(Un)Covered Round-Up: March-May 2016

I may have mentioned that I write a column for idobi about song covers. Here are the ones that have been posted since March!

AND, even though I wrote a review of V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows here, I also wrote a review for idobi, which you can check out here!


Top Ten Albums of 2015 [+ link to Mind the Gap]

As usual, I’ve made my list of the best albums of the year, including links to any reviews I wrote on them. You can click here for a playlist featuring two of my favourite songs from each release!

top ten of 2015

1) That’s the Spirit – Bring Me the Horizon
2) American Candy – The Maine
3) American Beauty/American Psycho – Fall Out Boy
4) Future Hearts – All Time Low
5) Life’s Not Out to Get You – Neck Deep
6) Blurryface – twenty one pilots
7) Life in Real Time – Paradise Fears
8) Automatic – Don Broco
9) Sounds Good, Feels Good – 5 Seconds of Summer
10) Vikings – New Politics

There was lots of other good albums this year, including Knuckle Puck’s Copacetic, The Wonder Years’ No Closer to Heaven, Young Guns’ Ones and Zeros, Muse’s Drones, We Are Harlot’s self-titled debut, and Nate Ruess’s solo release, Grand Romantic.

What made your list of best albums?

Get up for the money, for the power, the fame

As you may (or may not) know, I was in London for a week with my sister, and we made it a point to hit up a couple of concerts. The second show of our trip was Don Broco at the O2 Brixton Academy.


We saw Don Broco two years ago, and their album, Automatic, was one of our most anticipated releases this year, so we were pretty excited to be seeing them play a even bigger venue.

Here’s what I learned: Brixton isn’t the greatest neighbourhood. We have venues in sketchy parts of town here too, but I wouldn’t recommend hanging out in that area at night (no offense if you happen to live/love Brixton).

The first band was American pop-rockers Symmetry. I really enjoyed them: they had a The Summer Set meets Man Overboard with perhaps a dash of Paradise Fears (mostly because they played a fantastic cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar” in the middle of their set).

The next two band were Arcane Roots and Coasts. I have to admit, I took a catnap during Arcane Roots because I was completely exhausted and could feel a headache coming on, but from what I heard, they sounded like a male-fronted version of Tonight Alive. I honestly can’t remember what Coasts sounded like, but I know I enjoyed them (I was a little bit more awake during their set!).

Finally, Don Broco came out, opening with one of my favourite Automatic tracks, “I Got Sick”, followed by one of my other favourite DB songs, “You Wanna Know”.

One of the best things about Don Broco is how completely ridiculous they are (I say that with affection). Few bands would take to a palm tree-decorated stage in white pants, but they did. Few bands would synchronize their dance moves, but they do. And few bands would have a female string quartet join them on stage for the last few songs, but they sure as heck did.

They were energetic and ecstatic to be on stage (it was their biggest headliner show to date and it was sold out), and were more than ready to have a good time, playing a lot of songs from Automatic, but also a good selection from their 2012 debut, Priorities, and even a throwback to their very early days with the somewhat absurd “Thug Workout” (the video is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen).

It’s okay if you listen to these songs and don’t see the appeal, I get that they’re not for everyone. But there’s something awesome about how unapologetic Don Broco is – how they pretty much do whatever they want but still manage to make audiences scream and dance along. It’s refreshing to see a band with a sense of humour, a band that is aware of how lucky they are and take their music seriously, but don’t let their (money, power) fame get to their head.

I won’t even raise an eyebrow, say I wish you all the luck

I was hoping that today’s Music Monday would be a re-direct to my review of Don Broco‘s new album, Automatic, but since it’s still in the editing stage, here’s one of my favourite new tracks instead.

That Spanish-style guitar, am I right? Gorgeous. It gives a different flavour to this song, but it’s still classic DB.

If you’re looking for a band to party to, I highly recommend checking out Don Broco.

You wanna know

Here’s a super speedy Music Monday because I have a feeling jet lag is going to hit me really soon and I may fall asleep on my laptop…

On Saturday (December 7), Ro and I saw Don Broco at the Camden Roundhouse in London (England…not Ontario).

First of all: the Roundhouse is literally a round house. It’s awesome. And huge. Much bigger than I expected (max capacity is roughly 3000 people)…and since the show was sold out, the line to get in wrapped around the block.

Opening act, Lonely the Brave, was excellent. We looked up their songs beforehand, so they were vaguely familiar. Definitely looking forward to when they release a full album (as of now, they only have a 4-song EP).

Then it was Bad Rabbits –  which was an odd choice. They’re a fun live band (we’ve seen them two other times), but they didn’t really make sense with LTB and Don Broco.

The first time we saw BR was when they opened for Travie McCoy two years ago – if that’s an indication of what kind of music they play.

Then Don Broco came out.

The one in the white jacket is Rob, the lead singer, but I don’t know the rest of them.

They were fantastic! I have to admit, I only know lyrics to about half their songs (and even then, I don’t have all the words memorized), but I loved hearing the songs I do know. And since they don’t seem to be making plans to come to North America (and even if they were, it could take them years to make it across – Deaf Havana are only just headlining the US/Canada in January/February and they’ve been around for at least five years), it was nice to get a chance to see them live.

Two things:

1) The Europeans seem to like their music LOUD. EXTRA EXTRA LOUD. I could feel the bass vibrating through my chest, and that was just during Lonely the Brave’s very short set! Don’t misunderstand: I love that feeling, and I love that they turn the speakers all the way up. I just wish they did the same here.

2) European circle pits are the scariest things in the world. I don’t ever want to get stuck near one, because I would probably die.