Archive for the ‘Indie’ Category

If you’re in Seattle this Friday, Nov 3, come see New Felts perform live @ Skylark (facebook event page for more info). We try to feature up-and-coming indie artists when we can and their new track Ritual Man in particular has got that professional sound that deserves radio airtime in our opinion. I previously saw them perform at The Rendezvous back in August. Click that Like button on New Felts on Facebook to hear about upcoming shows and follow New Felts on SoundCloud for future tracks.

Matt Mays ran a hand through his long brown hair and leaned in closer to the microphone.

He looked around at the 60 or so people gathered in a studio on the sixth floor of the CBC building. The crowd, gathered around him in a circle, was silent as they eagerly waited for the 38-year-old to address them.

Mays was sombre in his address — I forget the exact words he said — but it was the same day that the music world lost legend Tom Petty on Oct. 2 and a day after a deadly massacre at a country concert in Las Vegas.

I had noticed on his Facebook page a few days earlier that he was having a free show at the CBC to play a few songs from his new album Once Upon a Hell of a Time, which was released on Friday.

Once Upon a Hell of a Time is a 13-track, 53 minute long produced by Sonic Entertainment Group that coincides with a tour in late November.

Before I get into the songs from the new album, a little bit of background. I had heard about Mays’ music for quite a while as my big brother Patrick was a fan. I had only seen him live once in 2011 when he played for the Canada Games’ opening ceremony in his hometown of Halifax. My memory from the show is a little hazy due to one too many shots of Fireball, but it was still great.

Fast forward 6 1/2 years later and here we are at the CBC as Mays played for about an hour with a mix of new and old material. It was a great opportunity to see the rocker live and hear some of his new tunes.

I was immediately drawn to the song “Drive On” when I heard it live. It — like most of the new album — is very classic Mays and what drew fans to the artist in the first place. What I liked most about “Drive On” is that it struck me as a song that I could see myself cruising down the highways of P.E.I. listening to. It’s easy listening with a catchy beat, advanced by the solid contributions of the drummer.

The song’s bridge is also very well done, with a nice steady crescendo into an outro sung by Mays.

Another few songs that caught my ear were “Faint of Heart” and “NYC Girls.”

“Faint of Heart” had incredible guitar rifts throughout and, like “Drive On,” was extremely catchy. I would imagine that both will get significant air time on radio stations across Canada.
“NYC Girls” has great lyrics throughout and are performed well by Mays’ raspy, classic rock-n-roll style voice. Unfortunately for Mays, he told the audience in Toronto that the lyrics were based off of true events. Don’t worry, Matt. I had no luck on Tinder when I was in New York City last year, either.

Once Upon a Hell of Time is an impressive album from top to bottom from these East Coast rockers. I would expect it to get some Juno Award consideration. You can listen to the whole Album on Spotify, download links below.

Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Listen: Apple Music, BandCamp

Guest post by Ryan McKenna, please email if you’re interested in writing a post for BTC.


In Febuary, we posted Heavy ft. Kiiara; Linkin Park’s first single off their upcoming album One More Light. After that, Battle Symphony dropped in March. Now LP’s shaking things up again; enlisting Pusha T and Stomrzy for a new rock/rap collaboration that’s sure to please those old Fort Minor fans out there. English rapper Stormzy gives the song’s second half a bit of that Tinie Tempah feel. The new album’s due to drop May 19.

Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Listen: Spotify, Apple Music

I’ve been a big alt-J fan for awhile now, with their first album An Awesome Wave having so many great songs like Tessellate, Breezeblocks, Fitzpleasure, and Taro (my personal fav). Their follow up album This Is All Yours in 2014 was also solid but not as great as their debut album in my opinion. After over two years, we are finally hearing some new music from the British group. Their new song In Cold Blood features much of the same, with experimental sounds, funky beats and lyrics that really don’t make sense (?). But In Cold Blood is catchy and serves as a great first single for their upcoming 2017 album Relaxer due June 22

WARNING: Video Contains Flashing Images

I first heard this song a couple months ago while Pat was in town on the speakers in a clothing store and shouted across the store for him to Shazam it. I keep coming back to it so I figured I’d share. It was “Part of Me” by Phases, is an indie pop band from LA. When I checked out their Youtube channel, I discovered they gained some popularity with their debut music video last year; I’m In Love With My Life, but not too much since then. Like Part of Me, a lot of their beats have an almost circa-michael-jackson sound, eg. see Cooler, and Betty Blue. None of which I like quite as much as this one, so I’m hoping they put out more like this.

Download: iTunesAmazon, Google Play
Listen: Spotify

I had never heard of this guy until yesterday when one of our favourite rappers (who is hopefully making a return to the rap game) XV tweeted out that he was listening to and loving Jon Bellion’s new album. I decided to check it out and it is definitely solid. The Human Condition is Bellion’s debut album and is definitely a blend of rap, pop, indie and electronic. It’s a super unique and catchy sound. All Time Low is a standout track from the album, check it out below and let us know what you think!


This London-based duo recently released their debut, self-titled album. Previously, they had been releasing a new song each month for the past year on Soundcloud. The band has a super chill vibe, mixing electronics nicely in their tracks. This is one of the standout tracks from their album, check it out and let us know what you think!

Madeon is back with their album Adventure and this is a standout track from the album featuring Mark Foster from Foster the People. Be sure to check out the album, it is very solid.




East Coast Canada’s indie rock pride Joel Plaskett has released his fourth solo album. Plaskett’s an artist we’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform live on several occasions while back home in Halifax and PEI. The title of the album comes from Plaskett’s old neighbour Roy, who called the metal guardrail at the corner of Park Avenue and King Street in Darmouth NS, the “Park Avenue sobriety test” because of how many impaired drivers got caught running into it.

The first song off the album we’ve got for you is my personal favorite and the latest single called Credits Roll. You can actually get a free download of Credits Roll on if you fill out his fan questionnaire.  


The second song we wanna feature is the first song that Joel released for the album, and the title track of the album. You can just tell the song is perfect for singing along to at a live concert and Plaskett’s actually been performing it for years. In a well-shot video by Eli Leavitt you can see him performing The Park Avenue Sobriety Test live in Hamilton ON in 2013.


And as bonus, just a month ago Plaskett released On a Dime, my 3rd favorite track off the album. J.P. Cormier contributes some East Coast fiddle to it’s pub-folk-rock sound.


Others tracks off the album worth checking out is Alright OK (in particular will make longtime fans feel at home), Broken Heart Songs (with a little bit of a country sound while poking fun at country), and Song for Jersey (which you can watch a live performance of Song for Jersey posted by Exclaim! TV).

Download: iTunes | Amazon
Buy CD: MapleMusic


Today is the release date for PEI native Tim Chaisson‘s new album Lost in Light. We premiere’d the lead single for the album; Crushed here in October last year (more info on the album there). The album was successfully crowdfunded on PledgeMusic (which we contributed to of course). You can listen to the album on Spotify embedded below, then please go help support him by ordering the album on iTunes.