Venus Furs is the moniker of Montreal’s Paul Kasner, a multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer. In preceding years the act has taken many forms, supporting the likes of The Horrors and The Twilight Sad as he worked on refining and determining exactly what Venus Furs was meant to be. Now, Kasner is on the verge of releasing Venus Furs, a rigorously crafted set of songs that voyage through sonic and mental terrain.
Kasner’s shoegaze influences can be heard on new single “Paranoia,” offering textured layers and a melodic bass line. The visual richness of Kasner’s lyrics also applies to the way he describes unhealthy mental states, something he has both experienced personally and witnessed in others, and he manages to capture these indefinable feelings with precisely selected imagery. He describes places where “lethargic discontent swells boundless through the room”, he illustrates depression as “colour fading to dust”, and psychic obstacles manifest as trip wires and shards of glass on the floor.
Formed in 2013 by a few high school kids looking to play Rush covers, Pacific Estate has evolved into an up and coming Ontario indie-rock act. Their unique brand of rock and roll features high powered vocals, intricate melodies, and an air tight rhythm section.
Following years of shows across Ontario as both a headliner and in support of larger acts such as; I Mother Earth, Hollerado, Pkew Pkew Pkew, and The Temperance Movement, the band recently settled into Arc Recording Studio to record their debut album with Juno Award winning producer Julius Butty (Alexisonfire, City and Colour, Protest the Hero).
The band’s newest single, “Saturdays,” is a summer party anthem and an ode to good times with good friends.
JonoJosh, also known as JJ Gerber, is all about making a dent in the ever-changing world. For years, JJ performed as a dancer/choreographer along with industry powerhouses including Marianas Trench, PSY, Carly Rae Jepson, Janelle Parish, Kreesha Turner, and Kirk Franklin – but his heart was always set on writing music.
His new single, “Half,” is all about being mixed race in a world that doesn’t always understand what that means.
2019 brought a new sound from JonoJosh with the release of “Better.” It made waves by advancing in CBC’s Searchlight competition. His other 2019 releases “Gold” and “Restart” both found love on Spotify garnering over 50,000 listens, and “Half,” shows no sign of JonoJosh slowing down.
Former Wall Street Lawyer now musician, Roxana Labatt, has just released her debut single “The Way” on June 19. To add to this song that already hits you in your feelings, is the DIY, nostalgia-heavy music video that has been released just one week later. Read on to learn more about Roxana’s intention and vision for this creation.
Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
The inspiration for this song is my belief that people get to define their own identity, including the place they identify as “being from”–even if that place is not where they were born/grew up. I describe the song as my love song to New York City, because New York City is and always will be the place I identify as home. Some people believe you’re never allowed to change the answer to the question “where are you from” (my family used to roll their eyes at me when we traveled together and I answered New York while they answered Texas). But even though I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, I never felt like I belonged there. The first time I visited New York City in high school, I immediately felt that it was the place I was supposed to be. I went to college in New Jersey, interning in New York City during summers and moving to New York City after graduation to attend law school and eventually work at a Wall Street law firm. The bridge of “The Way” addresses the visceral feelings I get when I’m on the plane either about to take off from or just having landed in New York City that I know as the feelings of either leaving from or returning to “home.”
What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
I chose to visualize the song as I did in the video in order to highlight the contrast between the place I grew up and New York City. The scenes from San Antonio/childhood places appear during the verses (lyrics and music have a sad/lost quality related to being in a place you don’t belong) and scenes from New York City appear starting at the beginning of each chorus (lyrics and music have a more hopeful/triumphant quality related to searching for and eventually finding the way to the place you do belong). For the opening of the video I chose scenes I thought were pretty strongly associated with San Antonio so they might be recognized as such even by someone who isn’t very familiar with the city–i.e. the Riverwalk and one of the Missions. Similarly, I closed each chorus with an image SUCH AS of One World Trade Center as I thought most people would readily identify those images with New York City.
What was the process of making this video?
Once I conceived the vision for the video, the process of making the video essentially consisted of looking back over years of photos and videos and putting them together in a way that I thought effectively conveyed the message behind the song. I actually wanted to use footage of myself on the flying trapeze in NYC for the bridge portion of the song, but the video quality was too low, so I instead used the horseback riding footage because I love it and because it reflected a similar moment of doing something really terrifying, but ultimately extremely freeing (which I think is a good metaphor for the themes expressed by the song).
Connect with Roxana Labatt:
Gold Star Gold Star is the home-recording project of duo Adam Miller and Adam Obermeier. Born out of a mutual partnership aimed to explore writing within traditional pop song structures of AM dial radio, Gold Star Gold Star found Miller and Obermeier expanding beyond their self-imposed prompt. Their forthcoming debut album, Introducing… Gold Star Gold Star, has twelve original songs recorded in mono.
“If You Only Knew,” the first single the duo are sharing off of the forthcoming LP, sways and swoons in a sepia breeze, every signifier of love hanging in the balance; the plinking glockenspiel and falsetto vocal falls balance against rubbery bass and waves of guitar. Reminiscent of work Elephant 6 was cooking up in the 90s.
Sam the Astronaut is like a giant alien synthesizer entering Earth’s atmosphere preparing to beam you up with its lush soundwaves. Its purpose; to take you to a place where the dull realities of everyday life are washed away and, even just for a moment, replaced with an irresistible urge to dance. And trust, they will be there right beside you the entire time.
“Midnight Carlight” is the lead single and title-track off of the duo’s forthcoming independently-released sophomore album (set for release on August 28th, 2020). With production so thick you can always find a new layer to swim in, “Midnight Carlight” is a cathartic ode to the feeling of being trapped in a relationship.
All Sam the Astronaut wants to do is move you. Whether that be by way of their infectious beats and melodies sparking a blaze throughout your body that turns into a dance, or emotionally through those same elements weaving around powerful lyricism. The combination of Garrison’s distinct rich vocals and TJ’s dynamic production offers up anthemic West Coast alt-pop that feels both contemporary and reminiscent of the classic hits across your favourite party playlist. Coming down from the nova, and near the curvy moon, Sam the Astronaut emits a sound that fills the shadows of everyday life. A soundtrack laced in silver that’s yours to keep.