Ottawa duo, Buck-N-Nice just dropped a powerful politically fueled and very meaningful video for “Welcome to Infinity.”
“Welcome to Infinity” is their first video single from their upcoming sophomore album, EMAG, to be released this summer. The video was filmed in a single day at various locations with historic monuments in Toronto by Boom Shoal Enterprises, who also directed, produced and edited the piece.
The song doesn’t hold any punches and SawBuck tells it how it is, “Columbus Day in North America is a Hitler holiday in Germany.” I love the imagery of So Nice, slowly dropping pages he ripped out of book he is holding. History is told by the winner and “a liar tells you that he never lies.”
“We decided this was going to be the first single from the album before it was even finished. It was originally an a cappella single verse for live shows, that was written as a poem, but after being approached by multiple people about how the content was slightly offensive or bold, we were slightly offended and decided to get bold,” says SawBuck, the rapper half of Buck-N-Nice. “This song is to wake people up. Offended? Say it. We don’t write lies to make people feel comfortable.”
I have so much respect for Buck-n-Nice for this piece. “Welcome to Infinity” is extremely powerful and real, and definitely not shy. It is a message that has to be said more often and more importantly heard.
We had a quick chat with SawBuck about “Welcome to Infinity,” the track and the video. Check out the interview and video below:
Where is the intro video portion taken from?
That’s a cameo feature from our friend Jonny Rockwell (from Philly Moves). He’s playing a role representing the masses in taking “stories”, or, the history books, copying and passing on its information as the complete story, knowing that there’s tons of truth missing. The whole story isn’t in the book, he knows it, but doesn’t seem to care and still values it. This is what history is. A collection of convenient stories to appease those in control and keep the oppressed where they were plotted to be.
Where was this filmed? And what is the significance of the location to you or the song?
The video was produced, directed, shot and edited in Toronto by Boom Shoal Enterprises (Dan Jardine and Alex Zampino). The various locations throughout Toronto all feature historic monuments which to be honest aren’t as important individually as their representation that history is in front of us every day, and for the most part, people ignore it. Nobody knows the significance of these statues, and if they dig deep enough, a lot of them praise oppressors of assimilation and the colonization of the Indigenous Peoples of this country.
So Nice is seen ripping up a book during the video. What book is it?
The book you see So Nice ripping up is actually early 1900s Americana; a book from the Department of History that should be on somebody’s collection shelf. Alex Zampino owned it, and donated it to the cause of this video. So, there’s genuinely a piece of history being ripped up throughout the entire video. A subtle, but major addition to the concept that many won’t even recognize. We really appreciate this addition to the piece.
Can you speak a little to the importance and relevance of the song giving whats going in Canada? Or simply why it is important to you to cover this subject?
Indigenous issues get slept on by most people; unless it directly affects them. If you step back and look at the mess that’s been made as proverbial broken bones, it becomes confusing as to why the issues are being treated with Advil as opposed to X-Rays and casts. Nothing is being fixed. These issues run so deep, with so many levels, that the only way to truly start to make progress, is to start at the beginning.
Speaking generally, as not all people are of this frame of mind, but many people put the blame on the Indigenous communities themselves, and their leaders, as though an equal playing field is and always was the case. Currently, there are so many issues affecting these communities, and it’s the responsibility of Canada as a whole to respond with assistance. Why don’t more people care about the lack of fresh water for entire communities? Why aren’t more people concerned about the suicide epidemic in Manitoba? Why aren’t more people in defense of sacred grounds being abused? Why are sports teams allowed to use racial slurs for team names and logos? Why are the stereotypes and dollar amount “provided” by the government basically the only thing the average person knows about Indigenous People? Why is Sir John A. Macdonald on the 10 dollar bill? Why is the Hudson Bay Company a Canadian staple despite their spreading of smallpox? I can keep going.
The issues run deep, and they are many. The answer is in the root. The genocide and cultural assimilation that was re-written by the history books, and the everlasting propaganda is what seemingly stops people from caring, or being more vocal. If that’s the case, we decided to tackle the issue from the root. We wanted to wake people up about the beginnings of this nation. This can also be related to by other cultures that have, or are experiencing similar injustices. In terms of personal relation, I have First Nations roots by way of my father, but that’s not why the song was written, so that doesn’t even need to be brought up. It’s not a First Nations issue; it’s a Canadian issue; it’s an educational and historical issue. Regardless of roots, this is a topic that all Canadians need to be made aware of. These issues need to stop being overlooked and minimized, but acted on. That starts with the truth about our history, and from there, people can grow to understand why things are the way they are now.
Any shows, new track or something exciting coming up I can mention to drive some more attention your way?
Our sophomore album, EMAG, is set for a summer 2016 release. A solid date will be announced in May as we’re currently in the mixing and mastering stage. Following this release, we have 2 more singles on the way before the album drop, along with some more visuals. As for shows, we’re planning a tour with Ottawa vets, Flight Distance, so those dates will be announced in the coming months. Lots of stuff happening between now and summer!
Mehdi Cayenne recently released a new video for “Je Te Vois,” the first single from their third album Aube.
The video is a lot of fun but also quite complex and has some depth to it. The song itself is a step forward for the band, as there is clear growth and musical maturity as the band continues to progress. At the same time, it is also very Mehdi and has many of the elements that have made so many people, whether English or French, fall in love with the talented singer and song writer.
We caught up with Mehdi during Megaphono in Ottawa. Check out the video for “Je Te Vois” and read the interview below.
Can you tell me a bit of the story behind the song?
It was a love song of sorts, eh? It’s kinda mystical and erotic, and whimsical and dark (like the video too). I think the original feeling came from meeting someone that I felt as though I had known them forever – I’d never felt that before. I wrote it on my guitalele in my living room, in the morning. It took me a while to own up to how poppy that chorus is! [laughs] Also it went through at least 4-5 different versions. I’m really happy with how well the drums and bass sound, that took a while.
Can you tell me about the story behind the video?
Frédérique Bérubé, the director, was really cool and full of ideas and super fun to work with. She came up with the bulk of the scenario, and I was happy to go along, for once! I really like the duality of the two alter egos, and the ambiguous emotions therein. I basically came up with a certain way to move… I think there’s a very interesting (albeit abstract) commentary on double lives, on sexuality, on owning up to our shadow selves. The contemporary dance classes I’ve taken in the last year really came in handy (and in footy!).
The video looks like it was a lot of fun to be a part of? Any highlights or fun stories?
It was! Again, working with Frédérique was superb. She brought in her roommates to help with the lights and the smoke (the smoke blowing at the beginning is from a cigarette – that guy had to smoke for the cause!). The idea for the bling-bling cameos happened very spontaneously, we were just thinking of cool people to go visit, and realized all the peeps therein were mutual friends of ours. Also, I was floored that Bernard Adamus spent his whole day driving us around to shoot, in his own touring van! So the shoot is full of special, funny and touching memories for me.
How was been the reception of the new album? And new music?
Actually, amazing! I was pretty scared by the end of the process – most of my previous music was quite abrasive, and “cool” [laughs]. This record is much more vulnerable I’d say. I am very attracted to the risk of candor, of emotional nakedness with no posturing – with the straight-up-ness of a church hymn or something. So very scary for me, and very exciting. I’m happy that people seem to understand what I was trying to do, which is mixing up very familiar musical elements with more unusual ones. Ive always done that, but for Aube the goal was to create such a wide palette of sounds and vibes, within a much smaller decibel range, you know? Also this time, it’s a story of sorts, with a narrative – also usually very difficult for me – here all the lyrics actually interconnect and build the story, with recurring themes and characters. And, I had to own up to the fact that it’s a love record. But with a unique perspective – which I’m very happy about. Obviously, Geneviève L Richard’s design and the hearts & ears of my beloved Cayenne Clubbers (François Gravel, Oli Bernatchez, Olivier Fairfield and Charles Fairfield) were absolutely essential in bringing Aube to fruition. I can’t say enough good about their good taste, talent and humility.
Can you tell me about how you feel to be part of Megaphono?
Man, I love Megaphono! They do an amazing job at bringing together O-town’s different scenes. For example, I was so proud to see Elsa (of Everett and Babely Shades renown), whom I’d been privileged to perform for back when she was in high school, perform the same night as Boyhood and Duchess Says, and of course alongside scene luminaries Fet Nat – of whom I’m a great, shameless fan (no really, best damn band in town yo). That variety is a nice big breath of fresh air for this town. Props to Jon Bartlett, Rachel Weldon and co!
What’s coming up next for Mehdi Cayenne?
I’ll be working on more visuals and videos, and releasing Aube in France in early June. I also have a few cool projects related to Aube I have to be hush hush about… But some cool surprises coming up!
Every year we’re always astounded by how many new artists we stumble across here in the nation’s capital. Sometimes they’re brand new, and sometimes they’ve been around for a while and we just hadn’t heard of them yet. One of the artists that raised our eyebrows in 2015 was Andre Thibault, known by his former stage name KING to those in the hip hop community since late 2013. Not only is Andre an incredible solo MC that is technically on-point, he’s also able to raise the bar about as high as it can go with respect to local hip hop when it comes to stage energy. Whether by himself or collabing with others (such as Crookid Bass, his project with another astounding rapper in town, Yusso), 2015 was the year Andre Thibault seemed to make all things happen and love every minute of it.
However, today he released the new video for “Death of a Tyrant,” and it’s not just any new video for him. It marks the end of KING and the beginning of his new alias DRAE. I posed a few questions to Andre about the change, and what it means for him as an artist. Check out the video below.
The imagery in the video implies a clear break with your former alias of KING. Can you tell us why you decided on the name change and what it means to you?
When we shot the video, the goal/concept was to portray a growing-up of sorts, a maturation. KING is a very overused term in music, particularly in hip-hop. It felt a little egotistical and boastful, which, despite the cocky nature of most hip-hop music (including my own at times), is not me. I’m a very down to earth person, and like to be authentic and organic with my music. A lot of people have called me “Dre” for some time now, so the name association of DRAE was already there. It also makes it easier to find me online. Rather than googling KING and finding every monarch under the sun, it’s now a unique name .
Now that you’ve taken a step in a new direction, what can we expect from Drae in 2016?
With the name change comes a more consistent and defined sound/direction for my music. I have a full length project in the works, with the aim being a spring 2016 release. I’ve aimed to include all of my capabilities musically (guitar playing, singing, rapping, various genres production-wise), so it wont be conventional hip-hop, but rather a very unique sound. There’s also a lot of work going on behind the scenes from a branding/merchandising perspective, so the business end of things will be more focused and present as well. Music videos for multiple singles, lots of shows… 2016 is going to be an active year for DRAE. Another point with regards to the video: the whole changing from a sweatshirt and tee shirt to a suit is symbolizing taking my craft and my career seriously, and treating this as a business
Ottawa probably seems like the last place in the world that beach-friendly surf rock would come out of, other than Moscow… maybe. But Cody Parnell, a.k.a. Blve Hills, has different ideas.
Blve Hills has released two records, both this year and both over ten tracks long. Pretty impressive, especially for a guy that seems like he was made for the chill beach bum life on the Gold Coast in Australia. It’s refreshing to see someone make music without taking themselves too seriously, and Parnell’s fun and laid back songwriting style is a much-needed dose of summer now that the cold weather is starting to make its way upon us. Fans of Mac DeMarco will feel right at home with this one.
The video for “She Won’t” off Blve Hill’s most recent LP She’s Still Here follows suit, and you can’t help but smile at its goofy concept while watching.
“I don’t think I’ve ever went the serious route while making a video,” explains Parnell. “It takes away from the fun. I’m not really much of a serious guy either.”
Filmed at the beach while back home in Orillia, Ontario, the dramatic rescue attempt of Parnell’s red guitar leaves us in suspense the duration of the video. The adversity he endures includes a death-defying rescue of the guitar in the treacherous waters of Lake Simcoe, as well as being shot at with water guns by children while playing said guitar. Although the ultimate fate of the instrument is uncertain in the video, we got an inside scoop from Parnell. “The guitar did survive the making of the video, and will live to make it through another.”
That’s pretty great news. We were worried there for a few minutes.
Ottawa’s grunge and emo revivalist PINE recently released a great new video and 7 inch split.
First let’s start with the amazing 90s nostalgia that the video for “Waste” conjures up. The music is a great slow build which grows finally topping out with a big rocking finish. On top of all that the video features yellow, green and blue colour overlays of the band performing. I love it. So simple, yet psychedelic, beautiful and it really works having the lead singer or lead instrument of the moment at the forefront. As the song works its way to the climax the fades and overlays become more and more chaotic really driving home and complementing the more aggressive vocals.
The band also released a 7inch split (on really cool looking vinyl I may add) with Dead Leaves from Cleveland, Ohio via Take This To Heart Records. The release features 2 tracks from each band, “Waste” and “Lopri” by PINE and “I’m Sorry, Darling” and “Recycled Air,” by Dead Leaves. This split is a must listen to for fans of bands like Brand New and Balance and Composure. Check out the split below.
One thing that always astonishes me is how much noise some two-piece bands can make. In this case, Ottawa’s drum and bass duo Auto Racing have packed in just about as much chaos as two people can make in just over three minutes. The track is the second single off their self-titled EP, called “My Justice Waits”. Seriously. How can anyone slap a bass that fast???
On the first listen, the song reminded me of something that Primus would come up with back in the day. You know, a little bit crazy, a little bit genius, and a lot of “what am I listening to!?”. Directed by Carmello Zucco, the video features local drummer Tony Caballero as a mysterious and intimidating intruder. Drummer Aaron Clark explains:
We figured he’d be the perfect character to represent the need for vengeance everyone feels sometimes. The theme is basically that there are instances in life where one is overcome with a desire to state their case and have it heard. We didn’t want to be completely blatant about the subject matter, though it seems pretty clear to me what the underlying theme is.
Carm is such a great director he just came up with the scenario for the shoot in a week or so, and we had an approach to take. Cosmo wrote the song with the idea of expressing this desire for vengeance, and essentially between himself and Carm, the scenario you see in the video was outlined.
Ottawa’s The Haig just put out a spooky new video for their track “Turnbull Suit” just in time for Hallowe’en.
“Turnbull Suit” is the first single from the band’s yet to be released debut full length album Ghost of Nuclear Future. The video begins with the four-piece are all dressed up and look ready to try their hand at Escape Manor. The catch is that the host is actually a psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est…
The video is beautifully shot and so action-packed that you won’t be able to look away. Some of my favourite elements are the fish-eye shots of the band jamming along all crammed in an elevator and the very eerie and ghastly cameo by local musician, visual and tattoo artist Kaylie Seaver. I still have chills. I also really like the imagery of the cut-scenes of the band members playing solo behind bars, they most certainly are trapped not only in the mansion but in the song. Big shout out to Mike + Ness Photography for their great work on the video.
Check out the video below and see if the band can run run run run run run run away to safety.
One of Ottawa’s best known indie music acts, The Acorn, have released a brand new video for the single “Dominion” off the their latest LP Vieux Loup. The Acorn first released Pink Ghosts in 2004, and with an ever-expanding catalogue of albums, Rolf Klausener and his band are showing no signs of slowing down.
The video is directed by the omnipresent and multitalented Lesley Marshall, who seems to do a million things and does them really well. She’s also in the band Bonnie Doon, and her unique aesthetic is evident in the music video.
“I shot part on SAW videos New black magic 4k camera and the footage with Caylie on a point and shoot I found in the garbage,” Lesley explains. “I love mixing media and am more moved for collage than anything right now.”
“I built a room of mirrors around Caylie. I wanted to create a dystopic feeling where the sky is made of beautiful water And a permanent sunset where there is love but we are all poisoned. I also love messing with people’s perception of video – of the music video and cinema. That’s why the video should make you feel uneasy.”
The song is reminiscent of The Acorn’s older work, with hollowed, reverb-laden sounds and delicate vocals. One special thing about this track is the appearance of Boyhood’s Caylie Runciman. Her vocals come in intermittently in response to Klausener’s, adding something special to the track and to the album.
Watch the psychedelic new video a listen to a crazy good remix by the one and only CABAAL below.
Last week Pony Girl released a great new video for their new track “Candy.”
Ottawa’s art-rockers are at it again with an outside the box video concept. This time it is for their new song “Candy,” from their upcoming album Foreign Life which is set to arrive November 7. The song definitely shows the band is progressing and growing, refusing to stay still and recreate the sound of their first album. But fear not, the wonderful melding of male and female vocals is still very prominent.
The video begins with a woman standing in a kitchen in what appears to be a nightgown mesmerized by a computer screen. On the screen there is an ad playing for pizza that reminds me of those late night ads for adult phone lines, but for pizza. She succumbs to the delicious images and orders. Upon delivery of the pizza it gets pretty close to being NSFW as the transaction unfolds and the pizza delivery man can barely control himself. The real question is, does the woman yearn for the man or the pizza?
Toronto/Ottawa band Dear Blackwolf have released a new video for “Style,” the first single off their upcoming LP Rumble Music due out on September 11.
The band, which has aptly described their music’s blues rock sound as “Rumble,” is following up their Safe At Home EP released in November of 2014. The song “Style” is representative of the departure the band has taken from previous records, as their new album contains a grittier feel than the roots sound heard on the EP.
“We chose ‘Style,’ the single off our upcoming record Rumble Music, for the video because it best represents all the different elements of our sound, a sound which we’ve coined as “Rumble,” says frontman Joseph Perry. “It was directed by Justin Ceksters, and the video uses the lyrics of the song to tell the tale of a flirtatious waitress and a gentleman at a poker table. Like the music, we didn’t want the story to be over complicated, we wanted the idea to be simple and visually powerful.”
The video itself is dark, seemingly taking place in underbelly of the inner city. The high-contrast black and white video suits the song perfectly, and feels like it could very well have taken place in a seedy whiskey bar somewhere in Nashville. The song builds as the guitar and drums get heavier, and Perry belts out some commanding vocals. This album sounds like it will appeal to those who like old time rock and roll, as well as fans of newer rock in the same vein as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Dear Blackwolf will be releasing Rumble Music in Ottawa on September 11 at Babylon Nightclub in conjunction with Grillz & Glam, doors at 10pm and only $5. Be sure to check it out, it’s going to get crazy. Watch the new video below.