Best of 2016: #ygkPlaylist for 2016
Our monthly mixtape has featured some of Kingston’s best and brightest musical talents over the past year. The #ygkPlaylist continues to highlight new and familiar releases from an unbelievable number of established artists and aspiring new acts throughout the city. With so many great bands calling Kingston home at one time or another, the depth of the local talent pool has made the task of curating the monthly playlist both enjoyable and challenging.
We’ve tied-in the #ygkPlaylist with big events such as the Skeleton Park Arts Festival, MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company’s Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival, Homegrown Live as well as Tone Deaf. The playlist has covered even more ground it’s second year of existence, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see it continue to grow as a true showcase of Kingston’s finest talent.
Regular listeners may have noticed that we have yet to release the playlist for December. Similar to this time last year, we held off on this month’s release as we were busy curating an ultimate playlist that features our favourite tracks from all of the previous playlists we shared this past year. Without further delay, our Best of 2016 series kicks off with the #ygkPlaylist for 2016. Happy listening!
Katie Beth: an aspiring educator, accomplished musician/songwriter, and exciting radio personality heading CFRC’s Indie Wake Up Call. Raised on the prairies, in the North End of Winnipeg, Katie developed a passion for music, art and education. She writes songs that encourage the audience to throw caution the wind and sing along, writing mostly for guitar but she also plays ukulele. Find Katie Beth on SoundCloud and Twitter.
Shushlang: This quartet defines their unusual name as “that perfectly serendipitously appointed moment of realization….SHUSHLANG!” These guys regularly fill dance floors in downtown ygk with their brand of psychedelic funk mixed with blues and rock. You can often find them rocking with Mojo Shooter and Nothin’ But Mental at The Toucan and The Mansion. They recently did an East Coast tour and released their first album this past November. Find Shushlang on Facebook and Twitter.
Warmer: fresh off the release of their second album, Peak Health, which was recorded in the Queen St. Jam Space and The Tavern, amongst other locales. The band describes Peak Health as “a journey into the vines, never to be seen again”, and I’m betting you’ll get lost in their sound just as much as I did. Warmer consists of Cecily Taylor (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Laura Kelly (drums, bass), Kiel Vereecken (drums, bass), and Joseph Harvey (lead guitar). Find Warmer on BandCamp, Facebook and Cecily on Soundcloud.
Dave Barton: this jazz guitarist and composer began by trying to copy Chet Atkins at the age of 10, and by the time he turned 16, he was gigging in dance bands. Dave went on to study classical guitar, composition and education at Queen’s University (BMus 1981, BEd 1982). Over the years, he has taught high school band and guitar classes, and was also a guidance counsellor and special education teacher. Dave currently teaches in the St. Lawrence College Music and Digital Media program. Find Dave online on Youtube and Soundcloud.
Kingstown New Mississippi: Kingstown New Mississippi plays original blues and roots music, which is very laid back and danceable. The quartet is comprised of Earl “Street Corner” Coleman (lead guitar), DUKE (bass), Gary “Zap King” Lavallee (drums) and Roger Dorey (aka Reverend Freddie Vendetta, vocals , rhythm guitar). You can catch them during Homegrown at the RCHA at 3pm. Find Kingstown New Mississippi on Soundcloud.
Talk of the Street: This octet of Kingston lads plays tunes rooted heavily in R&B and Soul, with influences from Funk, Blues and Jazz, creating a diversity of rhythms and grooves. Adding a couple of saxes, a trumpet and two vocalists to the standard guitar, bass and drum outfit, these guys promise to make you dance til you drop. They’ll performed as part of Porch Jazz at this year’s Skeleton Park Music Festival. Find Talk of the Street on Bandcamp and YouTube.
Space Cadet: Space Cadet is the brainchild of Chris Koster, a name you’ll undoubtedly recognize as the lead guitarist for The Glorious Sons. Through this alter-ego, Koster explores new, electro-inspired angles, which are prominently featured on Space Cadet’s debut album titled Win Win. The unencumbered persona allows Koster to channel thoughts and “say what ever that little drunk monkey inside of him felt at any given time.” Local collaborators appearing on Win Win include Jonathan Stewart (Saxophone), Danielle Lennon (Violin), as well as vocal contributions from Emily Fennell, Justin Bird, Kody A Paul, Natasha Pasternak, Brett Emmons, Reuben de Groot, Zane Whitfield, and Sean Kelly. Find Space Cadet on YouTube and Facebook.
Greg Ball: Chances are good that you’ve already heard of Greg Ball. He can be found playing regularly in various venues around town. He moved to Kingston about 15 years ago to focus on his band The Harpies, who ended up splitting after the release of their first album in 2004. It was then that he met Tragically Hip guitarist Paul Langlois and was asked to join his project The Campfire Liars Club. In 2011, Langlois released Greg’s debut album on his label Ching Records. They have been working together ever since and Greg has released 2 more albums in that time. Find Greg Ball on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Slow Man Tofu: hot on the trails of his 2015 EP Calm Me Down, Slow Man Tofu (aka David Parker) has just released his latest project titled Steer. Parker describes Slow Man Tofu as straight-ahead rock, whereas his other projects have him creating experimental music and collaborating with a diverse group of musicians and a poet as well. Interesting note: those looking to snag Slow Man Tofu’s new album will be delighted to learn that they can purchase it on cassette (20 copies available). Find Slow Man Tofu on Bandcamp and Twitter.
Kasador: Kasador has had a very busy summer, playing shows all over Ontario and parts of Quebec. You may have caught them Rockin’ The Square alongside Wintersleep back in June. Their one date in Brooklyn on July 1st has them turning their attention to the US, with an extensive tour being planned for 2017. Their first self-titled EP was released on September 13th 2016 and the video for their single, “Neighbourhood”, prominently features downtown Kingston. Find them on: SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Konig: this solo electronic pop artist is otherwise known as Nadia Pacey. Konig’s SoundCloud is saturated with over two dozen provocative tracks, which she categorizes as bedroom pop or dream pop. Earlier in 2016 she released a tidy, 6-track album titled Leave the Window Open, while her back catalog has at a few other albums for listeners to peruse. In spite of Konig’s confession that she is “in desperate need of a manager”, I think you’ll agree that she is getting along just fine without one. Find Konig on: SoundCloud, Facebook and Twitter.
Every month, we comb Soundcloud looking for sounds that are unique to Kingston. We are constantly seeking out active musicians to show off to the local community and beyond. If you’re a musician who wants to be included in a future #ygkPlaylist, the first step is to get your original music up on Soundcloud and then follow us. We promise to follow you back, listen to your work and consider it for the monthly #ygkPlaylist.