reviewed by Anna Alger

Strong, steady rhythms, emotive lyrics, and smooth melody introduce Toronto’s SIMCOE to the world via their debut self-titled EP. The young band have already been selected to play at Canadian Music Week next year and have released a live track since then, after playing many venues in Toronto.

Upbeat indie rock characterizes the EP’s opener, “Lost,” its driving rhythm capturing listeners’ attention and inviting them to stay and hear out the call of the song’s chorus: “Don’t seek shelter, no. Won’t you feel it all, feel it all?”

The next track, “Afterglow,” has an atmospheric introduction, leading into a gentle pop song with a steady beat. Clear, melodic guitar lines focus the music as the lyrics explore a relationship on the edge. Vivid natural imagery is used heighten the drama of the song.

The insistent synth of “Closer” brings the tempo of the SIMCOE EP back up, rhythm guitar laying down the base for the hooky refrain: “Won’t you come a little closer?” The harmonies that follow are akin to those of Hey Rosetta!, standing out amongst the song’s varying instrumental lines.

SIMCOE craft a promising debut with their self-titled EP. Their music has the lyrical honesty of Foals’ Yannis Philippakis, and the instrumental sensibilities of a patchwork of established Canadian indie acts. The latter may cause them to be overlooked, but the band has room to grow and expand their sound, something I look forward to hearing.

Top Track: “Afterglow”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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