IPO Toronto 2016
Click on artist name to go to their music page
CLICK HERE to see IPO Toronto 2016 Artist Yearbook Photos
Artists From Toronto
The 905’s – The 905’s are blasting out of the suburbs with high energy power pop 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!
Across The Board – Crossing through genres of rock, country, indie and pop, Across The Board (or “ATB” for short) writes original pieces and uses the tools of social media and the internet to showcase their talents. Founders of the weekly YouTube sensation, Pick Up And Play, they have over 160 videos to their credit, and have recently released their debut album, Jane On Fire, comprised of nine original tunes bridging the gap between indie rock acoustics and country rock harmonics driven by classic guitar riffs, simple basslines and sophisticated contemporary rock beats. Check it out!
Blackdog Ballroom – The debut release by these three-time nominees for “Best Live Performance” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, This is Blackdog Ballroom, is reminiscent of a time when you couldn’t wait to hear what the next song would offer. With an eclectic mix of influences ranging from pop to punk, mod to Motown and rock to roll, Blackdog Ballroom have cultivated a distinct blend to create their unique sound, which fans of The Jam, The Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks will particularly enjoy. Their high octane live performances are celebrations filled with heart and soul delivering an invitation to once again believe in rock ‘n roll, so don’t miss them at IPO!
James Clark Institute – The musical outlet of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist James Clark, their latest full-length release, Yesterday’s Misadventures, was produced by iconic Canadian musician/producer Moe Berg (The Pursuit Of Happiness). “James Clark is one of Canada’s songwriting treasures. His songs have a timeless quality born of a writer who studied the best and refuses to bow to the wind and rain of any current day. His lyrics never underestimate the audience’s intelligence and his melodies will stay with you long after the record has finished playing.” (Moe Berg) Fans of intelligent quirky introspective pop artists, such as John Lennon, Neil Finn, and Elvis Costello, should check it out!
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 power pop 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! Their brand new full length disc, This is now and…then, has just been released, and will be available at their IPO Toronto showcase!
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. Their debut EP, When I Feel like This, has been added to the playlists of over 100 radio stations across North America, and elicited numerous licensing contracts for television. 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!
The Histrionics – If The Beatles had a threesome with GBV and The New Pornographers, their love children would be The Histrionics. Combining sardonic, acerbic lyrics with upbeat pop sensibilities, this band draws on a variety of influences to create instant pop classics on their latest full-length disc, The Cannon. Fans of ELO and Randy Newman will also dig these guys!
Lawrie Ingles – Toronto born and raised, Ingles is one busy musician – singing, playing guitar, keys or bass in any number of bands at a time, including Elton Rohn, David Storey, Tristan Avakian, Southern Sky and Tyler Ellis and the Eddy Line. He’s also a talented songwriter and his wordplay-laden lyrics offer a trusting glimpse into his emotional and intellectual depth. When he’s not playing himself, he can often be found out and about, supporting shows by other local area musicians – definitely an artist after IPO’s heart!
JilliansBareMadness – A multi instrumentalist with a long history in Toronto’s indie music scene. Playing guitar, bass, piano and synth, as a band member, she began developing her song writing as a solo artist over the past 10 years. She draws inspiration from her extensive travels, adventure and of course love. Her influences include The Pretenders, Blondie, Nina Simone and The Cars. Currently in the process of recording her first full length album, she hopes to release a long awaited album in 2017.
The Nines – The band who exemplify everything you love about sophisticated three-minute pop songs! Two of their previous CDs, Properties of Sound and Wonderworld of Colourful were both instant favorites, and have earned comparisons to The Beatles, Jellyfish, and ELO. The Nines have collaborated over the years with power pop artists Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, the Grays), Bleu (L.E.O), John Adams (John Cage, Neil Young), Andy Partridge (XTC), and more! Their latest album, Alejandro’s Visions, is another “soundtrack”, and is probably their most unique album yet, with kind of a Beach Boys cum Four Freshman ’50s/early ’60s vibe (with the usual Nines flourishes) in spots, and a West Side Story feel (!) in others. I’m really loving this! We’ve been honoured to have them at IPOs in LA and New York, but are especially honoured to have them play IPO in their home town, once again!
Arlene Paculan – Named as both the runner-up in NOW Toronto Magazine for Best Songwriter and a Top 10 Regional Finalist in CBC’s Searchlight Contest in 2015, Paculan is set to take the world by storm! The soulful pop style and soft yet passionate vocals on her debut album, Everything Begins with Love, have been embraced by the CBC, garnering radio airplay and fueling appearances throughout Canada, as well as in LA and Europe. Check out her IPO showcase and hear what the buzz is about for yourself!
Paint – “Rockstars and entertainers with a sincere change-the-world-with-heart attitude” (Midnight Matinee), Toronto’s Paint have earned their reputation as one of Canada’s hardest-working and most genuine indie bands with their infectiously energetic live performances, pop hooks, and lyrical depth. Their latest release, dis(PLAY), is a concert DVD and live album of all new material that was filmed to a sold-out audience in Toronto in October 2014. Cool!
Hailee Rose – Any artist talented enough to become a protégé and backup singer of the venerable Dave Rave (see below) is bound to be worth a listen, and this up and coming young lady is certainly deserving of such. A debut album, Introducing Hailee Rose, was released last year, and features a mixture of classic covers and Rose’s original tunes. 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!
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!
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!
Sonny Boy Mick – With a catchy songwriting style running the gamut from The Beatles to Jack Johnson, Radiohead, David Bowie, and Prince, Sonny Boy Mick has multiple singles featured on television. His recent hit, “My Favourite Song”, also appears on the recent Bullseye Records Compilation, Unsigned, Sealed, and Delivered, volume 9!
Synners of Truth – An Irishman, an Englishman, and a Canadian walk into a bar…Although the band got their start in what may sound like the opening line to a joke, the punch-line is great indie-rock with a strong beat, powerful vocals, and meaningful lyrics. They’re currently in the studio finishing up their new album, It’s Going To Change, but have released several singles as a “teaser,” including two that have been played on 97.7 The Beach radio, and one that is featured on the recent Bullseye Records Compilation, Unsigned, Sealed, and Delivered, volume 9!
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 celebrated its 30th anniversary last 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, and the just released True Tales of a Cemetery Cop. 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
Jamie Gia – We welcome this Guelph-based indie rock chanteuse to IPO Toronto straight on the heels of the release of her latest EP, Nope. The songs on the EP are a juxtaposition of angular indie rock, moody and sultry vocals, and pure power pop! Fans of Ani DiFranco, The Strokes, and Incubus should check her 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 power poppers 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 another recent 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!!
Matt Fig – Hailing from the Detroit suburb of Wyandotte, Fig combines the in-your-face rock n’ roll influence of Aerosmith with hooky slightly self-deprecating power pop in the best tradition of artists such as Robbie Rist and Fountains of Wayne! Fig (the man minus band) has also been doing shows with Enuff Z’nuff; how cool is that?? Whether solo or plus band, Fig is one performer you will not want to miss!
The Jeremy Band – The eponymous band led by 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 Michigander and his band can stake their rightful place in the IPO Hall Of Fame!