Indie Pop / Singer-Songwriter
Toronto-based indie singer-songwriter Jeremy Voltz is still riding the high off of his second album, Running Away, which dropped at the end of September.
The 10-track record displays a compelling journey of exploring courage within ourselves and our relationships, and doing so in a theatrical way. This album is a fusion of two sonic universes, a collaboration with producer and artist Oliver Charles. It marries Voltz’s indie-soul melodies with Charles’ impactful, raw pop production, weaving in dark harmonies and virtuosic vocals.
“We both wanted to create something exciting and almost beyond us, like a soundtrack for an epic action movie that doesn’t exist yet,” Voltz shared when discussing the new project. “What we came up with I like to call ‘battle songs for the empathetic.’ Electronic singer-songwriter rock that hits hard yet still feels vulnerable.”
The title track, which is also the album’s opening track, paints a delicate portrait of a woman known to Voltz who felt ensnared in her own life. The song’s production evolves and deepens as he unveils its narrative and the intense emotions that lie at its heart. “Running Away” blends acoustic guitar, cinematic strings, and a resounding rhythm section. The song’s music video marks Voltz’s directorial debut, serving as a short film that mirrors its imagery-laden tale.
Indie Folk / Singer-Songwriter
Marcus Lowry’s musical journey began at the University of Montreal, where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance, and since 2017, he has worked with a diverse roster of Canadian and international artists spanning jazz, folk, and pop. Now, he wears the hats of singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.
Lowry’s debut album, Time, Time, Time, takes its name from the title track and serves as a poignant embodiment of the album’s overarching theme—the relentless march of change. This song conjures the imagery of a fading autumn, beautifully capturing the essence of transformation.
The song is reminiscent of artists like Nick Drake and Daniel Rossen, while showcasing Lowry’s distinctive style of impressionistic folk. His artistry crossbreeds the singer-songwriter tradition with a rich tapestry of strings, woodwinds, layers of effects, and the inclusion of field recordings.
Indie Pop Rock
Victoria, British Columbia indie pop-rockers The Bankes Brothers and their fans are feverishly awaiting the release of their debut EP, In Waves.
The EP is a six-track collection of pure musical joy, overflowing with irresistibly catchy melodies, invigorating vocals, and the exuberant sounds of a band on a mission. The group is a four-piece ensemble comprised of siblings Nelson and Morgan Bankes on vocals and guitar, along with lead guitarist Carson Cleaver and drummer Gray Oxley.
Produced and recorded by indie legend Steve Bays — who is known for his work with bands like Hot Hot Heat, The Zolas, and Mounties — In Waves represents a culmination of The Bankes Brothers’ diverse musical influences. It forges a unique sonic path that defies basic comparison, yet warmly embraces the listener with a sense of familiarity.
The EP’s third single, “C’est La Vie,” draws inspiration from the likes of Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” the experimental musings of Talking Heads, and the infectious charm of Little Joy. This track takes on a lo-fi character, setting itself apart within the collection. The Bankes Brothers embraced the lyrics with a phonetic approach, weaving a narrative that tells a story and compels listeners to move to the rhythm.
Malade, the embodiment of modern gloss-pop, is a captivating project brought to life by Montreal-based singer, songwriter, and producer Camille Brown. In this vibrant musical endeavor, Malade effortlessly marries the infectious groove of R&B with the artful finesse of pop, creating a playful and maximalist sound.
Malade’s latest single, “Give Up,” is a testament to her journey and represents her most heartfelt expression within the girlpop genre. Produced by her longtime friend and engineer, Damien Muller, this track immerses the listeners in a world of hot pink audacity, radiating the aftermath of a breakup with a blend of bitterness and defiance. Malade’s vocals, almost dripping with mockery, glide over countermelodies that glisten above a triumphant bassline and intricately textured drums.
“I’m on the other side of a time where I had to let go of some relationships that weren’t serving me,” she reminisces. “The hyper-feminine pop persona that emerged from that pain was almost like a guardian angel, or a shield to me. The next few releases from this project really reflect that sugar-coated, lacquered coping.”
Featured photo: Jeremy Voltz