IPO Toronto 2015
Click on artist name to go to their music page
CLICK HERE to see IPO Toronto 2015 Artist Yearbook Photos
Artists From Toronto
The 905’s – The 905’s are blasting out of the suburbs with high energy powerpop and punk-wave rock ‘n roll. It’s sleek, it’s fast, and it’s fun! In the grand tradition of fellow Canadians Teenage Head, and likeminded bands such as The Buzzcocks, Stiv Bators, and Johnny Thunders, The 905’s are here to get the party rockin’! If you want to sing along, dance, stomp your feet, or pump your fists in the air, check out their latest CD, Breakout, and their IPO showcase!
Before The Flood – Based on a backbone of strong, diverse songwriting and rich, textured arrangements, Before The Flood have been honing their roots-inflected indie-rock sound performing all over Southern Ontario. Their recently released second LP, Hole in the Sky, is heavy on vocal harmonies, layered strings and deep percussion and bass. Electronic elements and synths add to the rich, and at other times ethereal, soundscapes BTF creates through a long-awaited and eclectic 14 song journey. Their style and performances are constantly evolving, but they continue to draw comparisons to Wilco, The Shins, The Weakerthans, and Skydiggers – check them out now!
James Clark Institute – The musical outlet of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist James Clark, described as “…a witty, concise and sometimes acerbic lyricist with moving, memorable and often hilarious songs.” (Blair Packham – Producer; Singer/Songwriter; Composer; Educator; and sometimes fellow IPO performer). Their recent five-song EP, Son of a Sideshow, is a companion piece to 2008’s Sideshow Unattraction, with songs that range from pretty folk ditties to vaudevillian quirky pop that will appeal to fans of John Lennon, Neil Finn, and Elvis Costello. They’ve also released their first ever 7” single on shiny black vinyl, so come to the show to check them out and purchase one!
Clockwise – Check out any of their awesome full-length releases or their latest single, Sugar Coat It (on spiffy 7” vinyl!), and you’ll be instantly hooked! Their sound is influenced by Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Joe Jackson and Squeeze, tempered with more contemporary artists like Crowded House and The Beautiful South, and they efficiently crank out three and a half minute pop songs with hooks that will stick with you long after that initial investment in time has been spent. Their classic Toronto powerpop style fit right in at The World Famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, where they joined us for IPO four years in a row, and we’re very glad they did! A new full length disc is in the works, and we can hardly wait to hear it!
Darling Cora – A unique indie folk-rock singer-songwriter, Darling Cora’s music blends and bends multiple genres to create evocative, well-crafted songs that touch both our heads and our hearts. Gifted with a beautiful and soulful elastic voice, she strikes a balance between her intricate vocal lines and unusual guitar harmonies to create music that is charmingly complex and accessible at the same time. She is currently working on material for her first full-length album, but her mesmerizing self-titled EP is available now for those who just can’t wait!
Dewey Truman – The current musical outlet of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Lamont James, and an artist that fans of hooky powerpop of all shapes and sizes NEED to hear for themselves! His style runs the gamut from the classic powerpop style of Big Star or Cheap Trick to the more orchestrated variety of Burt Bacharach or The Partridge Family to the quirky new wave punk pop of The B-52s! Definitely an artist and band after IPO’s heart!
The Fairest and Best – One of the most eclectic bands in Toronto, The Fairest and Best blend original pop, rock, soul, jazz, country and Latin influences into their music. Featuring award winning songs by singer and keyboardist Robert Graham, the band performs modern classics – timeless songs with memorable hooks, rich harmonies and superb musicality. Their live shows are always entertaining – infused with humour, big ideas and wide ranging appeal, so make sure to catch them at their IPO showcase! Their debut full length album of original material will also be out by the end of the year, so watch for it!
The Fandemics – A monster in a china shop of a band featuring ex-members of Take Drugs, Darlings of Chelsea, Tacoma Redd, and Citizen Kill get together to make a new band of their own. Their sound is loud, sonically lush, and loveable, filled with harmonies, hooks, and heart, as exemplified on their new White Flag single! Fans of The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and The Descendents will want to pay special attention to this one!
Field Study – Main man Caleb Stull’s former project, the Vancouver-based band Parlour Steps’ song “Little Pieces” went viral in 2010 (thanks to a placement in the MTV Canada TV series DeGrassi), and he and the band scored major coverage and accolades for their sweaty, pitch-pefect performance at SXSW in the same year. Field Study’s recently released debut full length, Feverland, still relies on stylish pop hooks, male-female vocal interplay, and the delicate wordsmithing that Parlour Steps songs were known for, but many of the songs are much more adventurous, including elements ranging from electro-bass thumping to elaborate orchestral arrangements. Art-pop that encourages ass shaking!
Hailee Rose – Any artist talented enough to become a protégé and backup singer of the venerable Dave Rave (see Canadian Artists from Outside Toronto, below) is bound to be worth a listen, and this up and coming young lady is certainly deserving of such. Her style ranges from power pop to soul to blues and the power of her voice will blow you away! She is quite the dynamic live performer!
The Naked Wild – Recently named “Best Indie Band” at the 2015 Toronto Independent Music Awards, The Naked Wild blend elements of folk, indie, and rock into their music and pour their souls into their live performances! Their recently released debut EP will appeal to artists as diverse as Burt Bacharach, The Doors, and The Shins!
Sarah Siddiqui – A captivating alt/pop singer/songwriter/storyteller with two albums to her credit, Siddiqui also has roots in Hollywood, as her songs have been featured in multiple film and TV projects, such as “Triggermen” (2002), starring Donnie Wahlberg and Claire Forlani, and “Word of Honor” (2003), starring Don Johnson and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Her upcoming album, No More Waiting Rooms, embraces the ups and downs of Siddiqui’s journey, encompassing themes of mental health, self-awareness, love, and hope.
Sister Hyde – IPO is honored to host another appearance by Toronto’s premier dirty glam punk extravaganza! Their recent Sex Change CD has been described as “[t]he greatest glam since T Rex and Motley Crue…sex, evil, and passion all in one big orgasmic CD!” (Glam Trash Love Affair Magazine), and their live shows are not to be missed!
The Snows – Proof that catchy melodies can coexist with sophisticated songwriting, as can a guitar-heavy indie sensibility with pristine vocals. Resurrected from the ashes of Swedish Fish, with a new album, More Than I Can Tell You – to go with a new sound and a new outlook!
Social Potion – Though previously existing as both a four-piece and a duo, Social Potion is currently the solo moniker of Toronto-based singer/songwriter Carmen Toth, who is blessed with both a wide vocal range and a voice that’s both gritty and sweet at the same time. Social Potion is often compared to ‘80s and ‘90s era artists including Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega and Cyndi Lauper, and the songs on Social Potion’s self-titled EP have been characterized as indie-alt-pop that touches your soul!
T.C. Folkpunk – AKA the project of Timothy Cameron, bass player of indie popsters The James Clark Institute (see above). His solo CDs are a bit more raw, bringing to mind such artists as The Clash, Billy Bragg, or Tom Robbins – his lastest, Lamest Last Words, was recorded in true “folkpunk” style, live off the floor with no overdubs, all twelve songs captured in a single caffeine-fuelled two hour session, and the next album might take even longer. As of December 2015, when the Canadian indie comedy film Love In The Sixth premieres at the Whistler Film Festival, T.C. will be able to add “actor”, “film score composer” and possibly “movie mogul” to his list of talents and achievements! Don’t miss this multi-talented and highly entertaining artist!
Neil Traynor – Characterized by the breezy jangle-pop feel of such bands as The Byrds or CSNY, Traynor’s songs also feature his Bolanesque vibrato as well as a very personal touch. Traynor’s dad is the inventor of The Traynor amplifier, one of the most popular amps in Canada (and one used by none other than Jason Falkner!)
Julian Troiano – If his last name sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that he’s the nephew of legendary Canadian guitarist, Domenic Troiano. However, young Julian is quickly becoming a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with in his own right. He was recently awarded a full scholarship to the famed Metalworks Institute, and his recently released debut EP, Inner Battles, carries on a family legacy of outstanding musicianship while infusing deeply emotional lyrics and pop sensibilities. Fans of classic R&B/Pop artists with smooth vocals, such as Lionel Richie, Al Green, or Lenny Kravitz will love Troiano and his band!
Jaimie Vernon – Mr Vernon has had a long and fruitful tenure in the music industry, from being the leader of the seminal Canadian band Moving Targetz to founding one of the best pop music labels in Canada, Bullseye Records, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. His most recent CD, Nightmare at 20,000 Watts, like his first, is inspired by The Twilight Zone, and offers an homage to ‘60s and ‘70s Top 40 hit radio…complete with DJs and commercial breaks! He is also known as one of the foremost authorities on all things Canadian music, and the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia, a hefty two-volume treasure-trove of information about Canadian artists both well- and lesser-known. He’s always got something special up his sleeve for IPO, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got planned this time!
Canadian Artists From Outside Of Toronto
The Dreamboats – A band brought together by a true passion for an era when ice cream cost a quarter, milk was delivered to the door, and people danced to live music! The Dreamboats capture this era at live shows through their angelic harmonies, rockin’ guitars, matching uniforms, and famous spinning “starlight” lamps (to set the mood, of course). Mixing heir original Retro-Rock n’ Roll tunes with classics from pre-1964, this quartet of handsome young Mississauga boys is making sure that the punch is spiked and the dance floor is hopping!
Kensington Prairie – The latest musical project of Vancouver bred, Niagra-based singer/songwriter Rebecca Rowan, who has released five albums with her previous project, Maplewood Lane, and three under her current moniker. Kensington Prairie’s debut, Captured In Still Life, included three songs licensed to the CBC prime time show Heartland, and was nominated for the Top Ten Folk Albums of 2008 by National Public Radio USA. Kensington Prairie’s latest, Come To The Waters, is poised to follow suit, as it was immediately nominated for Best Folk or Roots Album of 2015 by the Toronto Independent Music Awards upon its release! Their gentle melodies and haunting vocals will appeal to fans of The Weepies, Gram Parsons, and Iron and Wine.
Christine Leakey – Her debut, Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box of Treasure, is a lush cinematic, with a dash of jazz and a pinch of pop album that puts a fresh spin on fusion revealing a new definition with every listen. It was nominated for various awards including Hamilton Music Awards and Independent Music Awards for Best Eclectic Song, Best Adult Alternative and Best Album Art, which she won for the artwork! The album features an array of organic wind, reed, string and world instruments, and also features a very rare collection of vintage and museum quality keyboards including the Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan, Orchestron and ARP 2600! She’s just finished recording her second album, produced by the ubiquitous Fernando Perdomo, and can’t wait to cast it out into the cosmos to reach appreciative ears of listeners around the globe! Yet another fine artist from Hamilton, Ontario!
The Perms – Long known in their hometown of Winnipeg (and throughout the rest of Canada) for their infectious hooks, The Perms have released five full-length albums, plus their most recent opus, The Aberdeen EP, in which they put all their focus into crafting arrangements that would push their instinctive writing skills and seasoned musicianship to a whole new level. The results of their hard work are high-energy, guitar-driven songs that feature sing-a-long melodies with an aggressive, harder-edged sound. Fans of OK Go, Weezer, Badfinger, Supergrass and The Cars need to check this out!
Dave Rave – He began popping very powerfully indeed a near quarter century ago as part of the legendary Canadian bands Teenage Head and The Shakers, and has often been referred to as “The Canadian Nick Lowe.” In addition to being one of the most entertaining and hardworking powerpoppers around, he’s also been known to display his jazzy side on several collaborations with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter, Mark McCarron. A recent CD, Live With What You Know, was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of its songs, “Anne Marie”, and his new CD, Sweet American Music, is quite probably his best ever!! From 2010 to 2014 he played 50 IPO festivals in a row (yes, you read that right), and he still plays many of them…and we look forward to many more. Thank you, Dave!!
The Wormwood Scrubs – A mod, a rocker, a musical purist, a multi-instrumentalist and a punk have been together since 2007 and found their collective name: The Wormwood Scrubs. What better way to exemplify the gritty, high-octane sound of this Waterloo-based band than to reference a notorious prison in a rough London borough? The Scrubs sound is influenced heavily by the mid-‘60s and early-‘70s style of garage rock, and its roots in surf, psychedelic, rhythm & blues, and protopunk. Distorted fuzz-box guitars create a backbone that screams back-to-basics rock n’ roll. The Wormwood Scrubs nail it, and their appeal is instant! Their latest album is appropriately titled Now Dig This!!
The Jeremy Band – Jeremy Morris is one of the most genuine, nicest people on the pop scene, as well as one of the most prolific pop artists around. His gentle, John Lennon-influenced pop is as spiritual as it is melodic, and you can hear this for yourself on all of his CDs. This Michiganian can stake his rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame as he and his band have played more IPO festivals than almost anyone else!