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Showtime

Sunday 12:30 am

Origin

Toronto, Ontario

Genres

Garage, Indie, Post-punk, Rock

Connect

Casper Skulls

Casper Skulls emerged from the Toronto exurbs in 2015, bursting onto the local scene with a studied sound and supercharged live performances. Following an early 7” on the band’s own label, Hip Priest, the quartet released the Lips & Skull EP on Buzz Records in late 2016. Described by MTV as a collection of “confrontational art rock that bleeds with sincerity,” and drawing comparisons to luminaries like Television, The Fall (The Toronto Star), Pavement, and Sonic Youth (Noisey), the EP attracted immediate attention from audiences first in Toronto and increasingly up and down the Eastern seaboard as the band toured outside of Canada for the first time and began sharing stages with acts like Cloud Nothings, Thurston Moore, Suuns, Weaves, The Julie Ruin, Speedy Ortiz, Greys, and Hop Along.

Over the course of their young career the band’s sound has remained difficult to pin down, shifting through a broad collection of influences and jamming a raft of new ideas into each song, giving the impression that the 7” and the EP were “just the tip of the iceberg” (Noisey). The band’s debut full length, Mercy Works, released November 3rd via Buzz Records, only serves to deepen that impression, making good on their early promise with a release that constitutes a startlingly ambitious statement of intent.

The album, which was recorded in early 2017 with co-producer/engineer Josh Korody (Fucked Up, Dilly Dally), and mixed by Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Death Cab For Cutie), is densely arranged, intricately written and performed with an uncommon earnestness. While the rough and ready post-punk and lo-fi early ’90s indie influences present on the band’s first recordings still provide the foundation, there is a sense of scale on display in their swelling guitar figures and sweeping string arrangements (provided by Toronto musician Paul Erlichman) that is mirrored by the songwriting of dual lead vocalists Melanie St. Pierre and Neil Bednis (originally from Sudbury). The real-life couple seek to represent lived experience in immense detail – engaging with a diverse palette of references, both musical and lyrical, to explore two intensely personal perspectives of emotional growth.

Abigail Lapell

Toronto, Ontario

Afrikana Soul Sister

Montréal, Québec

Afro Madness Drum Troupe

Sudbury, Ontario

Aleksi Campagne

Montréal, Québec

Alvvays

Toronto, Ontario

Andrew Queen and the Campfire Crew

Campbellford, Ontario

Arkells

Hamilton, Ontario

Aron d’Alesio

Hamilton, Ontario

BBBRTHR

Sudbury, Ontario

Bill & Joel Plaskett

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Binaeshee-Quae

Biigtigong First Nation, Ontario

Black Bull Moose Singers

Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Ontario

Bonsa

Burkina Faso via Montréal, Québec

C.R. Avery

Vancouver, British Columbia

Canailles

Montréal, Québec

Casper Skulls

Toronto, Ontario

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Montréal, Québec

CKLU Open Stage

Sudbury, Ontario

Connie Kaldor

Montréal, Québec

David Cordero (Meltdown Winner)

Chiapas, Mexico via Sudbury, Ontario

Doctor Nativo

Guatemala

Donné Roberts

Madagascar via Toronto, Ontrio

Edouard Landry

Sudbury, Ontario

Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Fresh Kils & Vekked

Toronto, Ontario

Guitars Alive Quartet

Sudbury, Ontario

HellnBack

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Iskwé

Winnipeg, Manitoba via Hamilton, Ontario

Jane’s Party

Toronto, Ontario

JoPo & The RiZe

Sudbury, Ontario

Julie & The Wrong Guys

Toronto, Ontario

King Abid

Tunisia via Montréal, Québec

Kira May

Toronto, Ontario

Laetitia Zonzambé

Central African Republic via Montréal, Québec

Lee Harvey Osmond

Hamilton, Ontario

Les Barricades

Montréal, Québec

Les Deuxluxes

Montréal, Québec

Lisa LeBlanc

Rosaireville, New Brunswick

Mama’s Broke

Nova Scotia

Mara Tremblay

Hauterive, Québec

Matt Foy

Sudbury, Ontario

Mickey O’Brien

Copper Cliff, Ontario

Murder Murder

Sudbury, Ontario

NiLLa & Ghettosocks

Toronto, Ontario

Orlando Julius & The Afrosoundz

Lagos, Nigeria

Party Cannon Mystery Cruise w/ Casper Skulls

Various

Pat Maloney

Greely, Ontario

Paul Elter, Photographer

Chelsea, Québec

Paul Loewenberg & Richard Mende

Sudbury, Ontario

Richard Inman

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Rodney Meilleur

Chelmsford, Ontario

Russell deCarle

Toronto, Ontario

Seth Bernard

Lake City, Michigan

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet

Toronto, Ontario

Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son

Canada

Sulfur City

Sudbury, Ontario

Team T&J

Toronto, Ontario

The Keyframes (Meltdown winner)

Sudbury, Ontario

Workshop: Banjo Journey

Various

Workshop: Bleeps & Bloops

Various

Workshop: Community Drums with Jeff Stewart & Michael Mascioli

Sudbury, Ontario

Workshop: Fiddle Me This

Various

Workshop: Flowers Grow in Seedy Places

Various

Workshop: Guitar Gurus

Various

Workshop: Roots & Wings

Various

Workshop: Sad Song Sunday

Various

Workshop: Soul Power

Various

Workshop: Stripped Down

Various

Workshop: The Cypher

Various

Workshop: The Nomads

Various

Workshop: The Songs of Willie P. Bennett

Various