Heard Before the Herd: Week of June 13, 2012

Got the mainstream music blues? Sick of Bieber fever? The underground music scene is oozing with new and notable talented musicians. Herewith, five under-the-radar bands that should be on every YP’s iPod. 

Divine Fits
If you, like the majority of YPs, were devastated after hearing of Montreal’s Handsome Furs breakup, there may be hope yet. Dan Boeckner (who also provides haunting, Jim Morrison-esque vocals for Wolf Parade) recently announced his collaboration with Spoon’s Britt Daniel and New Bomb Turk’s Sam Brown to form Divine Fits. A veritable holy trinity of rock gods, these guys are shrouded with mystique. They’ve released a teaser for their upcoming debut album. It may only be 30 seconds long, but if it’s any indication of what is to come, we’re sure the new record will be oozing with heavy electro goodness. 

Young Galaxy 
The ’80s are making a comeback – and Vancouver’s Young Galaxy are the ones leading the revival (thankfully sans the feathered bangs and shoulder pads). Balancing lush, warm vocals with pounding electronic beats makes for a mesmerizing sound. Their sophomore album, Invisible Republic, landed them a Polaris Prize nomination, and garnered attention from Swedish producer Dan Lissvik, who refashioned tracks from the group’s third LP, Shapeshifting. The result? Sexy songs that should be on every YP’s date night playlist. Listen to “Shoreless Kid,” which was released on a 7″ early this month. 

Gold & Youth 
While on the subject of the ’80s revival, it comes as no surprise that Gold & Youth, a dark, neo-noir group from Toronto and Vancouver, has made it on to this week’s list. The drone-y sound is reminiscent of what The Cure or Joy Division might sound like if they got their hands on a few synth machines. Check out their video for “Time To Kill,” which resembles a typical Friday night for a Toronto young professional.  

There probably isn’t a group that the Arts & Crafts label puts out that any young proffesional wouldn’t love. So it comes as no surprise that Zeus, a Toronto foursome, has joined the ranks of labelmates Feist, Bloc Party and Broken Social Scene. Their classic rock vibe has a timeless quality that received nods from the Polaris Prize panel. Their latest effort, Busting Visions, sounds like a cross between The Kinks and The Sheepdogs. You won’t be able to get their single, “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” out of your head, especially since it’s free to download

The Luyas 
Members of Montreal group, The Luyas, have some seriously awesome backgrounds. They’re current and former members of Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, Miracle Fortress and Torngat, so we have very high expectations for this quintet. They may be more mellow than what we’re used to from some of their former bands, but The Luyas certainly deliver. Their dreamy, ethereal and laid-back sounds can only translate into a hazy live show complete with some unconventional (and equally awesome) instruments, such as the French horn and electronic keyboards. Hear “Tiny Head” here

The Soundscape

The Deer Tracks – Toronto, June 16; Montreal, June 17 
Mishka – Toronto, June 20 
Tokyo Police Club & Foster the People – Toronto, June 19
Lady Antebellum – Montreal, June 14; Toronto, June 16