of the Runaway Love tour.
Runaway Love Tour Dates
Friday, March 01, 2013 – Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore
Saturday, March 02, 2013 – Victoria, BC @ Sugar
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 – Calgary, AB @ The Commonwealth
Thursday, March 07, 2013 – Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
Friday, March 08, 2013 – Saskatoon, SK @ Louis' Pub
Saturday, March 09, 2013 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid
Friday, March 22nd, 2013 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus *SiriusXM Indie Awards
Click here to buy tickets.
Montreal’s Suuns have released a second video for their forthcoming sophomore LP, Images du Futur, entitled “2020”. Directed by Montreal based visual artist Sabrina Ratté.
Images du Futur is out March 5th on Secret City.
Just in time for spring, Plants and Animals are thrilled to be releasing their latest album, "The End of That" in France on April 3rd via Secret City. The band will be headed to France to support the release on a headlining tour. Support acts include Half Moon Run, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Rich Aucoin.
Following their hugely successful show in July 2012 at Nouveau Casino in Paris, Plants and Animals blew away the French delegation at last year’s FME. Notable outlet Libération heralded their set, stating that Plants and Animals "won the medal" for the best performance at the festival. And this month’s issue of Rolling Stone France has a full page dedicated to the band.
Upcoming complete tour dates:
02/07/12 Waterloo, ON || Starlight Social Club
02/08/13 Hamilton, ON || This Ain't Hollywood
02/09/13 London, ON || Call The Office
02/15/13 Wakefield, ON || Black Sheep Inn
02/16/13 Ottawa, ON || Ritual
03/28/12 Saint-Jean sur Richelieu, QC || Cabaret-Théâtre du Vieux Saint-Jean
03/29/13 Québec, QC || Théâtre du Petit Champlain
03/30/13 Terrebonne, QC || Moulin Neuf
04/19/13 Paris, France || La Défense Festival *
04/20/13 Laval, France || 6 par 4 *#
04/22/13 Tourcoing Lille, France || Le Grand Mix *
04/26/13 Nantes, France || Stereolux *&
04/29/13 Toulouse, France || La Dynamo
04/30/13 Orléans, France || L'Astrolab
05/02/13 Paris, France || Point Éphémère
05/16/13 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC || Le Zaricot
05/30/13 Val-David, QC || Mouton Noir
05/31/13 Magog, QC || Vieux-Clocher de Magog
06/01/13 Lavaltrie, QC || Chasse Galerie
* with Half Moon Run
# with Marie-Pierre Arthur
& with Rich Aucoin
Secret City is excited to announce the addition of Montreal’s Suuns to the label roster in Canada, and will be releasing their previously announced sophomore album, Images du futur, on March 5th.
Suuns have premiered the video for their first single, Edie’s Dream today on Noisey.
Suuns will launch the album officially on April 4th in Montreal at Sala Rossa and on April 5th in Quebec City at Le Cercle. The band is also announcing a number of Canadian tour dates today in addition to their existing European tour and confirmed appearances at CMW and SXSW in March. More to come.
Plants and Animals and The Barr Brothers will take part in not one, but two benefit concerts happening in Montreal in January. Make sure you get your tickets!
UN PEU DE LUMIÈRE EN JANVIER
Thursday January 17th
7PM - 25$ tax included
Click here for tickets
Other guests: Karkwa, Les Chiens, Gros Méné, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Dumas and Les Cowboy Fringants.
UNIS CONTRE LE CANCER
Tuesday January 29th
Cabaret du Mile-End
7:30PM - 51.74$ + fees
Click here for tickets
Other guests: Louis-Jean Cormier, Jim Corcoran, Dany Placard, Les Soeurs Boulay, Salomé Leclerc, Galaxie and Vincent Vallières
Plants and Animals are also touring in Ontario and Quebec during the upcoming months, click here to view all the tour dates.
Adventures in Your Own Backyard, Patrick Watson's critically acclaimed album is showing up on many End of the Year Best Of, here are some of them:
#6 on NPR's Bob Boilen's Top 10 Albums of 2012
#8 on NPR's Robin Hilton's Top 10 Albums of 2012
#67 on NPR's listeners pick Top 100 Albums of 2012
#5 on Bande à Part's listeners pick Top 10 Albums of 2012
#30 on Nightlife.ca's Top 40 Albums of 2012
One of the best 2012 albums for Quebec City's Le Soleil writer, Nicolas Houle. and one of the best shows too.
Patrick Watson's performance at our SXSW showcase at the Saint-David's Episcopal Church is the best 2012 show from Mike Katzif at WNYC.
More to come before December 31st we are certain!
Picture courtesy of National Post
Patrick Watson had quite a fabulous year and with his last concerts of 2012 he's ending it with brio. Raving reviews are pouring on the web as well as love from fans on twitter.
Here are some quotes:
"At this point, Patrick Watson has defined himself – and by extension the band – as a consummate and reliable performer who couldn’t do a bad show if he tried."
- Ryan Patrick, National Post
"Patrick Watson continued the evening with an impressively dynamic performance. His casual persona and stunning vocals captured the venue in minutes, and the show ventured into unexpected territory with vibrant, explorative jams."
- Syncopated Sound
« Les concerts de Patrick Watson à Québec sont toujours des événements courus parce qu’on sait que la qualité sera chaque fois au rendez-vous. N’empêche, d’une fois à l’autre, le groupe montréalais réussit à nous jeter sur le cul. »
- Cédric Bélanger, Journal de Québec
Happy cyber Monday everyone. We like shipping out fun packages of physical goods to fans of our artists, especially at this time of year, so we thought we'd participate and do a little sale today-only. First of all everything in our mail-order store is on sale in some capacity. All CDs are $9.99 or less, including new releases like Diamond Rings's Free Dimensional, Plants and Animals The End of That, and Patrick Watson's Adventures in Your Own Backyard. Vinyl has been discounted too, including items like the gorgeous gatefold 2LP edition of The Barr Brother's self-titled debut, and our recently re-issued classics, Plants and Animals' Parc Avenue on 2LP, and Patrick Watson's Close to Paradise both pressed on 180g vinyl. We'll also throw in some extra goodies for all orders over $20. We'll also guarantee that orders placed today will arrive in time for Christmas. It's way more fun to wrap an LP than a gift card. Shop here.
Patrick Watson and his band recorded a Daytrotter session in Austin a couple of weeks ago, you can listen to it here.
Patrick Watson played a phenomenal show in September in Washington, D.C. at the 9:30 Club. NPR Music was there to record it and it's finally gone up in time for the band's fall North American tour, click here to watch.
In case you've missed Diamond Rings' performance on Jay Leno last Wednesday night, you catch it on the Exclaim! website.
Diamond Rings' Fall Canadian Tour starts on Friday November 16 in Victoria, click here to see all the dates and buy tickets.
Diamond Rings has been voted "Best Locale Male Vocalist" by the people of Toronto in this year's Best of the City. Click here to read the interview.
In case you've missed Diamond Rings on David Letterman last week, watch it here!
Diamond Rings’ highly anticipated sophomore album Free Dimensional is out today. Free Dimensional is available now on iTunes, across fine record stores across the country, and on CD and LP directly from us.
Today also marks the premiere of the brand new video for Runaway Love, directed by Sébastien Landry and Baz. The video was shot an hour outside Montreal back in September..
Patrick Watson has launched a contest for an aspiring filmmakers to create the official video for “Blackwind” from Adventures in Your Own Backyard. You could even win £2000!
Deadline for submissions is November 12th. Click here for all the details.
Take a look at their recent World Cafe performance, as well as the Village Underground Rooftop session if you need inspiration.
Those who were tuned into the season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead last Sunday night were treated to a snippet of Adventure’s cut Noisy Sunday. "I love this show," tells us Patrick Watson, "nothing makes me more happy than watching zombies eat each other to my music."
For a limited time, you can watch the entire first episode on their website here.
You can also buy Noisy Sunday on iTunes here.
It's true! Diamond Rings will be performing on both Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, respectively on October 26 and November 7 to highlight the new release of his brand new album, Free Dimensional.
Out on October 22 via Secret City in Canada, you can pre-order the album now on iTunes.
Tune in to catch his TV appearances!
Diamond Rings on Late Show with David Letterman
October 26 at 11:35PM on CBS
Diamond Rings on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
November 7 at 11:35PM on NBC
Set to release his sophomore album, Free Dimensional, via Secret City on October 22nd Diamond Rings has just announced a full Canadian tour in support of the record. John O and his band (including Graham Van Pelt a.k.a Miracle Fortress) are currently on the road supporting Stars in the US, after kicking off the tour together last night at Pop Montreal. The bands have engaged in a remix swap as a way to ignite their tour together, both of which premiered earlier this week on RCRDLBL.
Diamond Rings will play in his hometown on November 29 at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club and in Montreal on December 6 at Sala Rossa.
11/16 – Victoria, BC – Club 9ONE9 Tickets
11/17 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club Tickets
11/20 – Calgary, AB – HiFi Club Tickets
11/21 – Edmonton, AB – Pawn Shop Tickets
11/22 – Regina, SK – The Exchange Tickets
11/23 – Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret Tickets
11/28 – London, ON – Call The Office Tickets
11/29 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club Tickets
11/30 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood Tickets
12/01 – Waterloo, ON – Starlight Room Tickets
12/06 – Montreal, QC – Sala Rossa Tickets
12/07 – Ottawa, ON – Ritual Tickets
Secret City Records received a whopping twelve ADISQ nominations yesterday. The equivalent of Quebec’s Grammy’s or Juno’s, the annual awards cover everything from the top albums to the best performances of the year. Patrick Watson and his band received eight nominations, including Anglo album of the year, for Adventures in Your Own Backyard; The Barr Brothers received two for their self-titled debut, which was released by Secret City almost one year ago now; and Secret City received its first-ever nomination for Label of the Year. The awards are given out over the course of three different events at the end of October. A full list of Secret City’s nominations are listed after the jump. More details can be had at http://www.adisq.com/.
Photo credit: Christian Leduc
France's Next-Liberation from France called Plants and Animals the highlight of FME...
Plants and Animals have announced their fall tour schedule that focuses heavily on tour dates across Canada. They also today released a cover of Malajube’s “Etienne D’aout” which was recorded live at Pop Montreal in 2011. The cover is taken from the same “Live at Breakglass” performance that yielded their cover of Wolf Parade’s ”I’ll Believe in Anything” earlier this year.
Plants and Animals have a couple more festival stops on their itinerary before the end of August, including appearances at Squamish in BC and FME in Rouyn-Noranda. The band plays a handful of shows in Canada in the US through September and October before starting the bulk of the Canadian tour on Halloween in Victoria. Full details after the jump.
Diamond Rings played a great live session yesterday on Morning Becomes Eclectic , revealing songs from his upcoming album Free Dimensional, out October 22rd in Canada and the US.
You can listen to session online by clicking here. Or simply watch the video for Runaway Love!
Proud to announce that Patrick Watson's Adventures in Your Own Backyard has been certified gold in Canada. This is the third consecutive album of Watson’s to reach that sales mark, and the quickest to do so, in only three months.
Grab your copy here if you don't have one already.
Patrick Watson today unleashed the second in the ‘Backyard’ mini-documentary videos in support of his latest album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. The latest installment, which premiered on MSN.com earlier today, brings Watson and his band to Brooklyn, New York, and introduces painter Rodney Dickson — a longtime friend of the band who inspired both the title of Close to Paradise, and the artwork for Wooden Arms.
More tour dates have also been announced, you can see them all by clicking here
We know you are all heading down to Parc Jean-Drapeau for Osheaga this weekend, so make sure you don't miss Plants and Animals on Saturday August 4th playing at 3:45PM on the River stage presented by Virgin Mobile!
The wait is almost over! Diamond Rings' brand new album Free Dimensional will be in stores on October 23rd on Secret City. Check out the first teaser for the album!
John O also just confirmed a Fall USA tour as a special guests of canadian band Stars. Dates below.
09/20/12 Portland, ME || Port City Music Hall
09/21/12 Boston, MA || Paradise Rock Club
09/22/12 New York, NY || Webster Hall
09/23/12 Washington, DC || 9:30 Club
09/25/12 Charlottesville, VA || Jefferson Theater
09/26/12 Carrboro, NC || Cat's Cradle
09/27/12 Charlotte, NC || Visulite Theatre
09/28/12 Atlanta, GA || Variety Playhouse
09/29/12 Nashville, TN || Mercy Lounge
10/02/12 Louisville, KY || Headliners Music Hall
10/03/12 Cincinnati, OH || 20th Century Theater
10/04/12 Indianapolis, IN || Deluxe at Old National Centre
10/05/12 St. Louis, MO || Plush
10/06/12 Columbia, MO || The Blue Note
10/09/12 Lawrence, KS || The Bottleneck
10/10/12 Tulsa, OK || Cain's Ballroom
10/11/12 Little Rock, AR || Revolution Music Room
10/12/12 Houston, TX || Fitzgerald’s: Upstairs
10/13/12 Dallas, TX || Granada Theater
10/17/12 San Diego, CA || House Of Blues
10/18/12 Los Angeles, CA || Mayan Theatre
10/19/12 Santa Cruz, CA || Rio Theatre
10/20/12 San Francisco, CA || The Fillmore
Secret City Records is proud to announce the release of Diamond Rings’ first single and video I’m Just Me taken from his forthcoming album, co-produced with Grammy-nominated Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Killers, Prodigy, UNKLE, Robyn and Austra). The track is available now on iTunes, while the video, directed by Jared Raab, premiered on Pitchfork earlier this morning.
On June 26th, Juno nominated modern pop maestro Diamond Rings returns with a brand new single I’m Just Me on Secret City Records. The single is a track from his forthcoming full-length co-produced by the Grammy-nominated Damian Taylor (Bjork, Robyn, Austra) due for release later this year.
The single will be available for sales on iTunes on June 26, meanwhile have a look at the teaser!
Congratulations to Patrick Watson and The Barr Brothers, both on the Polaris Music Prize Long List this year!
40 canadian albums made the cut, including legend Leonard Cohen and many others. To view the entire list, click here.
We're crossing our fingers they'll both make the short list announced on July 17th in Toronto!
Plants and Animals kick-off their summer schedule in earnest tomorrow starting with a big free outdoor show in Toronto at Yonge and Dundas Square as part of the annual NXNE Festival. To mark the start of their summer tour they’ve released a video for the short-but-sweet “H.C.” from The End of That, released in February this year. In this animated short/music video, director Aimée van Drimmelen employs hand drawn imagery and looped Super 8 footage. Click here to watch the video.
Plants and Animals will be hitting a few select festivals in Canada this summer, including repping their native Montreal at Osheaga in August, as well as appearances at Squamish in BC, the Ottawa Blues Fest, and more. They’ll also follow up their NXNE set with an appearance at Montreal’s Folk Fest on the Canal this coming Saturday. In addition to select Canadian dates the band will also return to the US for a brief stint in the northeast supporting Bombay Bicycle Club. Full details after the jump:
Basia Bulat is currently on tour supporting Bowerbirds. Click here to view all the dates!
Summer's here and that means festival season. A bunch of Secret City artists will be hitting those big outdoor stages in the coming months, so we thought we'd put together a quick checklist, below. Of course, there are additional non-festival dates for everyone coming up, as well, and more festival slots to be announced. You can always stay up-to-date by checking here: click here to view them all.
06/29/12 Olso, NO || Gut Feelings Festival
06/30/12 Borlange, SE || Peace and Love Festival
06/15/12 Montreal, QC || Folk on the Canal Festival
07/04/12 Montreal, QC || Festival de Jazz de Montréal
07/10/12 Quebec City, QC || Festival d'été de Québec
07/14/12 Louisville, KY || Forecastle Festival
Plants and Animals
06/16/12 Montreal, QC || Folk on the Canal Festival
07/05/12 Ottawa, ON || Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest
07/06/12 Orillia, ON || Mariposa Folk Festival
07/07/12 Orillia, ON || Mariposa Folk Festival
08/04/12 Montreal, QC || Osheaga Music Festival
08/24/12 Squamish, BC || Live at Squamish Festival
The Barr Brothers
06/21/12 Ottawa, ON || Ottawa Jazz Festival
06/22/12 Bondville, VT || Wanderlust Festival
07/01/12 Montreal, QC || Festival de Jazz de Montréal
07/08/12 Winnipeg, MB || Winnipeg Folk Festival
07/13/12 Quebec City, QC || Festival d'été de Québec
07/14/12 Vancouver, BC || Vancouver Folk Festival
07/20/12 Nelson, BC || Starbelly Jam Music Festival
07/26/12 Calgary, AB || Calgary Folk Music Festival
08/12/12 Regina, SK || Regina Folk Festival
10/01/12 Seattle, WA || Bumbershoot Festival
Make sure to catch Plants and Animals and Daniel Isaiah at the Folk on the Canal Festival in Montreal!
OPENING ACT FOR JIM KWESKIN
CENTRE CULTUREL GEORGES VANIER -2450 WORKMAN STREET
FRIDAY JUNE 15 - 8PM
Buy your tickets here
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
MARCHÉ ATWATER - ILÔT CHARLEVOIX (LACHINE CANAL)
SATURDAY JUNE 16 - 7:30PM
Buy your tickets here
Patrick Watson just released this behind the scene video shot during the filming of the music video Into Giants. The new album was released in the US yesterday while the band is starting the tour with Andrew Bird tomorrow!
05/03/12 Philadelphia, PA || Union Transfer * [ Sold-out ]
05/04/12 New York, NY || Beacon Theatre *
05/06/12 Boston, MA || House of Blues *
05/08/12 Washington, DC || The 930 Club * [ Sold-out ]
05/09/12 Baltimore, MD || Ramshead Live *
* with Andrew Bird
Patrick Watson today premieres the official music video for “Into Giants", the first single off of his acclaimed new album Adventures in Your Own Backyard, which was released in Canada by Secret City on April 17th. The all-singing, all-dancing clip was directed by longtime collaborator Brigitte Henry.
Watson has also just announced a new tour dates in his native Quebec, including a performance in Quebec City at the Festival D’été on July 10th, and a string of shows throughout the province in the fall.
07/04/12 Montreal, QC || Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (Festival de Jazz) &
07/10/12 Quebec City, QC || Le Pigeonnier (Festival d’été de QC)&*
09/20/12 New Richmond, QC || Salle New Richmond *
09/21/12 Rimouski, QC || Salle Desjardins-Telus *
09/22/12 Baie-Comeau, QC || Théâtre de Baie-Comeau *
09/23/12 Sept-Iles, QC || Salle Jean-Marc Dion *
09/26/12 Drummondville, QC || Salle Léo-Paul Therrien *
09/27/12 Sherbrooke, QC || Théâtre Granada *
09/28/12 Gatineau, QC || Théâtre du Musée Canadien des Civilisations *
09/29/12 Gatineau, QC || Théâtre du Musée Canadien des Civilisations *
& with Loney Dear
* with Thus:Owls
Hell-bent on conquering the US, the never road-weary Plants and Animals have added more dates to an already busy tour schedule in support of their new album, The End of That. The band will support Bombay Bicycle Club for a week on the East Coast in late July prior to their hometown performance at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival. Their US tour kicked off in March with a whirlwind, successful week at SXSW, where the band commanded several packed houses, from dive bars on 6th street to the quiet confines of St. David’s Historic Sanctuary, proving Plants and Animals have the chops to win over any audience, no matter what the setting. The band plays sold-out shows in New York tonight at Mercury Lounge, and in Toronto on Saturday at Lee’s Palace.
The wait is over! Yesterday marked the Canadian release of Patrick Watson’s new album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. It’s already tearing up the charts and has critics raving. The album is available on CD and LP in fine record stores across the country, digitally on iTunes, via mail order from Amazon.ca and as always, directly from us.
To mark the occasion of the new release, Watson has unveiled a video that embodies the spirit of the album, a mini-documentary shot on location in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec last year at the Festival de musique émergente. The first of a series of ‘Backyard’ vignettes, it features Watson conversing in French with a local of the region, playing piano in his livingroom before an outdoor neighbourhood concert.
Patrick Watson is on the cover of the Hour Community this week to highlight the release of his brand new album Adventures in Your Own Backyard.
Read the story by Sean Michaels.
Patrick Watson is on the cover of the Voir Montreal, Gatineau/Ottawa and Estrie this week to highlight the release of his brand new album Adventures in Your Own Backyard.
Read the story by Olivier Robillard-Laveaux.
Patrick Watson's new album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard, is available to order now from Secret City Records for Canadian customers. The new album, which already has critics raving, is out on April 17th in Canada, and is available directly from Secret City as of now on CD and LP. It's also available to pre-order now via iTunes Canada. And as previously mentioned, due to popular demand, we've also finally re-issued the LP of Patrick Watson's breakthrough 2006 album, Close to Paradise, winner of the 2007 Polaris Prize. It's a deluxe edition, pressed on 180 gram vinyl, with a gatefold sleeve.
Two of Secret City's most-loved releases, Patrick Watson's 2006 breakthrough album, Close to Paradise, and Plants and Animals debut Parc Avenue have just been re-issued on 180 gram vinyl. Parc Avenue is a 2LP. Both are packaged in gatefold sleeves. The albums are available directly from us via mail-order, but we'll also be sending a limited number of these out to participating Canadian stores in time for Record Store Day on April 21st, including Phonopolis, Cheap Thrills and Aux 33tours in Montreal, and Sonic Boom in Toronto, where Plants and Animals will also be performing live as part of their Record Store Day festivities.
Earlier today, NPR Music premiered a brand new video from Plants and Animals for “The End of That”, the title track from the band’s recently released third album.
You can Pre-Order Adventures in Your Own Backyard as of today on iTunes! Click here. To highlight the pre-release, Patrick Watson is offering us a webteaser for the opening title of the album, Lighthouse.
After recently announcing that all three shows at the Corona in April are sold-out, Patrick Watson is please to share the good news as he will be playing at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal on July 4th at the Place des Arts in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier.
Tickets are now onsale via this link.
PATRICK WATSON AT THE JAZZ FESTIVAL
WEDNESDAY JULY 4TH
PLACE DES ARTS, SALLE WILFRID PELLETIER
175 SAINTE-CATHERINE STREET WEST
Plants and Animals kick of their long North American spring tour tonight in Ottawa, in support of their new album The End of That. They continue to Quebec City and then a sold-out hometown show in Montreal on Saturday, before heading to Austin Texas for South by Southwest, where they'll take part in Secret City's official showcase. The tour then resumes on Canada's West Coast and will see the band criss cross both countries through April. Full tour dates are below, with ticket information and and other details available at plantsandanimals.ca:
To celebrate yesterday's release of The End of That, Paste is premiering the new official music video for Lightshow.
The video is a collaboration between producer Doug Karr and director Mitchell Hart who work on visual media together in New York. Hart explains the video as a commentary on contemporary media consumption: "There's so much information coming at us at any given moment ... as a result we're moving further away from appreciating the specifics of any given piece of media." Hart used the actual multi-track recordings to generate large data sets based on the audio files. Each track was analyzed through a series of code snippets and plugins to get what you see on screen. "A true combination of data visualization and cinematic production make this video unique."
Today marks the North American release of Plants and Animals new album, The End of That. The Montreal Gazette just bestowed a 4.5/5 star review and called the album “their best,” which is saying a lot considering the stellar work that’s come before, including their debut, Parc Avenue, that Secret City released four years ago almost to the day. The album is available in CD, LP and MP3 formats, from iTunes (Canada and USA), Amazon (.ca and .com) and as always, directly from us. Bonus tracks are available via iTunes, as well as with the free MP3 download card that accompanies the LP edition.
If you are heading down to SXSW this year, make sure you catch our official showcase! Please note you need a festival badge to attend this event.
We've made a sampler for the occasion, listen to it via the Soundcloud widget below or download it here.
SECRET CITY/OPAK OFFICIAL SXSW SHOWCASE
Thursday, March 15, 2012
St David’s Historic Sanctuary
301 E. 8th Street, Austin TX
Doors open at 7pm
12:30 AM PATRICK WATSON
11:30 PM PLANTS AND ANIMALS
10:30 PM THE BARR BROTHERS
9:30 PM LITTLE SCREAM
8:30 PM LEIF VOLLEBEKK
7:30 PM DANIEL ISAIAH
Plants and Animals are featured on the cover of the Hour this week, to highlight the release of The End of That happening on February 28. To read the cover story, click here.
You can also listen to the entire album on Paste's website this week.
Make sure you catch their album-launch show happening at Cabaret du Mile-End on March 10.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
OPENING ACT: THUS:OWLS
SATURDAY MARCH 10, 2012
CABARET DU MILE END
5240 Avenue Du Parc
Tickets : 17$ || Click here to buy
Miracle Fortress is thrilled to present his brand new music video for the epic Was I the Wave? cut, "Raw Spectacle". Premiered on IFC yesterday and directed by Emily Kai Bock and shot by Neal Rockwell, this short film-style video adds another layer of drama to the 2011 album track. Raw Spectacle is the third video offering since the album’s release, following Miscalculations, and B-side Possession.
As Graham Van Pelt explains: “We set out to create our own variation on the supernatural misfit story, without the trappings of CGI or indeed much of a budget whatsoever. Much toxic by-products were inhaled and minor burns were occasionally suffered, but we can say with pride that the result exceeded our own expectations.”
Over the years, Plants and Animals' knuckle-balling blend of indie rock has been a vibrant, constantly rewarding reminder of their hometown's mid-aughties moment. "Song for Love," a crispy, straight-to-tape monster from forthcoming full-length The End of That...provides yet another slice of proof.
Congratulations to Diamond Rings for being nominated in the Best New Artist category for this year's Juno Awards, alongside Dan Mangan, Alyssa Reid, JRDN and Lindi Ortega. The nominations were announced this morning in Toronto while the gala will be happening on Sunday April 1st in Ottawa.
Good luck, John O!
Patrick Watson and his band are pleased to announce two Montreal launch shows in support of Adventures in Your Own Backyard, on April 15th and 16th at the Corona Theatre. The new album will be available in stores on April 17th via Secret City. Tickets will be on sale on Thursday February 9th at noon.
More Quebec dates will be announced shortly.
ADVENTURES IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD ALBUM LAUNCH SHOWS + GUESTS
SUNDAY APRIL 15 & MONDAY APRIL 16 2012
2490 NOTRE-DAME WEST
Tickets: 35$ - tax included
Secret City is pleased to announce the release of Patrick Watson’s new album, Adventures In Your Own Backyard, on April 17th in Canada. The 12-track album will see release in the rest of the world via Domino.
Adventures In Your Own Backyard will be preceded by the single for the sweeping, elegant Into Giants, which is available to all at at the official website and via the widget below. Patrick and his band have already lined up shows before the album’s release that will include a headlining appearance at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas in March, and support dates with Andrew Bird in the US this May, with many more dates to follow throughout the world, including the province of Quebec.
Secret City is pleased to announce that a new 7" for Plants and Animals Lightshow, their first single off of The End of That, due out February 28th. The 7” will be available in stores on the same day as the CD/LP, and features a live cover of Wolf Parade’s I’ll Believe in Anything on the B-side. A digital version of the 7" is available as of today via iTunes!.
The live cover comes from the band’s “Live at Breakglass” performance during Pop Montreal in September of last year. The renowned Montreal studio hosted a combined live recording / intimate concert event as part of the tenth anniversary of the festival. Plants and Animals celebrated the milestone by covering local Montreal acts in addition to performing their own material. You can watch the actual performance below.
The band has also announce a ton of new tour dates in support of the album:
After a standout performance at this year’s edition of M for Montreal in November, Daniel Isaiah will be performing a proper homecoming show on January 25th at Casa del Popolo.
DANIEL ISAIAH HOMECOMING SHOW
OPENING ACT: GRAND CHEVY
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25th
CASA DEL POPOLO || 4873 SAINT-LAURENT
8$ || DOORS 8PM
Buy your tickets here
RSVP on Facebook
In between tours, The Barr Brothers grabbed the harp, a couple of jingle bells and some holiday spirit and spent a day at their friend, Patrick Watson's studio to record their first Christmas single Dear Mrs. Claus. The band really felt Mrs. Claus needed a Christmas song dedicated to her.
As of December 20th, the track is now also available for purchase exclusively from iTunes!
Plants and Animals have announced their third full length album, entitled, The End of That. The record sees the Montreal trio of Warren C. Spicer, Nic Basque and Matthew Woodman Woodley bridging the gap between their 2008 debut, Parc Avenue, and 2010’s darker La La Land.
Check out the first single from the album, Lightshow.
Plants and Animals - Lightshow by SecretCityRecords
A North American tour was announced recently to support the new release, here are the upcoming dates, more to come:
12/07/11 Brooklyn, NY || The Rock Shop w/ Takka Takka, Balene
01/12/12 Chicago, IL || Schuba's w/ Herman Dune (Tomorrow Never Knows Festival)
03/08/12 Ottawa, ON || Ritual Nightclub
03/09/12 Quebec City, QC || Le Cercle
03/10/12 Montreal, QC || Cabaret du Mile-End
03/21/12 Vancouver, BC || Rickshaw
03/22/12 Seattle, WA || The Crocodile
03/24/12 Portland, OR || Mississippi Studios
03/27/12 Edmonton, AB || Starlite Room
03/28/12 Calgary, AB || Republik
03/29/12 Saskatoon, SK || Amigo's
03/30/12 Winnipeg, MB || West End Cultural Centre
03/31/12 Minneapolis, MN || 7th St. Entry
Fresh on the heels of playing M for Montreal’s closing show at Metropolis on November 19th alongside Karkwa, Ariane Moffat, Marie-Pierre Arthur and more, The Barr Brothers have announced a headlining show in Montreal: February 22nd at Club Soda, as part of the Festival Montréal en Lumière.
Winners of the New Artist with Most Potential at the recent GAMIQ awards, The Barr Brothers will be back on the road in February with a string of dates throughout Quebec. Be sure not to miss them in your town!
01/06/12 Montreal QC || Rialto (La route chante : Tribute to Lhasa de Sela)
02/02/12 St-Jean QC || Cabaret du Vieux St-Jean
02/17/12 Quebec City QC || Theatre du Petit-Champlain
02/22/12 Montreal QC || Club Soda (Montreal High Lights Festival)
02/23/12 Valleyfield QC || Salle Albert-Dumouchel
02/25/12 Sherbrooke QC || Theatre Granada
04/12/12 Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean || L'International (Festival Jazz & Blues)
On January 6, Pop Montreal is organizing a tribute to the great Lhasa de Sela. It's in this theatre where she had always dreamed of singing, the Rialto, that a number of her close friends and companions on her musical journey invite the public of Montreal to attend this singular event. Musical guests include Secret City's Patrick Watson, Plants and Animals, The Barr Brothers and many more.
Diamond Rings is pleased to announce that he will be rounding out an incredible year by supporting Junior Boys on a slew of European tour dates kicking off in Stockholm on November 18th. In addition to the tour, Diamond Rings’ critically acclaimed debut full-length Special Affections will be available in Europe on November 1st courtesy of Astralwerks.
Diamond Rings will also release a limited edition 7” featuring the choice Special Affections cut You & Me on the A-Side. The flip side sees John O apply his signature danceable interpretation to Teenage Fanclub’s Mellow Doubt. The digital version is already available on iTunes in Europe and North America, with the vinyl available on the European tour and in Canada as of November 29 via Secret City.
Listen To O’Regan’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s “Mellow Doubt” here courtesy of Pitchfork.
It's that time of the year again! The city will be filled with delegates from around the world, dying to try the famous poutine! Be sure not to miss Daniel Isaiah, The Barr Brothers and our very own Andrew Rose at this year's edition of M for Montreal!
Watch this great short documentary about Diamond Rings on Noisey.com. Filmed last October 4th at the Corona Theater in Montreal, get an itimate look at John O getting ready for a show.
Secret City is celebrating its 5th anniversary with our good friends at iTunes Canada. It includes eleven of albums from our active roster, all under $8, including Patrick Watson, Plants and Animals, Miracle Fortress, The Barr Brothers, Daniel Isaiah, Diamond Rings and Basia Bulat. For a limited time only!
Known for their powerful live performances, the Providence-born Barr Brothers leave behind the hocus-pocus of their Boston-based band the Slip to pursue folk-rock perfection in their latest adopted city.
Yes, Secret City is looking to add someone to its team in a full-time position. The company is involved on a number of fronts on any given day, ranging from record production and manufacturing, to artist development, sales and marketing, and technology. We are looking to expand our ranks with an enthusiastic and organized individual interested in the music business...
The Barrs craft a world that maintains the soft, contemplative sound of much folk music while teasing the ear with overlapping layers of hums, vibrations, whistles and stomps ... The "Beggar in the Morning" video finds Bircher using the mismatched and reconfigured bones of dead animals to construct skeletal likenesses of the band. The bony creatures come to life to perform before a twirling, dancing skeletal audience.
Today marks the start of the 10th anniversary edition of Pop Montreal, the local and now legendary festival, and close friends of Secret City's. Many of our artists will be involved in the celebration that is this year's edition. Miracle Fortress and Daniel Isaiah will both be performing at showcases, Plants and Animals will be doing a very special live recording show at Breakglass Studios, and Patrick Watson will be doing a small guest appearance at the collaborative Sacred Sunday show that debuted at Pop last year. As a happy coincidence, the end of the festival also coincides with Secret City's 5th anniversary, with the new Barr Brothers album coming out 5 years and 1 day after our first ever release: Patrick Watson's Close to Paradise. We'll be doing some special stuff of our own around the occasion, so stay tuned.
THE BARR BROTHERS first single "Beggar in the Morning" landed at digital outlets this week. Their self-titled debut hits stores on September 27th. The band will be out on the road for more of less the rest of the year, with shows coming up in New York and LA, Toronto and Montreal, and tons more to come. Full tour dates after the jump..
We're pleased to announced that Montreal-based quartet The Barr Brothers will release their self-titled album debut on September 27th via Secret City Records. Recorded in their makeshift studio in an old boiler room at the foot of Mount Royal, the ten song album is an opus of beautiful folk, gut-busting blues and far-out African rhythms.
In addition to brothers Brad (guitar, vox, keys) and Andrew (drums, percussion) Barr, the album features core live members Sarah Pagé (harp) and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial, with Miles Perkin (Lhasa) on bass, and a number of notable guests, including Elizabeth Powell (Land of Talk) and Jocie Adams (The Low Anthem).
The band will be taking their stunning live show to the road almost immediately, with tour dates announced in Quebec with Timber Timbre, and a performance at Montreal's outdoor Osheaga Festival in a couple weeks. More will be announced in support of the album in the coming weeks.
Les trois canadiens ont débarqué les bras chargés de quelques guitares et d’une batterie qui allait trôner un peu plus tard, au milieu du salon, narguant des ingés sons un peu inquiets par ce qui s’annonçait : de l’amplification et forcément un volume sonore assez inhabituel pour une Soirée de Poche
Make room in your iPods for High Twilight, the stunning debut from Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Isaiah. The Montreal native with the warm, lived-in voice and ability to hop styles like trains has earned comparisons to Bob Dylan, Will Oldham, Bright Eyes, Leonard Cohen and Calexico. We asked the artist and occasional filmmaker about the nuts and bolts of songwriting, and the one song he wishes he’d written....
Big day here at Secret City as we release Daniel Isaiah’s debut album, High Twilight. Daniel is no stranger to many of us here in his native Montreal, having quietly established a reputation in recent years as one of the city’s best songsmiths. When he signed to Secret City based on the strength of a few demos he recorded with Plants and Animals’ Warren Spicer, we knew he’d put together a good record. But we didn’t know just how great it would be. Dan writes songs in a sort of sacred/profane lineage, in the tradition of guys whose names are thrown around a lot (maybe too much) as reference points: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ray Davies. Forgive us if couldn’t resist doing the same, but we think anyone who still goes back to these icons because it’s what they love, will find plenty to love on High Twilight. It’s available in stores across North America, on iTunes, Amazon, and directly from us.
Daniel is launching his album this Thursday in Montreal with an intimate show at the Divan Orange (4324 St. Laurent), at 8pm. Tickets are limited and available at the door only. He’s also got shows lined up in Toronto at Lee’s Palace (June 14th) and New York at Piano’s (June 24th). Details can be found at his artist page. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
Miracle Fortress’s sophomore album, Was I the Wave? is finally out in the USA, coming on the heels of his sold out cross-Canada tour with Shad. Following tonight’s homecoming launch party in Montreal at the Torn Curtain, Graham will take a brief break before hitting the road again in June with Junior Boys, including shows in Toronto and Ottawa and 10 dates in the US. (See below for details).
If you haven’t caught it yet, Miracle Fortress is also on the cover of this month’s Exclaim! and is appearing in features and reviews across the continent, to much applause. We recently dug what the UK's Line of Best Fit had to say about it, especially considering the record isn't even out there yet (more on that soon).
If you don’t have the acclaimed (and rather addictive) album yet, ask for it at your local record store, or buy it from miraclefortress.com (CD, LP or digital) or direct from us.
Secret City Records is pleased to announce the release of the debut album from Montreal singer-songwriter Daniel Isaiah, High Twilight. It will be released on June 7th in North America.
High Twilight is an ambitious work that makes no reservations about diving into big classic themes like love and death, sex and myth. Musically the motifs are each given their own respective treatment, as the record features everything from Americana to French chanson and even a touch of Dixieland. But it’s Daniel’s voice, both literally and figuratively, that strings the album together and manages to make it somehow sound both contemporary and timeless.
"With poignant lyrics and a deft handling of a century of popular music styles High Twilight would be considered an ambitious record for an established artist; coming from a relative unknown, it verges on breathtaking. This is a record that literally demands repeat listening, and savvy music lovers will detect traces of fellow Canadians Leonerd Cohen, Luke Doucet and Robbie Robertson, as well as that Dylan fellow from up in Hibbing. And while mainstream popularity may elude Isaiah for now, I feel like he’s just too talented to be kept a secret for long. "
Miracle Fortress’s long awaited sophomore LP, Was I the Wave? finally drops today in Canada, and now the Montreal producer has announced additional tour dates in support of the album—thirteen shows with the Juniors Boys in Canada and the US.
These shows will follow the already-announced Canadian Tour with Shad in May, and includes stops in Toronto, New York, Nashville, and Chicago. Full tour dates listed after the jump.
In addition to the Canadian release today, the album is available worldwide direct from miraclefortress.com in digital, CD and LP formats. (It will see release in the US on May 17th.) You can also order the CD and LP direct from Secret City.
It's been a long time coming, even longer for those of who fell in love with Five Roses back in 2007. Miracle Fortress has finally returned with a sophomore offering, entitled Was I the Wave? It will be out via the newly launched MiracleFortress.com as of April 26th, and is available for pre-order now from the new store. Pre-orders get an instant download of the album's first single "Raw Spectacle" as well a remix by Pantha du Prince. For the less committal, you can grab the single here in exchange for an email address.
The album itself is available in LP, CD, and high quality digital formats, and will be in actual stores across Canada on April 26th as well, and May 17th in the USA.
Miracle Fortress has announce the first leg of touring in support of the album, a cross Canada affair in May. You can get details on those here. More will be announced in the coming weeks.
"At the show, Van Pelt opted to offer up new tracks such as 'Miscalculations' and 'Everything Works' in a near-pitch black room, with only flickering laser lights outlining his body enough for the audience to see him. While that might have enraged photographers, it played to the strength of the throbbing beats and helped create a distinct mood for Van Pelt's newfound niche of late-night dance club soundtracks."
"Van Pelt and drummer just let the groove of his cerebral, bass-heavy "bedroom club" music do all the talking as a laser light show sprayed the ceiling and jaws dropped to the floor."
Props to Basia Bulat for being nominated for a Juno award for Best New Artist! The nomination comes on the heels of a year touring in support of 2010's Heart of My Own. Though she's been close to our hearts for some time, the Best New Artist award is open to anyone who has never been nominated before. She's won over a lot of new fans this year and continues to sell out her record wherever she plays; we think the nomination is well deserved, and we'll be cheering her on in March at the Awards taking place in Toronto.
Diamond Rings isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in 2011 after a 2010 that saw him go from curiosity to pop-star in just a few months. Since the October release of Special Affections he’s scored big support from Pitchfork, grabbed New York Times and NME nods, landed on to the cover of Exclaim! and scored the number 2 spot in the 6th annual hottest bands in Canada poll behind only Arcade Fire. As if that wasn’t enough, In December he announced that he’d be supporting pop superstar Robyn on her 2011 North American tour starting in January. Now we’re pleased to announce that John O will staying on the road through April on a co-headline tour with Canadian pals PS I Love You. Full tour details are on the shows page.
"Warren Spicer sounds like he's following tracks out in the snow on 'Game Shows,' even though the song seems to be set indoors, in front of a television screen. We're transported though, to where the soft and powdery snow is a few inches deep and the longing pangs lead us. It takes us to a small fire for warmth, kicking dirty ashes of exhausted wood cords into a fluttery travel pattern that only takes them up so far and then drops them into our hair or hat and onto our Thermoses."
Secret City Records is please to announce that pop-prince Diamond Rings will be touring the United States with international sensation Robyn in January and February. These is the dates:
"The songs, when they are bare and shivering as they are here, with stark instrumentation - accompaniment from a single guitar pulled down from the studio wall or the upright piano in the corner - are bleeding and pulsing examples of hypersensitivity and of a narrator who has been to some dark places."
Plants and Animals may boast their share of laid-back jams, but they certainly can’t be accused of taking it easy—unless if by easy you mean touring their home and native land in the depths of winter, on the heels of a year that saw them play 100 shows. After a jam-packed 2010 in support of their sophomore album, La La Land, Plants and Animals will kick-off a 15-date national tour in early 2011, beginning in Vancouver on February 18th and running through to a home-town gig in Montreal, and tour-closer in Quebec City on March 12th. They’ll also be in great company along the way, with Yukon Blonde and 2010 Polaris Prize winners Karkwa supporting on the Western and Ontario legs of the tour, respectively. Full details are below...
"But as fascinating as it is to hear an indie rock artist step outside of his comfort zone, both musically and emotionally, Special Affections' skeletal electro-pop sketches routinely fortify into full-blooded anthemic choruses that make O'Regan's liberation your own. ... an exemplary model of how one can live out blinged-out fantasies on a cubic zirconia budget."
Diamond Rings debut full-length album is out today. It's called Special Affections and it's awesome, and we don't seem to be the only ones who think so. John O has also launched a new Diamond Rings website for All Things Rings.
It’s going to be a very busy fall for Diamond Rings. He's already dropped a Tunnelvision documentary, released the limited-edition Something Else 7”, wooed crowds at Pop Montreal, and is currently in Reykjavik for the annual Iceland Airwaves festival. As if that wasn't enough, we're pleased to announce his latest video for the single “Something Else” along with tons more tour dates across North America and the UK, highlighted by a jam-packed schedule at CMJ.
You can check out the new video here. "Something Else" will appear on Diamond Rings’ debut album Special Affections out October 25th across North America. We're now accepting pre-orders for the CD and LP. You can also currently pre-order from iTunes and Amazon.
As soon as John O is done in Iceland he'll be bouncing over to New York for a very busy CMJ that's bookended by an official showcase at the Stereo-Gun Party on October 20th, and Pitchfork #Offline on October 23rd. The Special Affections tour then kicks off October 26th in Toronto, and dates have been added in Montreal (Halloween!), Vancouver, LA, San Fransisco, Chicago and more. New dates will be added in the coming weeks as well. The complete tour dates are below. Be sure to join the Diamond Rings mailing list for more up-to-minute details.
10/16 Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
10/20 CMJ (Stereo Gun Party) Santos Party House, New York, NY
10/21 CMJ (Knitting Factory Party), Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
10/21 CMJ (NYC Taper Day Party) Cake Shop, New York, NY
10/22 CMJ (Distiller Day Party), Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
10/23 CMJ (Bowery Presents Party), Pianos, New York, NY
10/23 CMJ (Pitchfork #Offline) Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
10/26 The Garrison, Toronto, ON*
10/27 Alex P. Keaton, London, ON*
10/28 This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton, ON*
10/29 Raw Sugar Café, Ottawa, ON*
10/30 The Mansion, Kingston, ON*
10/31 Il Motore, Montreal, QC*
11/01 Ebar Guelph, ON*
11/04 Mojo, Liverpool, UK
11/05 Inside Out, Darlington, UK
11/06 Barfly, Cardiff, UK
11/08 The Forum, Sheffield, UK
11/09 Roadmender, Northampton, UK
11/10 The Lexington, London, UK
11/11 The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, UK
11/12 The Adelphi Club, Hull, UK
11/13 Cockpit, Leeds, UK
11/18 The Pawn Shop, Edmonton, AB
11/19 Broken City, Calgary, AB
11/20 Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC
11/23 Echo, Los Angeles, CA
11/25 330 Ritch, San Francisco, CA
11/28 Lucky Bar, Victoria BC
12/01 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
12/03 DC9, Washington DC
12/04 Glasslands, Brooklyn, NY
* w/ PS I Love You
It's a very special time of year in Montreal. Our favourite festival, Pop Montreal, kicks off on Wednesday this week and carries on through Sunday. We're especially excited for this edition of the festival because we've got more of our artists performing than ever before. It's also the first time we're presenting an official label showcase with both Miracle Fortress and Diamond Rings performing at Cabaret Juste Pour Rire on Thursday September 30th. It's a split-showcase with our friends at Upper Class and should be a lot of fun. Tickets can be had here.
Diamond Rings is gearing up for a very busy fall with the release of Special Affections at the end of the month, and a new limited-edition 7" that is out today. It features the new single "Something Else" on the A side, and his Milla Jovovich cover with Owen Pallett on the B. He'll have copies on hand at the showcase and we've already shipped a bunch of our limited quantity out via our mail order store.
Our other recent signing, Montreal's Daniel Isaiah Schachter, will be opening for Van Dyke Parks at the Ukrainian Federation earlier that same evening ...
Happy days, there's a new Diamond Rings 7-inch on the way. The A-side boasts a new song entitled Something Else—the next banging single off of the forthcoming Special Affections which is due October 25th. The 7-inch is limited to 500 copies and will be out on September 28th. Don't worry, if that's too long to wait for your next Diamond Rings fix, yesterday Stereogum premiered the B-side to said 7-inch, a cover of Milla Jovovich's 1994 hit, The Gentleman Who Fell. It also features Owen Pallett taking care of the piano and string arrangements. Aaand it's available for pre-order from us now, if you want to ensure getting your hands on a freshly pressed copy.
Diamond Rings has also just announced the first wave of tour dates in support of the full length. In addition to his Rifflandia and Pop Montreal festival appearances at the end of the month (and a one off in Seattle), he'll be inaugurating a tour the day the record drops in Canada, with a release show on October 26th in Toronto at the Garrison. Check it out:
Sep 22 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe w/ Perfume Genius
Sep 25 – Victoria, BC – Rifflandia Festival
Sep 30 – Montreal, QC – Cabaret Juste Pour Rire (Pop Montreal)
Oct 16 – Reykjavik, Iceland – Iceland Airwaves Festival
Oct 26 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
Oct 27 – London, ON – Alex P Keaton
Oct 28 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
Oct 29 – Ottawa, ON – Raw Sugar Café
Oct 30 – Kingston, ON – Mansion
Very exciting days here at Secret City. We're pleased announce that we've made not one but two fabulous additions to the homegrown, worldwide roster. Though he's yet to release a full length album (more on that soon), Toronto-based artist Diamond Rings likely doesn't need much of an introduction. Between last year's "All Yr Songs" video, the "Wait & See" 7" and the new "Show Me Your Stuff" 12" (featuring a B-side remix by Secret City label-mate Miracle Fortress), Diamond Rings, aka John O., has been pretty busy these past few months. We're stoked to be announcing the October 26th release of his debut full-length Special Affections today.
Daniel Isaiah Schachter has made at least as many videos as Diamond Rings, but not of the musical variety. Though he's an award-winning up-and-coming filmmaker, he's also been fronting bands in Montreal for years, quietly penning song after song and turning into one of the city's best lyricists and songwriters—at least to those in the know. We have a feeling he's going to reach a much wider audience very soon as he wraps up recording his debut solo record under his own name this summer. Daniel will be kick-starting Osheaga this Saturday in Montreal, so don't be late.
Plants and Animals close out the first long leg of their North American tour in support of La La Land this week, with big shows in Toronto and Montreal. They'll also be on MTV live this evening at the Masonic Temple in advance of their show at the Opera House tomorrow night. Tickets for the Opera House are available here. On Friday night they make their Montreal Jazz Fest debut at Metropolis, with the Besnard Lakes supporting. Tickets for that show are available here. Fear not, however, other folks around the globe will have ample opportunity to catch Plants and Animals this summer, as they're set to play a number of other festivals starting July, including dates in Ottawa, Chicago and Seattle, the UK and Germany. They've also just announced a big show in NYC in the fall at Terminal 5 with Frightened Rabbit. Check the shows section for more details.
Both of Secret City's releases so far this year have made the long list for the 2010 Polaris Prize. Basia Bulat's Heart of My Own and Plants and Animals' La La Land are two absolutely phenomenal records that we're very proud to be behind, so congrats to them. Our only regret is that both of them can't win the whole thing (though both had a shot with their respective debuts as short-listers in 2008!). Here's hoping we at least get a repeat of that scenario.
"La La Land takes its name from what the band has described as a "vortex of confusion," but the dizzying effect that the album's disparate stylistic strains might incur is an altogether charming one ... For a trio that remains consistently unpretentious and accessible, Plants and Animals seem to have sucked up a fair amount of art rock influences somewhere along the way; [but] If there's a connecting thread running through the album, it's the chunky, insistent guitar riffs that pop up repeatedly ... Whatever you call it, that predilection for juicy hooks is a major part of what keeps this mercurial bunch solidly grounded."
Well this is fun. Patrick Watson recorded a new song so we decided to release it. It's called "Sit Down Beside Me" and it's available as of today exclusively on iTunes in Canada and the USA.
"Sit Down Beside Me" sees Watson return to the more accessible dreamy pop of 2006's Close to Paradise while incorporating the rhythmic lessons learned on 2009's Wooden Arms. Like Watson's breakthrough hit "The Great Escape," the new single has piano and a simple catchy melody at its core, but this one uses that as a launch pad before taking off into outer space. Good luck getting the vocal refrain out of your head when it's done. Enjoy!
Basia Bulat is not done sharing her Heart with Canada! She's been all over the world since the release of her sophomore album Heart of My Own in January, and her nationwide tour that followed. The US, the UK, Poland, Sweden; the list of countries that have taken her into their hearts just seems to grow and grow. But in June she returns home to kickoff a summer schedule that's heavy with love for Canada, playing both intimate shows and some of the country's biggest summer festivals.
She returns to Toronto on June 4th at the Phoenix for the first time since her sold out album launch in January, visits Quebec City for the first time this year and plays three consecutive nights at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and will appear at Hillside in Guelph, Bluesfest in Ottawa, and the Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife. She'll also be headed down to New York in August for a show with St. Vincent at Central Park Summerstage.
People are raving about Patrick Watson's recent performances in Brooklyn and Manhattan last week. Brooklyn Vegan says that "he mesmerized a room full of chattering adults at 92YTribeca Friday night, into respectful silence. According to friends at the Bell House for the show the previous night, at one point you could actually hear crickets." You can read PopMatters glowing review of the Brookyln show here. Watson & the Wooden Arms are playing a few more select US dates starting next week, with shows in Chicago, Denver, LA, San Diego, San Fransisco, and wrapping things up at the Sasquatch! at the Gorge.
Blogotheque has posted a unique Take-Away show today that features Plants and Animals recording "The Mama Papa" in France. They shot this at the same time as the series that ran in June 2009 featuring songs from Parc Avenue. You get to see the band in the recording process. Ultimately the band would actually re-record The Mama Papa with a different arranegment, but the take you see here is include on the iTunes release of the album as an extra: "The Mama Papa (Paris Basement Mix)". It rocks.
"The record is alive with a lush, symphonic sensuousness that recalls Of Montreal; it’s as layered and ornate as an origami crane, but as organic and effortless as the real feathered thing. While the songs are shorter and punchier than the seven-minute marathons of Parc Avenue ... they’re complicated and gorgeous and feel as innate as desire itself." 85/100
If you've visited the Secret City site at all in the past month or so, you know how excited we are about today and the release of Plants and Animals' La La Land. Well that's today. The album is available on CD and LP format in stores across North America, or directly from us. And of course it's also available at fine digital stores. The iTunes version in Canada and the USA also features a pretty slamming alternate version of "The Mama Papa".
The band starts their massive North American tour tonight in Toronto with a free show at the Horseshoe. They're hitting a ton of cities across the continent, but regardless of where you are you can tune in tonight at 10:30pm for a live stream of the the show courtresy of LiveStream. We'll be embedding the show here, on plantsandanimals.ca, and you'll be allow to integrate it with Twitter and Facebook as well.
Here are just a few things people are saying about La La Land:
"Psychedelic, amplified and momentous, songs are multifaceted, with a sense of Radiohead importance, Arcade Fire intensity and très cool dirty-basement rock and roll ("American Idol" gets my vote as the missing link between Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street)." - The Globe and Mail
"utterly thrilling while still retaining all the muted joy and gentle perfection of Parc Avenue ... an album for the ages and Plants and Animals' ultimate piece of work thus far" - Under the Radar
"rife with chiming bells, ebullient trumpet blasts, and whistled outros. It's a bewitching record — a mix of soft-rock luster, classic-rock grit, and indie-rock dexterity — a sort of AM Gold for the dark-hearted." - eMusic
""By the time the amps stop ringing, you feel you've travelled through a cohesive, front-to-back, old-fashioned album, one that you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn still got plenty of spins decades down the line." - Blurt
We always take it as a good sign when what one person has to say about a record's sound completely contradicts what someone else says. Some seem to think Plants and Animals' new album, La La Land is a more laid back affair and others seem to think it's more aggressive. It's fitting then to be completing the staggered album-reveal today with the last two songs on the record, "Future from the 80s" and "Jeans Jeans Jeans," two tracks that probably represent the furthest the band goes in either direction on La La Land. And props to The Globe and Mail who counter the album's multi-faceted nature with an "inspired hallucation" in this great review. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy tomorrow to make up your own mind.
"an angular mixture of post-rock and pop fuzz ... an intelligently eclectic funsplotion"
Plants and Animals' La La Land is out one week from today, so we figured it was a fitting date to roll out another chunk of the ongoing album reveal. We've put up three new tracks today, considering the fact that anyone who's paying attention has probably already heard "The Mama Papa," the first single and the lead-off track for Side B of the album.
The two tracks that follow came from the band's sessions in France. “Fake It” is the first song the band recorded there, and the drummer’s favourite. It’s not hard to see why. This is one you need to hear on the turn-table, loud. "Celebration" was originally supposed to close the album. Another La Frette offering, it was written almost on the spot with a simple chord progression Warren came up with sitting in the garden outside the studio. “We worked quickly on a structure with Warren playing some soul guitar,” Nic says, “with me on the B3 and Woody on drums. We brought the tape back to Montreal and added a world a fuzz guitars and some horns. Our first plan was to end it with the pretty birds from La Frette singing at the end but instead we crashed a jet on another planet.”
If “Undone Melody” is the album’s emotional centerpiece, “Kon Tiki” is its sexy soul. Inspired by a cheesy California hotel Plants and Animals found themselves in on tour, you can pretty much smell the sunset on this one. “’Kon Tiki’ is making it to the coast,” Woody says. “We did the North American circle a few times and California always felt like the pinnacle, the instinctive arrival point. One night we found a nice hotel to chill-out in called the Kon Tiki. We followed the trade winds across America and ended up in a trashy coastal dance bar. Continental zenith.”
“Game Shows” is another epic builder that starts soft, builds quickly and then takes a curious twist before a classic rock outro effectively closes side one of the album. It's also one of the album's most touching, a love song that features one of Warren's best intimate vocal performances to-date. Brad Barr stopped by the studio the day they were tracking this one and guests on piano.
As always, the continuing unfolding album stream is here. We're accepting Mail-order Pre-orders as of now for both CD and LP versions of the album, the latter of which includes a free 320kbps mp3 download of the record. And for those of you always on the lookout for bonus material, you can Pre-Order La La Land on iTunes now, and get access to some exclusive extras from the recording sessions.
Today we roll ahead with another installment of the staggered album reveal of La La Land. And no, if you're just catching up now, this isn't an April Fools joke.
“Undone Melody” might be the best track on the record, if not also its emotional centerpiece. One of the only songs to have been fleshed-out and played on tour before the band went to record (they debuted it in Montreal in late 2008), fans of previous P&A songs like “Faerie Dance” and “Lola Who?” will see the logical progression here. At six minutes it’s not the longest song they’ve ever recorded, but it certainly stands up as one of their most epic and immediately engaging. Don't be fooled by the gentle entry; this one gets heavy. Enjoy.
We couldn't wait any longer. And we also couldn't choose just one more song from La La Land to share with the world. So we decided to stream the whole thing. But not all in one shot. Starting today we'll be revealing La La Land piece-by-piece leading up to its official release on April 20th. So in addition to the lead-off track "Tom Cruz" that we dropped back in January, we're now also streaming "Swinging Bells" and "American Idol," tracks 2 and 3 on the La La Land page.
There are a few reasons behind this. Mainly we've been digging deep into this record for a few months now, and it's still getting multiple daily rotations in the office. Everyone seems to have a different favourite track, but more importantly there's no wasted space on this record. And while everyone is free to listen to a record that they buy any which way they like, or burn a hole in a single, we wanted to do justice to this front-to-back album by giving each piece of it a moment in limelight, in sequence.
So today we've got "Swinging Bells" and "American Idol" on the table, two of the album's shorter offerings, partially due to the fact that were originally one complete song. “Swinging Bells” starts off with Plants and Animals at their most eerie and off-kilter, with delicate dabs of rickety 70s piano, but quickly builds to a rousing “la la la” peak that seems to introduce the record in earnest. The “la la las” that in part inspired the album name eventually land in “American Idol,” the upbeat sequel that, according to Nic Basque, “brought to life one of our musical dreams: to record a rock sax solo.” But there’s no irony here. With the help of sax all-star Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire), and some crazy Huey Lewis style arrangements from Warren and Nic, the song more than lives up to its over-the-top title.
But hey, for those of you that prefer to digest things via weirdo minute-or-less Youtube clips, the band has prepared a series of episodes starring their friend Joe Cobden, and a pickle.
We'll have the next offering up on Thursday! Enjoy.
Plants and Animals and Basia Bulat will be hitting SXSW any moment now. P&A play no less than six times over four crazy days, and will be giving people a sampling of their forthcoming record La La Land due on April 20th in North America. They just destroyed the new material in Toronto over this past weekend, having torn off Chromewaves' face at Lee's Palace. Their full schedule can be viewed here.
Basia Bulat, whose January release Heart of My Own seems to be amassing new rabid fans every day, is also hitting the Austin fest. Our good friends at Rough Trade released the record down south, but that just means she'll have at least two labels cheering her on. Check out her schedule here; she shares two showcases with P&A!
Plants and Animals have just announced their most exhaustive North American tour to-date, with the addition of over 20 US dates (and packed SXSW schedule) to their already announced Canadian itinerary. They'll be heading down to Brooklyn next week for a sneak-peak, opening for Broken Bells on March 10th, before their CMW appearances in Toronto. You can see the full list of shows here.
The band has also released a new video for another song from La La Land, entitled The Mama Papa. Directed by Sinbad Richardson, inspired by Frederico Fellini, and starring P&A, and Joe Cobden.
Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms have just announced a string of U.S. shows in May, including shows in New York, Chicago and LA, and wrapping up with an appearance at The Sasquatch Fesitval at the Gorge in Washington. These will be their first US shows since the jaw-dropping CMJ performance in new York back in October. (Which by the way, you can still hear in its entirey thanks to NPR and KEXP).
More news today in Plants and Animals land, as the band has announced Canadian dates in support of their forthcoming album, La La Land, which we announced back in January. The tour starts April 21st in Quebec City, and wraps May 5th out in Vancouver. Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. (dates are listed below, with more details in the shows section). The band will also be showcasing the new material during a series of performances in March at both CMW in Toronto and at SXSW in Austin, Texas. For fans outside Canada, fear not, there's lots more where this came from; stay tuned.
La La Land live:
Basia Bulat's Heart of My Own is finally out! And people seem to love it as much as we do, as the album has received some rave reviews across the country already. Don't forget that Basia starts her cross-Canada tour on February 2nd, and it runs all the way until early March, so odds are she's coming to your town. As always, you can get the record directly from us, your favourite record store, , and everywhere else fine records are sold.
Very exciting day here at Secret City, as we're pleased to announced the release of Plants and Animals second full-length record, La La Land, due out in North America on April 20th. And if you're already familiar with their debut, Parc Avenue, you know why this is a big deal. And let us be the first to say this album is bigger, smoother, tougher and tighter than the last one. The La La Land album page has a whole lot more to say, but more importantly, also has the first sneak listen—a little warm-up number called "Tom Cruz" to get you through the cold months until the rest of it drops...
Basia Bulat's new album, Heart of My Own, hits the street on January 26th, but folks in Canada can pre-order the album directly from us now. It's available on CD and LP (with free digital download), and we'll be shipping the orders to arrive on or before January 26th. We'll also be giving away an exclusive bonus new track that doesn't appear on the album to everyone who orders a physical copy from us. Basia kicks off a whirlwind tour in support of the album starting this coming Saturday in Toronto, at Trinity St. Paul's. Stay tuned for lots more...
Basia Bulat will head out on a winter tour beginning in February in support of her new album, Heart of My Own, due out on January 26th. The first single from Heart of My Own, "Gold Rush" is available now on .
Basia has already announced a kick-off show in Toronto prior to the album's release, at Trinity St. Paul's on January 16th, which is on sale now. She'll also e supporting Secret City label-mate Patrick Watson at Metropolis on December 16th. Tickets to the rest of the tour go on sale this Thursday, November 19th.
The tour dates are as follows:
We're particularly excited to announce that Patrick Watson's first album, Just Another Ordinary Day, has finally been re-issued and is available as of today...especially because this means people will stop emailing us asking where they can get it!
Originally self-released in 2003 in very limited quantities, this was the first recording prominently featuring all four members of the band: Patrick Watson, Simon Angell, Robbie Kuster, and Mishka Stein. All the band’s current touchstones are apparent on the album: from Watson’s intimate-sounding vocal and piano performances, to Simon Angell’s dreamy soundscapes, and Robbie and Mishka’s intricate space-rock rhythms. But it also gives an interesting window into the band’s early stages, with moments of subtle electronica, and arguably some of their most accessible pop songs to-date.
"Recorded with the help of Seattle's KEXP, this was one of the best live shows I've seen all year, anywhere. Watson is a dynamic performer who gets deep inside the songs, and you can tell. His face contorts, his body shifts as he becomes the characters and stories he sings. But there's more to Watson than his colorful songs. He has one of the best bands performing music these days, able to shift moods from funny to scary, and from cartoony to evocative of street life, often in the same song."
Basia hosts the CBC Radio3 podcast this week...
Yes, you heard us right. The vinyl format of Patrick Watson's 2009 gem, Wooden Arms, is finally in and dying to be laid on your table. It won't be in stores until November, but you can order it from us as of now and we'll ship it out right away.
If you happen to be in Montreal this weekend (and you should, it being Pop Montreal and all...), we'll also be selling the vinyls (along with goodies from the rest of the Secret City catalog), at the Record Sale/Gear Swap at the Ukrainian Federation on Saturday as part of Puces Pop. Come say hi!
Secret City Records is pleased as punch to announce that we’ll be the Canadian home for the sophomore offering from Basia Bulat. Entitled Heart Of My Own, the album will be released on January 26, 2010.
Basia’s 2007’s debut, Oh, My Darling, was a success both at home and on the international scene, garnering a Polaris Prize nomination, and praise from outlets like NPR, who labeled “In the Night” as “one of 2008’s great singles,” citing Bulat’s “graceful effervescence and … innate understanding of momentum.”
Like its predecessor, Heart of My Own was produced by Howard Bilerman at Hotel2Tango in Montreal, but it’s a decidedly more eclectic record in terms of the songwriting and instrumentation. “I think it is at times extremely sparse and, well, spacious, with big choirs singing,” Bulat says, “and then it gets really dense with really spirited and rolling drums.”
And you can hear one of those spirited songs right now, right here.
Basia has a few select Canadian dates upcoming, but expect lots more announcements in the weeks and months to come.
Sept 19 - The Grad Club - Kingston, ON
Sept 23 - St. James Hall - Vancouver, BC
Sept 24 - Metro Studio - Victoria, BC
Oct 3 - Black Sheep Inn - Wakefield, ON
Plants and Animals are featured on Blogothèque today, with three fabulous Concerts à Emporter sending off songs from Parc Avenue and the with/avec EP. These were recorded at the magical La Frette studio just outside Paris back in May while the band was recording their new album. The record is almost wrapped. And they'll be back in Europe in October for a bunch of dates we'll be announcing soon. In the meantime, check out the great Take Away shows... And if you're in Ontario or Quebec, Peterborough and Wakefield are host to two pretty intimate shows this Labour Day weekend. These will likely be the last Canadian dates for sometime!
Patrick Watson fans set your PVRs. The band recently taped a live performance in Toronto for Bravo's At the Concert Hall series. It airs tomorrow night, August 25th, at 10PM eastern time.
The band has just wrapped up their European festival tour and will be making their way back home for some September dates in Quebec, and a long overdue return to California in October. They'll be in San Diego on the 15th, L.A. on the 17th, and San Fransisco on the 20th. Details are over in the Shows section.
Patrick Watson's Wooden Arms has been shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Prize. This is the second time they've been nominated for the award, after having won it the first time around in 2007. You can see the rest of the Short List here.
For those of you jealous of the thousands of people who'll be seeing Patrick Watson's free outdoor show at the Montreal Jazz Fest this Sunday, we've got some good news. The show will be broadcast live on Sympatico / MSN as a special Bell Special Event. Starting at 9pm on July 5th, you'll be able to watch the entire performance here: http://inmusic.ca/patrickwatson. If you are in Montreal, the band will be doing an autograph session after the show at 11pm at the Archambault tent.
Happy Canada Day! To celebrate this year Secret City is please to announced that the sold out 2LP of Plants and Animals' Parc Avenue is re-mastered, and finally back in stock. You can get it directly from us at our new and improved web-store.
Secret City is looking for someone to help us out with the incredibly glamorous day-to-day operations of the label. Interested parties should contact email@example.com.
The world tour for Wooden Arms has just wrapped, but that doesn't means Patrick Watson is going back into hibernation just yet. We're pleased to announce that Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms will be performing a very special free outdoor show on July 5th as part of the 30th Anniversary edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. You can find all the details here.
"Over the past 3 years, we have filmed more than 150 bands, inside/outside/acoustic/electric, fun for most, boring sometimes. Never any band made us such a great impression as Patrick Watson and the Wooden Arms. It was a year ago, it’s finally online, and it still remains one of my favourite movies, and probably the best Take Away Show ever." (Vincent Moon)
People love Wooden Arms. Response to Patrick Watson's latest offering has been nothing less than staggering, with glowing reviews and praise coming in from SPIN, the Toronto Star, KCRW, NME, La Presse, and NPR, just to name a few.
Take a look at what people are saying ...
Wooden Arms is out today in Canada! Our new web store is just about ready, but in the meantime, there's a bonus version available on right now.
The band played their first show of the release tour last night in Quebec City. Reviews are starting to pour in about the album and consensus seems to be pretty fantatsic. NPR and KCRW are already singing it's praises, La Presse called the album 'Magnifique' and gave it an unheard of 4.5 stars ... and Eye Weekly came in with a 4 star review. We suspect that's just the beginning.
We're really pleased that people seem to be responding to a record that's maybe more difficult, but also more rewarding ... especially because it does such a good job of representing what Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms (yes, you can call them that) are all about.
We're pleased to announce that Wooden-Arms.com—the official website for Patrick Watson's new album—is now live, and also streaming a new song from the album. The website will be growing as the year progresses, and will be one-stop location for every single and video we release.
Wooden Arms is out in just over a month in Canada, and the rest of the world follows suit closely after (you can see all of the various international release dates on the album site). That's how the Wooden Arms tour is going down, too, as the full international tour has now been announced. If you don't see your town here, don't worry, the band will be playing plenty more shows as the year goes on. But this is the first leg. Dates below...
Wooden Arms is on the way, and so is a whole new Patrick Watson tour in support of the record.
The madness starts at home. There's lots more to come on an international whirlwind tour, but to whet your appetite, check out these Canadian dates. Details and ticket information (these are on sale Friday March 6th at noon!) is in the shows section.
April 27 - Quebec City @ L'Imperial
April 29 - Montreal @ La Tulipe
April 30 - Montreal @ La Tulipe
May 2 - Toronto @ Trinity St. Paul's
May 13 - Vancouver @ Richard's on Richards
May 15 - Calgary @ Grand Theatre
May 16 - Edmonton @ McDougall United Church
Wooden Arms is coming. It's been a while since Patrick Watson's last record. Close to Paradise was Secret City's first ever release way back in 2006, and we're pumped to be able to announce it's follow-up, which is due on April 28th in Canada and May 5th in the USA. (We'll have more news soon on the European release, too).
We also think this record is going to win over quite a few new fans. Stay tuned!
If you're reading this you've probably already seen it, but Human Highway just debuted their first official video, for Moody Motorcycle's catchy lead track "The Sound". There are two versions courtesy of director Olivier Groulx: the straight up Norman McLaren NFB throwback, and the full on interactive, move-it-yourself version. Check them out at moodymotorcycle.com. Human Highway, by the way, is hitting the road shortly, including dates in Montreal and Toronto. Check it:
Plants and Animals have been nominated for two JUNO awards. One for Alternative Album of the Year (for Parc Avenue), and the other for New Group of the Year. The awards will take place March 29 in Vancouver. Go P&A!
Hey folks, happy New Year from all of us at Secret City.
We've got a big Plants and Animals update for you, as the band plays their first show of the year tonight in Los Angeles at the Natural History Museum. At the end of the month they'll do a mini-tour of Canada's East Coast with Wintersleep. Then the big tour gets rolling at the end of February with two shows supporting Blitzen Trapper in New York / Brooklyn, and continues all the way through March, with shows on both U.S. Coasts, some big cities in between, and more dates in Western Canada. The band is already working on the follow-up to Parc Avenue, so expect to hear some fresh material at these shows. Check full dates and details in the shows section. More will be added in the coming days, too.
Human Highway hit the road! If there anyone feared that the collaboration between Jim Guthrie and Nick Thorburn was going to begin and end with Moody Motorcycle, rest easy. In December the duo will bring their melancholy melodies and happy hooks to the stage spanning four shows in Canada. They'll hit Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Guelph. Check the shows section for more details; these are likely to sell out!
Miracle Fortress are off on a quick international adventure. They're the third consecutive band to make the trek out to Iceland for the excellent annual Airwaves festival, and will be playing a showcase tomorrow night in Reykjavik. Then it's off to London for what are sure to be two packed shows. If you're on either island, check 'em out!
Secret City's first ever release, Patrick Watson's Close to Paradise, first hit Canadian shelves two years ago today, so all the more fitting that we come to you with some exciting recording news about the band. After two years of non-stop touring, the boys are finally in recording mode again. They're currently knee-deep in microphones at Breakglass Studios in Montreal, recording their much-anticipated follow-up to Close to Paradise.
They'll be taking a break from studio time (but not recording) however, to play two intimate shows during Pop Montreal at l'Église St-Jean-Baptiste Chapel on October 1st and 2nd. Spaces are extremely limited, and it should get pretty interesting in there...
On that note, if you're looking for an advance scoop on this kind of thing, make sure and sign up for the new-and-improved Secret City newsletter. We'll be doing a lot of interesting things with it in the coming months. The sign-up field is over in the right column.
After a packed sold-out kickstart last week at the Horseshoe in Toronto (check out a quick review and some great pics here), Plants and Animals fall tour begins in earnest tonight in Wakefield. To celebrate, Parc Avenue is going for cheap at the iTunes store as Album of the Week. If you don't have it already, pick it up!
The band will be making a short stop in Toronto over the weekend for Monday's Polaris Prize gala. Secret City wants to wish them the best of luck, and is sorry that they've had to answer so many questions about the young label's history with the even younger prize. Such is the territory!
When Plants and Animals were down in New York earlier this summer for a show at the Mercury Lounge, they spent an afternoon on a rooftop in Manhattan playin' some tunes. If you haven't checked out Pitchfork.Tv's rad show "Don't Look Down," now's your chance ... P&A are the featured band today, with live performances of Faerie Dance, Bye Bye, New Kind of Love and Lola Who?
Folks dig the P&A. It's been a big year for the trio, and the last quarter of it isn't about to get quieter. The band caps off their summer tour this weekend with a couple Quebec shows. The first in Quebec City on Friday, and then at the FME festvial in Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. And then the fall tour starts a couple weeks later and doesn't let up until Halloween.
September will see them in Toronto a whole bunch, starting with a big show at the Horseshoe Tavern on the 18th, as well as the big Polaris Gala on the 29th, when the prize (which they're up for) will be handed out. After a few other Ontario stops, the band will hit the road with Born Ruffians for a massive tour that will take them out to Vancouver, down to LA, across to Texas and back up to New York. Check the show dates for the nitty-gritty.
Little known fact: the evolved Miracle Fortress live show is the best kept secret of the Canadian indie touring circuit. Anyone who has seen the foursome over the past month or two knows that this band means business on stage. Fortunately for a bunch of you, they've be hitting a smattering of U.S. towns on the East Coast in September to win over your hearts. There's also one big final hometown show in Montreal at La Tulipe before Graham and co. hunker down to record the follow-up to Five Roses in earnest... Details in the shows section!
Plants and Animals are home for an extended rest after a busy summer of touring, and an even busier fall lined-up (more on that soon...). Before they kick up their feet, though, they'll be busting out one more summer set, this time indoors, at the newly opened Montreal Apple Store. The show is tomorrow (August 19th) at 8:00pm, and is entirely free; first come, first in.
Yup, that's right. If you've been revving to hear more swoony sweetness from Human Highway, look no further. The album is currently streaming in its entirety on the band's Myspace page.
It'll be in stores across Canada next week, and as always, you can pre-order the thing directly from us, too.
Little known fact: the Human Highway album, Moody Motorcycle, was the first thing to be played over the big fancy sound system at the new Apple Store in Montreal. Ok, so it was only full of employees and members of Adam & the Amethysts (Miracle Fortress fans take note!), but still. Anyway, the fine folks at iTunes are also offering an advance single from the album for your purchasing support. Check it out!
Crazy times for Plants and Animals. As momentum continues to swell for Parc Avenue and word of the band's all-out awesomeness with it, bigger and wilder things seem to be coming out of nowhere. The band has just added a last minute gig for this Friday in Columbus, Ohio, where they'll be opening for Gnarls Barkley. The label is currently encouraging them to prepare a Goodie Mob cover.
They keep with the grand-company theme through the weekend with their home-town Osheaga appearance on Sunday (before Cat Power and Iggy & the Stooges), and their Central Park gig with the National on August 4th.
Not long now! Word of Jim Guthrie and Nick Thorburn's swoony new collaborative effort as Human Highway is starting to get around. Moody Motorcycle hits the street on August 19th, and we think it's going to have more than a few people talking about it. It's pretty, it's catchy, it's deceptively simple at times, but also full of all the strangely enticing nooks and crannies you'd expect from both these guys.
For those curious about how the album came to be, Pitchfork has a recent interview with Nick about the whole thing. For the rest of you just anxious to get your hands on it... get your pre-orders in!
Plants and Animals' much-loved Parc Avenue has made this year's short list for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize. It's the second year in a row Secret City has been represented on the list, after both Miracle Fortress and Patrick Watson (who went on to win the award) showed up on it last year. As always, the list is full of great albums, and we encourage music lovers everywhere to go and check out all of them. If for some reason you haven't heard Parc Avenue in its entirety yet, maybe now's a good time to do so? The band is playing summer festivals throughout its native land through the rest of the summer, with one extra stop in New York at Central Park's summerstage, where they'll be playing with the National and Yeasayer.
Fresh off their first European jaunt, Plants and Animals are set to make another round of great first live impressions, this time on the U.S. west coast. The short tour starts next Monday in Seattle, where they'll also be appearing live on KEXP (12 noon Pacific time), performing a few songs and chatting with Cheryl Waters. Do to fan-driven demand, they've also added a show in Phoenix at the tail-end of the tour. They'll be back in Canada in time for Canada Day on July 1st for a gig at Habourfront in Toronto.
If you haven't already seen the wonder-video that is Sinbad Richardson's take on "Have You Seen In Your Dreams", you should. For those who are curious about its actual creation, Sinbad has a little piece in the newly-launched Savfaire magazine all about it.
Concert in the park! Plants and Animals are adding at least one more fun outdoor show to their summer festival itinerary this summer, and it's a fun one. On August 4th they'll be in some very good company at Central Park's Summerstage, where they'll get things rolling for a night of music that will also feature The National and Yeasayer.
Anyone who's seen Patrick Watson perform live knows that the four-piece put on an amazing live show, often changing song-arrangements on a dime, extending parts, and generally exploring the big musical soundscapes they're able to create. Well that whole spirit of their performance is going to be taken a step further when they team up with fellow Quebec artists Karkwa in June for some 9-piece action. You can expect some Patrick Watson songs, some Karkwa songs, but probably a whole lot of crazyness in between. They play June 12th in Quebec City, and June 13th and 14th at Le National in Montreal.
After these shows Patrick Watson will be playing a handful of European summer festival dates, and spend the rest of the summer recording the follow-up to 2006's Close to Paradise.
See the shows section for more Karkwatson and festival information.
Pitchfork has a stream of one of the many lovely songs that pack Human Highway's Moody Motorcycle, which Secret City will be releasing this August. It's awesome. Once you've given a bazillion listens you can hit Human Highway on Myspace or Facebook, too. And keep watching all these spaces for more moody motorcycle music....
Plants and Animals will be playing on a bunch of big, sunny, outdoor stages across Canada this summer. The quintessential summer festival band? You'll be able to decide for yourself as they hit summer faves like Hillside, Ottawa Blues, Wolfe Island, Salmon Arm, and play some home-province stages at Osheaga, in Quebec City, and at FME Abitibi. They'll also be making the trek all the way up to Yellowknife to get some fresh air at the Folk on the Rocks Festival. More to come, too!
The band does part one of their summer U.S. tour starting next week in Philadelphia. All details can be found in the shows section.
Secret City is pumped to announce that it will be releasing Human Highway’s Moody Motorcyle in Canada on August 19th. The project is the new collaboration from two of Canada’s most-loved troubadours: Jim Guthrie and Nick Thorburn. The album will be simultaneously released by Seattle’s Suicide Squeeze label in the US.
Plants and Animals will be hitting both coasts of the USA as the summer months creep in, starting with a string of dates in the North East in May. In June they'll be off to the West Coast for their first ever shows out there, including stops in Seattle, Portland, San Fran and LA.
With the whole home-grown roster in action tonight (Plants and Animals are in Minneapolis, Patrick Watson & Miracle Fortress are sharing a bill at Scala in London), CBC.ca has a piece about the label on the front page of their arts section today.
People everywhere seem to love Parc Avenue, and on March 25th, people in the USA can go to stores and buy copies of it. Meanwhile the band is headed West for a string of more Canadian shows that will take them out to Vancouver and back.
The album is also avaible across North America on iTunes and eMusic. A really nice gatefold 2LP is coming, too, but we're taking our time with that one and getting it right, because this album deserves it. Check back soon or sign up for our newsletter for official updates on the catalog and release-territories.
If you haven't already checked out Plants and Animals (or Secret City), by all means do so now, and feel free to start with Parc Avenue...it's a whale of a record.
After rocking CMW (and CBC's Q; grab the podcast here!) last weekend in Toronto, Plants and Animals are on their way down to Austin, Texas where they'll make at least three appearances at SXSW. They are thus:
Homeslice Pizza (Party) @ 12:45pm (afternoon)
1415 South Congress
Maggie May's (M for Montreal - Official Showcase) @ 11pm
323 East 6th Street
Urban Outfitters (Party) @ 3pm
2406 Guadalupe St. (behind the UO)
Come check them out if you're in town....
Yup, that's right...the fountain of joy that is Five Roses keeps on gushsing, this time in the form of not one, but two marvelous music videos. Though "Have You Seen In Your Dreams" (directed by Sinbad Richardson here in Montreal) and "Maybe Lately" (directed by Daniel Stafford-Clark across the pond) were each created independently of the other, we think you'll agree they play of each other rather nicely. Enjoy!
Fresh off Parc Avenue's first week in Canadian stores, Plants and Animals will be hitting up Canadian Music Week in Toronto on Thursday (March 6th) at the Horseshoe Tavern, and will follow that up with an appearance at SXSW in Austin next week. See the shows section for details..
Parc Avenue has burst out of the gates here and has a lot of folks saying awfully nice things about it. The album will be out in the U.S. on March 25th.
Well if you're reading this you're also seeing our brand-spanking new website. There are still some things we're ironing out, some things we're going to add, and some things we haven't accounted for...but for the most part, you probably get the idea. Cool, huh? Plants and Animals (whose Parc Avenue dropped in Canada yesterday) have also relaunched their band site. It's a weblebration!
A couple things to note: if you're seeing www.secretcityrecords .net in your address bar, fret not. That's only temporary until we get a few more things moved. You can leave your bookmarks at www.secretcityrecords.com. If you notice any problems or are having trouble with anything, let us know!
Plants and Animals much anticipated full length release, Parc Avenue, is in stores today across Canada. You can also grab it at iTunes Canada , where "Bye Bye Bye" is being offered as the free single of the week. If you're in Montreal, might we recommend heading on over to Phonopolis (on Parc Avenue!) to pick up a copy? There's a wild re-creation of the (already wild) album cover in the store window. You can't miss it. There will also be plenty of copies at La Sala Rossa tonight, where the band will be launching the record along with lots of surprises. We're super proud of this one. Spend a little time with "New Kind of Love" and we think you'll see why.
Hmm, where to begin? Well, for those of you late to game: we're pumped to be releasing PARC AVENUE—the full length debut from Montreal trio Plants and Animals—in Canada on the 26th. It's available for pre-order from us, here, right now. And speaking of us, here, Secret City Records.com will be relaunching completely very shortly to coincide with Parc Avenue's release. It's gonna be purdy. The band is doing a whackload of shows in support of the album across Canada, starting next Thursday in Toronto. We'll be doing a special album launch at La Sala Rossa in Montreal on the day it comes out, too. They'll also be doing a bunch of stuff at SXSW in Texas (the album drops March 25th in the U.S.). Check the shows section below for more.
Those initiated into the church of Five Roses know that's its a beautifully cohesive song-suite—with atmospheric bombast and pop hooks of all kinds—that gets better with each listen. Not a day goes by that we don't hear from someone who's just discovering this record for the first time and expressing their undying love for it. In that spirit, if you're looking for something new and lovely to bless your valentine with (or better yet, with which to bless yourself, because hey, true love starts ...
Plants and Animals were pretty much born for the road. And starting next week, you're going to be seeing a lot more them on it. Parc Avenue doesn't drop in the USA for a couple months, but folks south of the border won't have to wait that long to hear these songs. The band hits Boston, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Philly and NYc starting on Wednesday. Check their band site, soon to be relaunched (like this one!), for details.
This is a big one. Plants and Animals long-awaited full length opus, Parc Avenue, will hit the streets on Feburary 26th in Canada, and March 25th in the USofA. We'll be announcing dates on both sides of the border soon with lots more to say about the record. We're also preparing for a re-launch of this here SCR.com, long in need in of an overhaul. We've been busy trying to get records out, but it's time we did our virtual little home here a bit more justice. We think you're gonna like it. Stay tuned!
Hey folks, Secret City is on tour in November in a big way, and most of it gets going tonight, with Plants and Animals starting their cross Canada tour in Toronto, and Miracle Fortress with Stars out in Seattle (they'll be going west to east with them in Canada through the month). Plants and Animals are on the Canadian east coast next week, and then hit the road west with Patrick Watson on November 28th. The Watson boys are just back from Europe and embarking on long awaited Canadian dates...their first since taking home this year's Polaris Prize, and last shows before they hunker down to record the follow-up to Close to Paradise. Check the shows section below for details.
Wow. Well. Secret City's Patrick Watson took home Canada's Polaris Prize last night, and we're pretty much speechless. We were thrilled as it is when both they and Miracle Fortress made the shortlist amidst some very good company. To see Patrick, Simon, Mishka and Robbie walk away with the Prize was something else. There were some amazing records up the award, many of which we at Secret City are huge fans of...so all we can say at this point is a really humble thanks.
The praise just keeps coming for Patrick Watson and Close to Paradise, with an event-topping six GAMIQ nominations coming in this week. The newly minted GAMIQs are awarded to independent Quebec artists, picking up where the MIMIs left off. Patrick Watson is up for "Artist of the Year", "Songwriter of the Year", "International Career", "Show of the Year", "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" and "Best Indie-Pop Album". All these awards are partially determined by public voting, so by all means, go and vote!.
Join the Secret City mailing list