Audible/Visual Hoots: Thanya Iyer, Urså Major, The Zorgs & More

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.32.23 PMUrså Major – “Lo-fi Sky”

“Lo-fi Sky,” the title track of Joseph Chusid aka Urså Major’s EP that he released last month, captures the feeling of clarity you have really late at night or in the early morning. Sonically “Lo-fi Sky” pulsates like a blinking star with its light, hip-hop beat while lyrically, Chusid tries to understand himself, pleading, numerous times, “lord, help me please.” By the song’s end, Chusid finds some clarity and sings, “I think I figured it out.” In all, “Lo-fi Sky” is emotional, honest, and smooth as hell. I’ll be over here listening to this one on repeat waiting for it to blow up. – Laura Stanley

The Zorgs – “Moneypenny”

An already hypnotic, psychedelic rocker of a song gets even better thanks to good old-fashioned spy intrigue. This Winnipeg group pays homage to sixties espionage dramas set to the music of its crunchy guitar-driven music and the simple lyrics hold the viewer in a trance. If someone offers you a drink poured out of an ornamental bird-shaped pitcher, run for the hills. -Michael Thomas

Thanya Iyer – “Daydreaming” (Live)

“Daydreaming” alone is an enthralling and versatile experimental track that’s poppy one moment, jazz-like another, calming at some parts and deeply unsettling at others. But when you watch Thanya Iyer and her additional players perform it live, the intricacies and sonic oddities of the song are exposed and boy is it ever cool! Daniel Gelinas plays the drums and water(!) which he keeps in two small buckets atop his kit, Alex K.S. plays the upright bass and a synth, and the star, Iyer, plays the piano and sings, not only into a regular microphone but also into a violin’s microphone?? With so much rad-ness happening in this live video, we guarantee it will make you say “woah!” at least once. – LS

Ginger Ale & the Monowhales – “White Walls”

The band with one of the most fun names ever has released a few singles since the beginning of last year, the latest of which is this grungy new number with some very terrifying album art. Lyrics about feeling hopeless and downtrodden pair nicely with the loud guitars and Sally Shaar really nails the anguish in the words; by the end of the song she’s almost screaming. The white walls are forever painted red. -MT

Kuri – “Illumination”

“Illumination,” the debut single from Abbotsford’s Kuri, shines. It’s a piano-pop song with delicately placed strings, the combo sounds a bit like Hey Rosetta!’s quieter songs, with Kuri sharing an emotional story of an unknown “she” looking for the answers to life’s big quetsions. Whether she finds them is left unknown and it’s this mystery that, in part, makes the song so intriguing. – LS

Jay Arner – “Like a Dracula” 

Jay Arner’s music seems effortless, and “Like a Dracula” should be the soundtrack to dreaming, going out to the beach or retreating into your thoughts. “It’s sundown, I’m gonna go out, I’m sick of overthinking/Who gives a shit, I’m over it, I’m what you’re drinking” feels like a warped personal mantra, all helped along by some breezy guitar and a splash of synths later on. -MT

Haolin Munk feat. Kobi Annobil (Canadian Winter) – “White Labels (Tapestrie)”

Last month, Hamilton’s Haolin Munk (a “jazz quartet [who] plays hip hop standards”) teamed up with Kobi Annobil of Canadian Winter for the track White Labels (Tapestrie).” Haolin Munk jam to a beat based on one by Liam Carlisle and Annobil casually rolls on through with a light-hearted verse about a young man’s late night adventures; the combo makes for a very fun track. – LS.  

Megan Hamilton – “The Violins”

This warm, emotional song from Megan Hamilton gets an even nicer touch with the video, created by Hamilton herself. In it, she takes mundane scenes and brings them to life with creativity. A record spins as lines are drawn on; houseplants change colour; a cutout unicorn makes its way across a painted landscape. There’s a real sense of wonder and awe to all the images; it’s like going back and becoming a child again, if only for three minutes. -MT

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