mansionair, “Astronaut (Something About Your Love)”
Recommended If You Like: Softer Muse, Alt-J, playful Radiohead (if there’s such a thing)
No, this isn’t an airline, although being from Australia, these three guys will probably spend a lot of time on airplanes. Their first successes came via 2016 singles entitled “Easier” and “Hold Me Down” which got them a bunch of gigs across Oz. And now that Glassnote is on board (home of Mumford & Sons, Strumbellas, etc.) odds are that we’re going to hear a lot more about them.
JD McPherson, “Lucky Penny”
Undivided Heart & Soul (New West/Dine Alone)
RIYL: Jack White, Black Keys, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
If you’re looking for something with a little more of a retro sound, this guy from small town Oklahoma might be just the ticket. Having never NOT been in a band since the age of 16, he’s covered a lot of territory in his 40 years. This is his third solo album in the last five years.
IRONTOM, “Be Bold Like Elijah”
RIYL: Finger Eleven, 3 Doors Down, Our Lady Peace
These five guys from LA describe themselves thusly: “Irontom’s music isn’t music that you dispassionately slip into your back pocket for a convenient conversation piece. You wear it on your sleeve.” They start an American tour with Arkells this week,–handy, since they seemed to be sponsored by a brewery—plus manufacturers of amps, mics, various electronic gear companies and GoPro. I’m sure Max and company will return with plenty of stories.
Hey Ocean!, “Sleepwalker”
The Hurt of Happiness (Hey Ocean!)
RIYL: Dear Rouge, Said the Whale, Yukon Blonde
Vancouver synthpop/alt-folk band from a boy-girl outfit featuring two people who have known each other since grade 6. EPs and album started coming in 2004. Watch for them at The Drake on the 16th when they present “An Evening with Hey Ocean” featuring two career-spanning sets.
Julian Taylor, “Bobbi Champagne”
Desert Star (Aporia Records)
RIYL: Ben Harper, Ed Sheeran but with soul, David Gray
I’ll say it again: Julian is Toronto’s best undiscovered star. There’s no reason a guy with smooth, soulful songs like this shouldn’t be a huge worldwide hit. Let’s give the guy some love by streaming his whole album, huh? And be at the Horseshoe on December 21 to see what he’s like live. You won’t regret it.