With band members hailing from Calgary to Australia – and a few spots between – GROUNDERS brings in influences from all corners of the earth. While their hometowns are scattered, the quintet is now based in Toronto, where they have been cultivating their psychedelic sound for the past four and a half years.
GROUNDERS shares its name with a blindfolded playground game and an orchard term for apples that fall off the trees and become applesauce, among other things. Even though the band’s name isn’t one-of-a-kind and lacks a unified backstory, its members don’t mask their annoyance with their pop culture namesakes.
“There’s a show on Netflix – The 100 – with [characters] named Grounders, so they stole our Google things,” says Evan Lewis, GROUNDERS’ guitarist. “We used to be at the top but now the top is The 100.”
Their last EP, Wreck of a Smile, was released in 2013, and they’ve been delicately crafting their first self-titled album, which was finally released in May of this year. It took the band four years to get their LP together, but the time was well-spent.
“We’re all very critical people, for better or worse,” says Daniel Busheikin, keyboardist. “And we’re all critical about certain things. After we made this record, it ended up being a good thing that we kept pushing ourselves to make something that would constantly excite us, would impress us, that we felt really good and confident about. We wanted our first record to be a statement of our band.”
The critical nature of the band members definitely slowed the creation of their debut. However, Busheikin credits the self-criticism to their ever-present musical innovation.
“We squashed a lot of ideas and threw stuff out and we kept moving forward,” he says.
And a statement it is. Their earlier sounds are represented in the track “Bloor Street and Pressure”, which the band says is an iteration of one of their oldest songs written together. Newer sonic experiences are obviously on the album as well, but the inclusion of some of their older influences helped to keep some of the charm from their first EP, which was made at a time when they approached their music very differently.
GROUNDERShas a definite gritty overlay to the psychedelic, ethereal nature of the album, which was not always the vibe that the band was aiming to create with their music. In their early stages, they played with a more complex sound, complete with intricate time changes and minimal rhythm. Lewis reminisces, “When we put out our EP we didn’t have drums.” After playing these songs to audiences who had a hard time dancing to their set, they decided to finally find a drummer and simplify the music. In dropping some of their complex production styles, GROUNDERS became simpler, but also gained timelessness.
Pulling away from complexity, GROUNDERS instead created a sound that is more accessible and relatable. Stripping down their music gave it a more special quality, but not in a way that the band members can even pin down.
“I think part of what makes it interesting is that you can’t put your finger on what makes it special [with that style of production],” Busheikin says. “There definitely is something. And that’s one of the most exciting things about that production style. Just having it resonate with you for a reason that you can’t exactly lock down.”
As for the band’s goals going forward, they are keeping them simple. “[We want to] put out a record every year and do it a lot quicker,” says vocalist and guitarist Andrew Davis. “We’re going to be in Calgary for a bit and we’re gonna start there.”
The meaning of Jazz Cartier’s Fleurever is rooted in duality. In the two years since his sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia, the artist has had to “[battle] the balances of love and money, risks and rewards, right and wrong, or living and dying”, alongside coming to terms with the throes of wealth and fame. Subsequently Fleurever—or, as he calls it, his “third project”—explores Cartier’s personal growth in the years following. With his newfound maturity in tow, Toronto’s rising rap star is on course to start a music revolution—well, that’s the idea anyway. Georgie caught up with Cartier to talk about gratitude, the rapper’s personal transformation, and the driving force behind Fleurever. G—Can you tell us a bit about your latest album Fleurever and the inspiration behind it? JC—Most of the inspiration came from growth, and a bit from my departure from Toronto. A lot of the record was made in my last days in Toronto, and just having that cloud over my head and knowing that I’d be leaving soon—it was more so showing my affection for the city that pretty much shaped my sound. G—Did you have a vision in mind when you started writing this album? JC—For the most part Fleurever is just myself and my
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Named for the Toronto area they grew up in, The Beaches are a far cry from a placid day on the lake. Led by singer/bassist Jordan Miller—with her sister and guitarist Kylie Miller, guitarist/keyboardist Leandra Earl and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel—the Canadian four-piece burst out of Toronto with their 2018 debut, Late Show, and have since built up an aura of dissident swagger. Taking home this year’s Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the all-fem rock quartet is bringing grunge, gloss, and 70s glamour to a predominantly male genre. Georgie caught up with Leandra to talk about the band’s latest music video, taking charge of their music, and three simple ways to keep women in the industry. G—Did you grow up together in Toronto? LE—Yeah, I met the girls in high school. Jordan and Kylie are sisters, so they’ve known each other a bit longer, but they grew up with Eliza in Toronto’s Beaches area. G—What kind of music were you listening to at that time? LE—We grew up listening to all of the music our parents listened to. That definitely influenced us while writing our debut album since we drew from a lot of the 70’s music that our