Audible/Visual Hoots: Valiska, No Frills, M.I.BLUE & more

Valiska – “Softness”

To find softness in such a harsh world is difficult. Maybe you find it in bed or in nature or while looking at art. On “Softness,” a song from his forthcoming album On Pause, Valiska, like us, looks for softness. The first half of the experimental/drone-y track is like an extended exhale but the second half is more unsteady and is like a fight between the loud and the quiet. I think quiet wins. – Laura Stanley

No Frills – “Vegetable Tray”

I love me some Toronto supergroups, especially one that will bring to mind the shitty grocery store chain to many Canadians. The members of Grounderss, Twist and Hooded Fang have created some wonderfully simple and sad pop, from the straightforward, affect-less vocals of Daniel Busheikin to the splashes of keys and groovy guitar lines. The project is a way for Busheikin to put his anxieties and battles with depression to music. A definite highlight of “Vegetable Tray” is this line: “We’re all gonna die young, apathetic or masturbating.” –Michael Thomas

M.I.BLUE – “L.M.G”

M.I.Blue’s “L.M.G” (let me go) is a quick release. There’s a hazy soul to this r&b track as M.I.Blue pleads to someone, or maybe she speaks on behalf of someone else, to be set free. The song’s succinctness (it clocks in at under a minute and a half) reminds me of Un Blonde but M.I.Blue’s style is entirely her own. – LS

Lisa Anderson – “Your Silence Says It All”

Sometimes grant money doesn’t go your way. But no matter! Lisa Anderson instead headed to the dollar store, spent $38, and made this charming little video for her jaunty piano-pop song. We first follow her going to the store, seeing what she buys, then we watch her craft supplies turn into a fun visual representation of the song. It’s a pretty joyful video for an especially happy-sounding song. –MT

Dishwasher – Minivan/You’re Livid

Toronto band Dishwasher have two new tracks that are as greasy as dirty dishwater. Opening with the lyric “I’m a man without a plan in this minivan,” “Minivan” has an adventuresome spirit to it and is fueled by guitar fuzz. Using the same soundscape, the second track “You’re Livid” is, on the other hand, forlorn and portrays someone not as confident as the person in “Minivan”. Together these tracks show different but equally engaging sides to this young band. – LS 

Teen Ravine – “Hall of Horrors”

Have you ever thought about how a mellow song about complete and utter disorientation might sound? Teen Ravine have, and “Hall of Horrors” sounds like a pretty good representation. There’s very subtle production in spots, a pop song with R&B influences. The slick bass and swells of horns make this a beautiful song despite its lyrics of being somewhere truly terrifying. Maybe you could get through a haunted house with his as your soundtrack. – MT

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