Toronto’s Man Made Hill double dips into mutant funk

Plus hear new music from Sheer Agony, Tasseomancy, and a mixtape from Debaser.

September 25, 2015

No Rest for the Obsessed is a column spotlighting some of the most exciting new music AUX’s Associate Editor Jesse Locke finds each week. It began in 2010 for Calgary’s dearly departed alt-weekly FFWD, and takes its name from a Lightning Bolt song.

Man Made Hill – “Double Dippin'”

Man Made Hill is the one-man mutant funk machine operated by Toronto’s Randy Gagne. His 2014 album Lotsa Thoughts from the always reliable Pleasence Records was a stone-cold classic featuring the late nite summer jam “Constant Touching” and its video’s prominent planking on a ladder. Gagne has now followed it up with the first taste of his upcoming platter Totally Regular set for release from Orange Milk Records. “Double Dippin” is the slinkiest anthem to salsa and sour cream since “Da Dip” (OK, that might be a stretch). The suitably goopy video from Jesi the Elder features a clay likeness of Gagne’s head carved out and filled with Sriracha. Take a dip!

Sheer Agony – “I Have A Dream”

Montreal’s jangle-pop cutups Sheer Agony recently stepped up to the biggish leagues with a signing to Couple Skate Records. Their debut LP Masterpiece (not just a clever name) is out next month and to celebrate they’ve got a new video starring singer Jackson MacIntosh as a sax-slinging cop with dreams of Gerry Rafferty glory. The stylishly grainy video from Freelove Fenner‘s Peter Woodford features cameos from friends and band members as cartoonish versions of themselves spread throughout a certain Montreal venue (that shall remain nameless).

Tasseomancy – “Braid. Wind is Coming”

Toronto-via-Halifax twin sisters Sari and Romy Lightman resurfaced earlier this year with the haunting Palm Wine Revisited on Healing Power Records. Tasseomancy’s vocal acrobatics and elegant arrangements featuring the always welcome sound of the steel drum make for one of the most impressive albums of the year. They’ve now served up a video for standout song “Braid. Wind is Coming”, which seems to riff on the traditional folk tune “Black Is the Colour (of My True Love’s Hair)”, previously tackled in various forms by Nina Simone, Patty Waters, and Body/Head. Super8 footage by Blake Blakely features candid shots of the band with playful film colouring and squiggly line drawings. A+ stuff all around.

Various Artists – Mood Ring (Debaser)

Ottawa’s Debaser is a radio show and live music series spearheaded by the tireless efforts of Rachel Weldon and Emily McQuarrie. Earlier this month, they released their first genre smushing compilation featuring a fantastic selection of artists from across the country such as Victoria’s Freak Heat Waves, Halifax’s Special Costello and JFM, Toronto’s New Fries, Montreal’s Brave Radar and Hand Cream, Hull’s Fet.Nat and Les Coconuts, and Ottawa’s band name of the year contenders Weed Mom. Cassette copies of Mood Ring are available from the Debaser bandcamp (or as a PWYC download) with some freaky styley cover art from Michael DeForge.

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