The Belle Game
If you are looking for a rising local act to latch on to, Vancouver-based indie-pop group The Belle Game is one to watch for in 2013. The group has teamed up with Boompa Records associate Bella Union and will release two new songs, available on limited edition 7” vinyl on Jan. 21. Tracks “Wait Up For You” and “Wasted Light” have both movement and dreaminess, like the beach on a drizzly day, and The Belle Game combines a west-coast inspired sound similar to that of Best Coast with the foggy influence of Beach House to create their own balance of tentative tempo. The group is made up of all Canadian members originating from Vancouver and Montréal and have been shaping and reshaping since 2009 to develop their sophisticated sound. They have built a steady fan base by establishing themselves as regulars on the Canadian festival circuit and visited Nanaimo recently while supporting Hey Ocean! on a tour across the Island. “Wait Up For You” and “Wasted Light” will give listeners a preview of what to expect from their first full-length album, Ritual Tradition Habit, which is scheduled to be released sometime in the spring.
Ivan & Alyosha
Promising indie-folk group from Seattle, Ivan and Aloysha, have teamed up with Toronto-based Dine Alone Records to create All The Times We Had, scheduled for release on Feb. 26. The group, formed in 2007, consists of brothers Tim and Pete Wilson, as well as Ryan Carbary, and Tim Kim. Ivan and Aloysha, named after characters from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, have been gradually making a name for themselves across the indie scene, releasing two EPs to critical acclaim and touring with groups like The Low Anthem. Their performance at the 2010 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas established them as a rising contender on the folk-rock stage and the anticipation has been growing ever since. Their first single, “Running For Cover,” which will be available Jan. 15, has the same control and gentle acceleration mastered by the group’s Seattle-based indie-folk neighbours The Head and the Heart, while also capturing a sentimentality like that of The Lumineers. If the easy and unpretentious single is anything like their debut full-length album, All The Times We Had will be a genuine and worthwhile record.
Juno-nominated indie-rock band Hollerado has announced the release for their second album, White Paint. The Ottawa-based band formed in 2007, released their first full-length album in 2009, and have since been rapidly exploring the indie music scene worldwide. After touring with acclaimed acts such as The Stills, Jack White’s The Dead Weather, and Passion Pit, playing festivals across Canada and the U.S., and securing a nomination for the Best New Group Award at the 2011 Junos, the band has taken time to record their sophomore album, scheduled for release on Feb. 26. The first single for White Paint, “Pick Me Up,” has the fun and upbeat attitude of early Weezer, and the music video features the group playing in a field of hot air balloons and is inspired and influenced by the people they met at a ballooning festival in the desert. The eccentricity and positivity of their artistic style is streamlined throughout both video and song, and the record promises to be a weird and wonderful experience. If you’re really keen, the first 200 fans to pre-order the “White Paint Super Duper Deluxe Package” will receive an exclusive song, written specifically for them by the band. Hollerado will support Billy Talent and SUM 41 on a cross-Canada tour, with a stopover in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum on Mar. 14.
Tegan and Sara
The latest album from Calgary indie-pop twins Tegan and Sara Quin is scheduled for release on Jan. 29. The twins have been monumental on both the Canadian and world indie-rock scene since 1995, with six albums under their belts, several world-tours, and slots at major festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury. They have also toured with acts such as Neil Young, City and Color, Deathcab for Cutie, and most recently The Killers, showing fans around the globe their versatile, original, and downright likeable style. Since their debut record, 1999’s Under Feet Like Ours, through to 2007’s The Con and towards their latest in 2013, Heartthrob, the twins have moved from guitar and keyboard simplicity to an increasingly electronic, dancey sound. The latest single, “Closer” emanates this new energy, and though the guitar and keyboard are still prominent, the instruments are newly woven into a complete electro track. While some fans might miss the uncomplicated style, such as in 2004’s “I Was Walking With A Ghost” from So Jealous, the musical development of Tegan and Sara is evident in their latest release, and though they may be turning towards a more complex style, their original and unique talent is still the determining factor for their artistic success.
The Black Keys
Though El Camino was released only in Dec. 2011, The Black Keys have announced that their next album will come out sometime in 2013. Drummer Patrick Carney told CBS Local that the group is aiming to have their eighth record finished by the spring. The Ohio blues-rockers have consistently exceeded expectations since their debut record The Big Come Up was released in 2002, and judging by the Grammy nominations, critical response, and worldwide acclaim, there is no doubt that their next album will be seriously fantastic.
Paramore has announced that they will release their fourth album on April 18. The self-titled record will be the first full-length release from the group since two of the original members, lead guitarist Josh Farro and his brother and drummer Zac, left in late 2010. The alt-rock group has announced that the single for Paramore will be released sometime in early 2013, and that it is titled “Now.”
The Joy Formidable
Welsh indie band, The Joy Formidable, has announced they will release their second studio album Wolf’s Law to Canada on the 22 of Jan. The London-based group has generated a response on the alternative and indie music scene after releasing their first full-length record in 2011 and the buzz has grown since. They have supported groups like Editors, Passion Pit, and Muse on tour, while doing a stint on both the North American and European festival circuits, building a worldwide fanbase for their layered cymbal/guitar rock balance.