Show revenue makes up a huge part of a musician’s income. With live music on hold for the foreseeable future, musicians around the world are trying to figure out alternatives.
Live streams like those set up by our own London Arts Council are a great way to celebrate local music in your home. Why not take it a step further and pick up a great local album to show your support?
We asked our contributors to share some of their picks for great local music you can buy online, and we’ve got a little something for everyone.
Also, a shout out to our local music store heroes! Though their storefronts are closed, many of our fave music retailers have their own options for safely distanced shopping if you prefer physical copies of music. You can order from Grooves Records through their Discogs page or Speed City Records’ Discogs page. Odyssey Records is offering delivery, and stock inquiries can be made over the phone.
Now, on to the tunes.
Sammy’s Pick: Images by You’ll Never Get to Heaven
If ambient, dreamy pop is your jam, make a cup of tea, curl up in a chair, and put on Images by You’ll Never Get to Heaven. Let Alice Hansen and Chuck Blazevic carry you off on pastel clouds into an atmosphere of gently twinkling and echoing synths.
For me, these tracks evoke ghostly grey skies on the cusp of a gentle rain. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a twilight walk. Although, with the boundaries of our schedules melting in self-isolation, any time could be twilight!
You can pick up Images on Bandcamp either digitally or on vinyl. Put it on whenever you need to just chill. If it feels like you need to chill, oh, all of the time, it’s okay! Take a breath, and lie back into this dreamscape of ethereal tunes.
Nicki’s Pick: Brother Down by Whoop-Szo
WHOOP-Szo’s “Warrior Down” was released in November 2019. Since purchasing the vinyl at a February 2020 Rec Room show, it has been in frequent rotation in my home.
The band, categorized as “sludge/grunge/psych/folk/post” on Bandcamp, never fails to deliver deep, complex tunes that are filled with emotions, feelings, and purpose and this record confirms that. An absolute local favourite, WHOOP-Szo continues to grow in popularity beyond Forest City borders. Due to recent global events, show cancellations hit hard as they saw a 40-date tour fall almost entirely by the wayside.
Musicians of such quality and such depth are more than deserving of our community support, at all times, but especially in times like these. So give them a listen, and revel in the psychedelic sounds flowing from the speakers. Then, take it a step further by purchasing the digital album or the vinyl record right here!
James’ Pick: Cavatine by Cameron Crozman
London music will always lift us up and carry us away. That is truer than ever right now as we stay in. My choice for the most serene, stirring and soothing sound for social distancing time is cellist Cameron Crozman’s Cavatine. A word for it: Magnificent. Every time Cavatine plays in my home, my family stops and listens. Cavatine showcases works for cello and piano by French composers Poulenc, Debussy, Koechlin, Messiaen, Françaix and Poulenc. A fellow former Londoner, pianist Philip Chiu, joins Crozman.
Crozman’s awards include at least two hometown honours — the 2010 Kiwanis Music Festival Rose Bowl and the 2014 Forest City London Music Award classical instrumental category. Reward yourself in 2020 with Cavatine and more great made-in-London music. Buy yourself a copy of Cavatine from a number of online stores by following this link.
Sammy’s Pick: Roadside Attractions by Mvll Crimes
If you need some punk vibes to shake up your mood, local post-hardcore band Mvll Crimes (pronounced Mall Crimes) is for you. The band dropped their debut EP, Roadside Attractions, in March 2020. It’s full of cathartic tunes for troubling times. Shout along with lead singer Jill Clair’s electric vocals. Nathan Patrick and Patrick Briggs (both of Foam fame) back Jill with a rumbling, raucous soundtrack. These tracks are made for thrashing your head to – even while rearranging your bookcase or sweeping the floor for the millionth time.
You can grab Roadside Attractions and the individual singles from the EP for a price of your choosing on Bandcamp. Each features hand-drawn album art by Jill Clair herself.
We’re going to emerge from this pandemic in a different society, and we’ll need the supercharged energy of the Mvll Crimes members to create change! For now, shake off isolation-induced ennui with a solo mosh pit in your kitchen.
Nicki’s Pick: Old Habits by Charlie Weber and the Glorious Failures
Charlie Weber and Glorious Failures’ latest folk-rock album “Old Habits” has been a local favourite of mine and on frequent rotation since its release in October 2018. As a highly active band on the touring front, recent events have ground those efforts to a halt, but there are many ways you can support this budding London, ON band and help them keep doing what they do. First off, if you haven’t yet, give “Old Habits” a listen on Bandcamp where you can purchase the digital version and/or then head on over to dually support Charlie and the fine folks at Forest City Records by buying it on vinyl right here.
These are some tough and uncertain times for everyone, and very largely for local, career musicians who need our support in order to keep churning out those sweet, sweet tunes.
Feature image by Sammy Roach.