Chromewaves The rolling party known as NXNE 2012 is now done. The…
- Posted on Jul 22nd 2011 4:00PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Courtesy of Hooded Fang
Few brand new bands manage the kind of instant connection with both fans and critics alike as Toronto indie collective Hooded Fang -- since first forming in winter 2008 and releasing a self-titled EP and their (delightfully named) debut full-length, 'Album,' last year, the group have charmed their way across their native land with their sunny orchestral pop.
It's been quite the year for the ensemble -- not only did they release their debut to great acclaim only nine months ago, but they also embarked on a cross-country tour with fellow Toronto indie-rockers Rural Alberta Advantage, and recently scored a Long List nod for this year's Polaris Prize.
In typical Toronto music collective fashion, band members also manage to juggle several other artistic pursuits (play-writing, journalism, and hosting all-ages shows, among other things) while helping to build up the local independent scene.
Now add running a new indie label to that list -- Hooded Fang's new sophomore album, 'Tosta Mista' (perhaps named after the tasty Portuguese panini?), is being released next week on their very own Daps Records (which will also see forthcoming releases this year from the band's peers and side-projects, including Doldrums, Phedre, Moon King, Hut, and Odonis Odonis).
The band's hands-on approach and attention to detail seems to be paying off -- 'Tosta Mista' sounds like a big step forward for this rising act, shifting gears slightly from their previous sugary-sweet pop melodies towards a more fuzzed-out, Spector-style wall-of-sound approach.
The grand production serves vocalist and lead songwriter Daniel Lee's keen sense of melody well -- 'Tosta Mista' is most definitely a summer record, all hazy retro California vibe, with equally breezy lyrics to match.
New track 'ESP' showcases the band's newfound love of reverb and surf guitar -- the intro sounds straight out of a '60s spy movie, all spiky bursts of percussion and insistent guitar riffs, before Lee's reverbed vocals jump in. In keeping with the timeless feel of the melody, the lyrics stick to a tried-and-true blueprint: "I don't care what the neighbours say/I wanna love you anyway," Lee croons. "Baby, baby/Can't you see/What it is that you mean to me?"
It's a formula as old as the songs Hooded Fang (a band young enough to barely recognize some of the influences they're channeling) are referencing, but it still sounds marvelous in this youthful modern context.
By the time the big, crunchy drums barrel into a huge finale, one thing keeps coming to mind: Someone gets these kids a soundtrack deal, stat!
Hillside set: Hooded Fang plays at 8PM and take part in a workshop with Torquil Campbell (Stars/Memphis) at 1PM, both on the Island stage on Saturday, July 24.
Download: Hooded Fang, 'ESP' (MP3)