Audible/Visual Hoots: The Holy Gasp, Mt. Aspen, NAYSA, & more

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The Holy Gasp – “The Mating Song”

Long a staple of their live show, The Holy Gasp have finally committed to record (and video) their song of primal lust and carnal relations. The menacing strums of guitar and Benjamin Hackman’s screaming vocals guide the listener as the video shows off a whole bunch of animals mating while the bands watch it all go down from the comfort a movie theatre. It feels weird to be watching a bunch of animals go out at it, but this band is not about making you feel comfortable and that’s what makes them so great. –Michael Thomas

Wild Rivers – “Already Gone” 

The voices of Wild Rivers’ Devan Glover and Khalid Yassein flow together like the Wild Rivers of their band name. Paired with a simple and very likeable folk-pop, and a little bit country, style, “Already Gone” sounds effortless. The emotion is full, the lyrics are clever, and the melody is memorable – all qualities of a good song. – Laura Stanley 

NAYSA – “Are You Lonely?” 

Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day (or just after), NAYSA’s “Are you Lonely?” packs some colourful heartbreak into their latest video. There’s no pulling punches in the Winnipeg band’s newest song as Dave Todd screams out “Could you be happy without me?” a line perfectly suited to the band’s self-described gloomy pop aesthetic. Thankfully, as our oddly dressed protagonist spirals from optimistic dancing to a bar-fuelled romp about town, NAYSA’s tendency to take the edge off those sharp lyrics with a series of energetic chords makes this a much gentler song for the solo soul–better suited to a single-person’s kitchen dance than the wallowing that usually beckons this time of year. – Eleni Armenakis

VBRTR – “Something Gūd”

The debut single from this Saskatoon duo is the kind of electronic, feel-good song that acts like Chromeo traffic in. Falsetto vocals, 80s synths and a bevy of hooks mean this song probably won’t be leaving your head any time soon. –MT

Mt. Aspen – “Open Skies”

“Can you see me in the skies? Open wide and free?” asks Matthew Miller (Mt. Aspen) in his soulful, electronic-tinged track “Open Skies.” Lyrically, the song is simple but there’s something about the blend of electronics and walking bass notes that lift Miller’s escapist sentiment to new emotional heights. With additional vocals from our pal Bobby Uzoma, “Open Skies” might be your new go-to track when you’re feeling down.  – LS

AlphaCub – “Fighting”

The song feels so heavy it feels like it could crush you. Huge production with a backing of synths and echoing percussion make “Fighting” a hell of a fight song. Marc-Antoine Robertson’s steady, powerful vocals make this song even more feel-good and it’s hard to forget lines like “You can’t be my saviour and this is not Valhalla.” –MT

Wood Lake – “Easy Love” 

Is there really anything easy about love? This is the question that Ottawa band Wood Lake mull over in their latest track “Easy Love.” A pop melody leads the charge through the song’s dense, shoegaze-y, soundscape which becomes more uneasy as time goes on. Though Wood Lake eventually conclude that “easy love throws you away,”  their song is an easy one to take in. – LS

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