On Air
December 14th 2017

Episode 141 drifts through new, rare, and beloved music. It is the penultimate episode of Volume I of our show. Volume II comences January 2018.


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1) “Midnight Blue” - The Crowleys

Opening on guitars that are soothing (if a bit familiar), The Crowleys cast seafoam green floaters in your eyes. Then an increasing tone delivers a mechanized message, and you find yourself in a place where imagination and reality clash. Evan Bond’s animated video brings the spirit of “Midnight Blue” to life in perfect fashion. The single is available via the band’s bandcamp.

2) “Georgia” - Yuck

Yuck’s self-titled debut spanned the end of 2010/beginning of 2011, a time of ripe with the sounds of 90s alternative and indie. Their take on the resurgence put an energetic (and sometimes sugary) core within the crunch and fuzz of their voluminous guitars. “Georgia” is perhaps the best example of this, with Mariko Doi’s backing vocals adding a small dash of sweetness over everything. Yuck’s self-titled album was released in February of 2011 via Fat Possum.

3) “Wave” - Pleaser

Primed by the spirit of 90’s alternative rock (think Pavement or Superdrag), there’s nothing muscular or forceful about Pleaser’s approach on “Wave”. Just boneless limbs smearing guitars across everything, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Their album No Restart is available via the Figbox Collective.

4) “Daylight Confidant” - Illyin Pipes

Huge slabs of synth are somehow heaved upward by towers of electronic tones, as singer Jill Harris sketches her voice against a dark, heavy beat. Visit Illyin Pipes’ soundcloud for the track.

5) “Island, IS” - Volcano Choir

At the height of Bon Iver’s stoked folk fire, Justin Vernon branched off with Collections of Colonies of Bees to coalesce his ides with post-rock elements. The result was a weird and magical album that cemented Vernon as a creative sorcerer. “Island, IS” sees some of Vernon’s earliest forays into arcane phrasing and impeccable flow, as he casts his trans-dimensional stream-of-conscious over kaleidoscopic keys. Volcano Choir’s debut album Unmap was released in September 2009 via Jagjaguwar.

6) “We’re Falling” - Little Children

There is magic in the finite and infinite hours of something beautiful on the verge of fading out. Linus Lutti (as Little Children) taps those hours for this nostalgic road burner from his 2015 album Traveling Through Darkness.

7) “Eraser” - No Age

The noise pop container that is No Age’s debut album is fueled by one primary energy - urgency. This ultimately leads to an album that is as rousing as it is unpredictable. “Eraser” thrashes at complacency with that frantic and vital energy. The band’s debut album Nouns was released in May 2008 via Sub Pop.

8) “Open Your Heart” - The Men

This is rock with a punk heart. The title track from an album that burns down your assumptions and defense barriers, The Men dare you not to dance in their fire. Open Your Heart was released in March 2012 via Sacred Bones.

9) “Percolator” - Charly Bliss

The opener from Charly Bliss’ debut album thrives on extraordinary power behind its pop front. Singer Eva Hendricks singular, candy vocals defy the pop line with subversive humour at every beat, setting the tone for the entire, life-affirming record. Their debut Guppy is available now via Barsuk.

10) “Spat Out Spit” - Lady Lamb

Teetering on the barrier between folk and garage rock, “Spat Out Spit” exhibits Aly Spaltro’s versatile voice over a transcendent drum line and synth undertones. Spaltro’s voice alone is captivating, but when it raises existential questions over horns, other realities quiver into view. Lady Lamb released After in March 2015 via Mom + Pop.

11) “Next of Kin” - Alvvays

Everything about what makes Alvvays so blissfully infectious is best aimed on “Next of Kin”. The body-snatching bass lines, reflexive guitars, and Molly Rankin’s sun-drenched vocals all coalesce in perfect, casual harmony. Beneath an apathetic front, a heart full of longing yearns. Their self-titled debut was released in the summer of 2014 via Polyvinyl.

12) “Kitsch” - Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

Mangan and co. rarely flex their collective musical dexterity. They’re confident enough to let the pieces fit together naturally, tucking small treasures into pockets if you’re careful enough to listen for them. On “Kitsch”, the riches are so bountiful that they can’t help but pile them up in front of us. Gord Grdina is a man possessed, channeling the simmering rage of historic conformity into a world-beat guitar loop that serves as a catalyst for the rest of the painterly elements Mangan and Blacksmith brush onto the canvas. It’s only hours later that you realize you’ve been listening to “Kitsch” on repeat, and everything has changed. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith released Club Meds via Arts & Crafts in the winter of 2015.

  • Time
  • 8:00
    The Crowleys
    Midnight Blue
  • 8:03
  • 8:06
  • 8:09
    Illyin Pipes
    Daylight Confidant
  • 8:12
    Volcano Choir
    Island, IS
  • 8:15
    Little Children
    Traveling Through Darkness
    We're Falling
  • 8:18
    No Age
  • 8:21
    The Men
    Open Your Heart
    Open Your Heart
  • 8:24
    Charly Bliss
  • 8:27
    Lady Lamb
    Spat Out Spit
  • 8:30
    Next of Kin
  • 8:33
    Dan Mangan + Blacksmith
    Club Meds