Eye of Doom, Baby FuzZ, Excuse Me, Little Triggers, Neo Noir, Pleasure Craft, Hannah Stewart and Jesper Hasnaoui are in the SubmitHub spotlight today. If you’d like to add your name to my impossibly long list of submissions, click here.
1 Eye of Doom
Countless bands deliver the doom metal. Countless more crank out the sludge. Still other unfurl intricate prog-rock. But not many play all three. And almost nobody combines them in one epic excursion as successfully as Vancouver duo Eye of Doom do on their multi-tasking shape-shifter Grave Digger. Craggy riffs? Check. Harmonized guitar licks? Check. Time-shifting rhythms, anthemic vocals and interstellar sonics? Check, check and check. Plus their sci-fi video is just as much of a trip, abducting you to from the dark woods, abandoning you in a labyrinthine spacecraft and sending you through 2001‘s kaleidoscopic acid-trip wormhole. Dig it.
2 Baby FuzZ
What U Gonna Do 4 Luv
Sick and tired of soul-crushing loneliness? Can’t stop watching late-night television? There’s got to be a better way! Introducing Baby FuzZ, the alt-pop alter-ego of sometime-songwriter-for-hire Brandon Lowry. The New Yorker (who has apparently also spent some quality time in Montreal) has the cure for your romantic ills and self-esteem issues: A shot of his infectious disco throwback What You Gonna Do For Luv? and its twisted informercial parody video. Best of all, you don’t even have to get off the couch to enjoy the benefits. Call now! Operators are standing by!
3 Excuse Me
Unless there’s a Can-rock band out there named Sorry Eh?, Guelph’s Excuse Me just might win the coveted prize for Most Canadian Band Name Ever. Thankfully, the sound of their single Home is not the sonic equivalent of downing ketchup chips and Hawaiian pizza while guzzling Caesars during a bonspiel. Instead, it’s a dusty, dark and dynamic blast of danceable pop anchored by a rock-solid four-on-floor rhythm, a chug-twang guitar line, plenty of noisy ambience and vocals with more soul than the entire population of the Prairies. It may not sound like our native land, but you’ll feel right at home regardless.
4 Little Triggers
Giving Me Up
This rock ’n’ roll thing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, sometimes it works best when it’s kept to the basics: A driving drumbeat. A punchy, crunchy power-chord riff and a hooky lick. A leather-lunged vocalist belting out catchy lyrics about love or the lack thereof. A singalong chorus. And a fretburning wah-wah solo. That’s what you get in Giving Me Up, a gritty little nugget of Hendrix-fuelled goodness from Liverpool rock throwbacks Little Triggers. And really, that’s about all you need. Pull the trigger and hear for yourself.
5 Neo Noir
Greatness (ft. Lorde Sanctus)
Greatness is a greatness does. And L.A. Future Music collective Neo Noir has done it for everyone from Bruno Mars and Rihanna to Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, according to their resume. But with their urban banger Greatness, producers Bradley Allan & Greg Ogan are doing it for themselves. And doing it with supreme confidence and style, combining a thundering backbeat and a grim synth melody with Lorde Sanctus’s cracked cackle and unstoppable determination to “make it to the A-list.” They’re already well on their way.
6 Pleasure Craft
No yacht rock here, bucko. This Pleasure Craft is helmed by singer-songwriter Sam Lewis, who was born in B.C. but is now based in Toronto. Not only has he been around — he also knows his way around a funky groove, a flowing melody, an addictive chorus and a baritone vocal. Imagine Iggy Pop sitting in with Talking Heads and you’re in the vicinity. Soda could easily prove as addictive as its namesake, but it’s definitely far more satisfying.
7 Hannah Stewart
“I don’t make music I can’t dance to,” says California electro-pop artist Hannah Stewart in her online bio. Based on the tantalizing groove of her single Afterglow, she’s not kidding. Though she may be selling herself short. Thanks to its fusion of watery bass pulses, percussive synth melodies, buzzing blasts and ethereal vocals, Afterglow is a dance tune that gets the job done above the neck as well as below the belt. You’ll take a shine to it.
8 Jesper Hasnaoui
When a guy named Jesper from Norway writes a song called Cold, you might reasonably expect to be frozen solid by shards of icy Scandinavian synths. Not this time. Oslo’s Jesper Hasnaoui opens his stirring, striking song as a warm, gently fingerpicked folk ballad that’s graced with his dusky croon and poetic lyrical imagery — and slowly builds to a minimalist cyclone of downtempo folktronica buoyed by shimmering gospel overtones and tenderly evocative falsetto lamentations. The sonic equivalent of walking on an icy river at night as the northern lights gradually take over the sky, Cold offers plenty of comfort.