Ontario Tag Team: Winston Marley and Trench Town Oddities release “Bonk”

In from The Alex Ian Agency, we are checking out Trench Town Oddities and Winston Marley (pictured above) following the release of “Bonk.” Here is some Trench Town Oddities by way of introduction:

Drunken Mermaid recommends both bands. Here’s the release:

Acoustic folk-rockers, the Trench Town Oddities and rock-reggae band Winston Marley have released a new split CD entitled `Bonk!` earlier this month. The Ontario Canada bands each contributed 2 new songs to the release as well as a cover version of their favorite song from the other band.

“Bonk!” marks a new chapter for both bands who, in the past, have both released CDs engineered by Roy Nichol (current touring drummer for Canadian rock legends April Wine). For “Bonk!”, both bands decided to take a more DIY approach and decided to record the EP themselves with Trench Town Oddities/Winston Marley guitarist Bix at the controls. The recording took place in the spring of 2015 at various houses, sheds and alleys, coming out as a rawer, more back to basics release for both bands. “Although both bands loved the way our CDs sounded with Roy, who is an amazing engineering, we both felt that a more back to basics approach for our next release would be something we’d like to explore” say Trench Town Oddities frontman Sean Harley. “So what better way to test the waters then by doing a split EP ourselves” he adds.

Both bands are currently writing new material for their respect next releases and performing select dates throughout the fall of 2015. In addition, the Trench Town Oddities are also in the planning stages with an as of now unnamed Toronto band for a spring tour of Ontario & Quebec as well as gearing up for the summer  2016 festival season in both the North Eastern United States and Eastern Canada.

`Bonk!` is available at all major online retailers including iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp and others.

Ummagma’s “Frequency” drops November 13

Our friends at Shameless Promotion PR have turned us on to Ummagma. Here’s their video for Orion:

From the release:

Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have confirmed details for the UK release of their EP ‘Frequency’. This mini-album will be available through Raphalite Records and is slated for release on November 13th. Alongside five original tracks, the EP features remixes from Cocteau Twins legend Robin Guthrie, Wales’ celebrated Lights That Change, and Malcolm Holmes of Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark (OMD).
Ummagma consists of Shauna McLarnon, who hails from Canada’s Yukon, and Alexander Kretov, who is from Ukraine. They are currently based in Peterborough, Canada. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2012, they have made a significant impact on the underground music scene. Their potent combination of uplifting and melancholic textured dreampop, shoegaze, postpunk, ambient and electronica rapidly gained them a sizeable international following despite the numerous issues they faced living between Canada and Ukraine.
‘Frequency’ follows the band’s two debut LPs ‘Antigravity’ and‘Ummagma’, which were simultaneously released in 2012. This release represents a slight departure from the first two albums, which whisked the listener through the romanticism of first meetings, big love, adventures abroad and optimistic dreaming through to the realities of birth, loss, death and departure. In contrast, ‘Frequency’ explores such themes as space and distance, timelessness, escapism, and the search for tranquility.

Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have blazed quite a trail for themselves in their short history. They’ve landed press coverage and radio play in more than 50 countries, including Rolling Stone Russia, and have managed to strike an endearing chord with a good number of ‘first wave’ shoegaze and dreampop artists, particularly from Creation Records and early 4AD rosters.

“Ummagma have something very special about them that you don’t find in many bands, that is an honest, believable & beautiful lyric delivered by an honest, believable & beautiful voice,” says Malcolm Holmes of OMD. “When you combine this with the swirling ambience of lush layered guitars, this duo end up with their own unique sonic landscape.” 

“This new release feels like a farewell kiss to a dear friend while, at the same time, embracing new horizons. Our music always reflects what is happening in our lives and, as we have left Ukraine for Canada because of the war happening there, this also means new beginnings. Now we are searching for new grounding, and still questioning everything we’ve just been through in the past few years. This comes out in this music. There is light here – now we must grow it and spread it,” explains Ummagma vocalist Shauna McLarnon.
While Ummagma may have been influenced by the likes of Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, The Sundays, Pink Floyd andSlowdive, they don’t immediately wear their influences on their sleeve. They have their own beautiful and unmistakeable sound and lead you on sonic trips and awesome detours. Ultimately they tell a story in an aesthetic that is wonderfully unique, invigorating and absolutely loaded with hope.