Weird Canada: Updates from far out

Last month, our search through the northernly nooks and crannies dug up surprise hits, overlooked gems and unexpected collaborations. In the latter category, a one-off jam session between Victoria’s revolution rockers Babysitter and Montreal’s high voodoo priestess JLK resulted in a cross-country cross-pollination. The nation’s capital blasted off with the celestial slack of Roberta Bondar, and Vancouver’s Needles//Pins punched us in the gut with their pogo-punk rippers. Sam Shalabi’s 2003 avant-RIO opus Osama continued to challenge, while deeper excavations turned up the mutant sounds of early ’80s Toronto from The Party’s Over. Finally, the consecrated creepery of Matthew A. Wilkinson (currently based in Winnipeg) went supernova with his latest switched-on self-release, Post Namers. Enjoy these samples and follow each link for the extended review! – Jesse Locke

JLK // Babysitter –c30 (Dub Ditch Picnic)

“This tweaker’s moan sounds like they decided to do some straight up cover of Lynch’s Eraserhead soundtrack, recorded inside of the chassis of some burnt out Greyhound bus.” – Christopher Laramee

Roberta Bondar – Roberta Bondar (Bruised Tongue)

“Their debut EP, a cassette released on heavy-feeling Bruised Tongue, is a hyper-modern swig of what Canadian indie may be decades in the future.” – Jared Majeski
Needles // Pins – 12:34 (Mammoth Cave Recording Co.)
“Vancouver’s Needles//Pins are leading the pack of these chipped toothed bubblegum chewers, making music best suited for the summer months or crushing out on the cute girl from homeroom on the first day of class.” – James Lindsay

Sam Shalabi – Osama (Alien8 Recordings)

 “Blundering chug rock, a juxtaposed pastiche editing style, gorgeous vocal arrangements, Walter Benjamin quotes and a general head-scratcher of an approach.” – Alex Moskos

The Party’s Over – Tissue Sample (Some Records)
“The squelched electronics, Xerox paste-jobs and lab horror imagery of their 1981 cassette not only point the way to countless post- and post-post-punk iterations, but also parallel the earliest budgeted efforts of Cronenberg.” – Jesse Locke

Matthew A. Wilkinson – Post Namers (Self Released)

Wilkinson erects 13 places of worship for his songs; each a unique spiritual monument, jutting upwards like some ecclesial finger and decorated with demented frescoes.” – David Ferris

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