Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00


Paper Bag

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If you head out of Toronto towards Montreal on the 401, around the 240 km mark on the banks of Lake Ontario, you'll hit Kingston, a smallish city that in a rock sense, punches above its weight and is home to the indie rock duo, PS I Love You. Formed by guitarist/bassist Paul Saunier and drummer Benjamin Nelson back in 2006, the aptly named Death Dreams is their second album and impressive follow up to their 2010 debut Meet Me At The Muster Station. Listening to PS I Love You is instantly confounding if you know beforehand that they number just two people and even more so if you consider one of them is the drummer. Where then, does that cacophony of powerful sound stem from. The answer is at Saulnier's feet, the end product of a mesmerising array of effect pedals that give the impression that you are listening to a fully fledged band.

2012 is already shaping up as a year that has seen the return of hard arsed guitar music. In terms of skirting the boundaries of vitality, last year was largely dominated by electronic genres of different persuasions so its refreshing to see guitars back and contributing appropriately. Death Dreams is an album chock full of nods to the past and the present; hooks, licks, solos and razor like melodies coalesce around Saulnier's indecipherable yelp that yield up his melancholic, introspective and at times anxious lyrics. It's a step forward from their debut with longer, more fully formed tracks and a discernable thematic approach - dark anguish.

The title track introduces proceedings taking you on a trip into that darkness before 'Sentimental Dishes' makes an all too abrupt entrance, with its squalling guitar ripping the place to shreds. A better segue would have been appropriate. 'Don't Go' sports a melodic disposition and two excellent riffs, one full of space and delay, that make the track an infectious listen. It turns on a cacophonous deafening roar half way through and ends with the aforementioned riff, swirling delay, busy percussion and space to burn. The powerful rock and roll stomper 'Toronto' is dominated by a massive beat while 'Future Dontcare' rests on its consistent bass line which provides the platform for the sheen emanating from the multiple guitar tracks.

After the immediacy of its opening, there's definitely a touch of Sonic Youth about the two more circumspect sections of 'How Do You' as Saulnier loops the riff and applies off kilter licks over the top in the first and strips it back about as bare as PS I Love You get. 'Princess Towers' is an almost exhausting ride while 'Red Quarter', with its familiar riff takes things down a notch and holds the second stanza together. There's an almost Velvet Underground nod in its elongated bridge section before Saulnier finishes with a multitude of squalls and a big melody that sounds like Big Star on steroids. As with 'Toronto, the wistful 'Saskatoon' again geographically represents their country of origin and reflects their travails on the road touring their last record. Closing track 'First Contact' begins with contemplative acoustic guitar before a defiant driving rock disposition appears. The massive guitar riff that takes the track beyond its rock stomping verse is one of the best I've heard for a while, oscillating as it does back and forth for around 15 seconds.

If there has to be a Canadian indie rock battle between PS I Love You and Vancouver's Japandroids, the former for this reviewer wins hands down and a mythical win over such a formidable 'competitor' is high praise indeed. Death Dreams is a record full of nuance and cleverly constructed counterpoints that unbelievably all stem from Saulnier's virtuosity.  The inventive nature of PS I love You shines through, rendering indie rock still as vital as it ever was.

James Stocker - July 2, 2012.


Princess Towers

PS I Love You (CAN)
From the album, 'Death Dreams', Paper Bag.

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Official Video

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April 22, 2014



Self Released

SoftSpot Facebook

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1. King Porus
2. You/Yours
3. Black Room Blues
4. Gathering
5. Pickup Lines
6. Crosswinds
7. Hera
8. The New York Times


April 15, 2014


Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Buzz Records

Odonis Odonis Official Site

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1. Tension
2. Are We Friends
3. Order In The Court
4. New Obsession
5. Breathing Hard
6. Mr Smith
7. Release
8. Angus Mountain
9. Office Sluts
10. Highnote
11. Transmission From The Moon
12. Alexa Wait

April 15, 2014


Under Color Of Official Right

Hardly Art

Protomartyr Facebook

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1. Maidenhead
2. Ain't So Simple
3. Want Remover
4. Trust Me Billy
5. Pagans
6. What The Wall Said
7. Tarpeian Rock
8. Bad Advice
9. Son Of Dis
10. Scum, Rise!
11. I Stare At Floors
12. Come & See
13. Violent
14. I'll Take That Applause

April 1, 2014




Future Islands Official Site

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1. Seasons (Wating On You)
2. Spirit
3. Sun In the Morning
4. Doves
5. Back In The Tall Grass
6. A Song For Our Grandfathers
7. Light House
8. Like The Moon
9. Fall From Grace
10. A Dream Of You And Me


March 25, 2014


Lost In The Dream

Secretly Canadian

The War On Drugs Official Site

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1. Under The Pressure
2. Red Eyes
3. Suffering
4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
5. Disappearing
6. Eyes To The Wind
7. The Haunting Idle
8. Burning
9. Lost In The Dream
10. In Reverse


March 18, 2014




Real Estate Official Site

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1. Had To Hear
2. Past Lives
3. Talking Backwards
4. April's Song
5. The Bend
6. Crime
7. Primitive
8. How Might I Live
9. Horizon
10. Navigator


March 11, 2014


Present Tense


Wild Beasts Official Site

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1. Wanderlust
2. Nature Boy
3. Mecca
4. Sweet Spot
5. Daughters
6. A Pregnant Pause
7. A Simple Beautiful Truth
8. A Dog's Life
9. Past Perfect
10. New Life
11. Palace


March 4, 2014


Burn Your Fire For No Witness


Angel Olsen Official Site

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1. Unfucktheworld
2. Forgiven/Forgotten
3. Hi-Five
4. White Fire
5. High & Wild
6. Lights Out
7. Stars
8. Iota
9. Dance  Slow Decades
10. Enemy
11. Windows


February 25, 2014



Caldo Verde

Sun Kil Moon Official Site

Buy here (CD Only - no vinyl release)

1. Carissa
2. I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love
3. Truck Driver
4. Dogs
5. Pray For Newtown
6. Jim Wise
7. I Love My Dad
8. I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
9. Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes
10. Micheline
11. Ben's My Friend


February 18, 2014


Three Love Songs

Orchid Tapes

Ricky Eat Acid Facebook

Buy limited edition vinyl here

Download free digital version here

1. There Is Only You In The Light & Nothing Else
2. Driving Alone Past Roadwork At Night
3. Inside My House; Some Place I Keep Dreaming About
4. Big Man's Last Trip Outside
5. In Rural Virginia; Watching Glowing Lights Crawl From The Dark Corners Of The Room
6. Inside Your House; It Will Swallow Us Too
7. It Will Draw Me Over To It Like It Always Does
8. In My Dreams We're Almost Touching
9. God Puts Us All In The Swimming Pool
10. Outside Your House; The Lights Went Out & There Was Nothing
11. I Can Hear The Heart Breaking As One
12. Starting Over


February 11, 2014



We Were Never Being Boring

Be Forest Facebook

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1. Totem
2. Captured Heart
3. Lost Boy
4. Ghost Dance
5. Airwaves
6. Totem II
7. Colours
8. Sparkle
9. Hideaway


February 4, 2014


The Age Of Fracture

Tough Love Records

Cymbals Facebook

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1. Winter '98
2. The Natural World
3. You Are
4. Empty Space
5. The 5%
6. The Fracture Of Age
7. Like An Animal
8. Erosion
9. This City
10. The End
11. Call Me




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1. Beautiful Criminal
2. Psychic Trauma
Cloud Nothings (USA)
3. Seasons (Waiting On You)
Future Islands (USA)
4. No Romance
Tirzah (ENG)
5. Copper Thief
Case Conrad (SWE)
6. Interference Fits
Perfect Pussy (USA)
7. The Space Between Us
+/- (USA)
8. Battles
9. Come & See
Protomartyr (USA)
10. Carmine
Cloud Boat (ENG)





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