The best new music of 2016: Here are another nine Sask. artists you should listen to right now

What’s more precious than a pretty pony that poops free popcorn and burps free drink tickets? Saskatchewan’s musicians. Doy.

We love them and you should too. So here are nine new-ish tracks from some of these rare caring creatures that you should probably listen to right now.

Or else.


Aryn El Hefe – Smoke Stack

It’s not particularly difficult to imagine Aryn El Hefe taking up space on a sun-drenched stoop in order to craft the jig of a fleet-fingered guitar lick over a breathy folk croon. And on the five-song Smoke Stack EP, El Hefe manages to take listeners on a brief sojourn that includes late-night heart-to-hearts, a road trip in a dusty car with a broken air conditioner and a hissy cassette tape collection of the most exquisite guitar-driven folk you’ve never heard. And, of course, a tiny splash of lovelorn feels, as evidenced on the achey-swing of “Back Porch,” which sees El Hefe poking at the scab of a curiously still-beating-yet-bruised heart. /CM


Silent Sea – s/t

It’s next to impossible to fall into a swoon if there wasn’t a dance to precede it. But on their most recent four-song EP, Saskatoon’s Silent Sea provide the ethereal space and soundtrack for both. Laden with hooks and gentle dance rhythms, the group spends the majority of their four-song EP gently exploring the dark side of alt-rock shoegaze while infusing it with a wickedly devious hip-shaking shuffle. Skittling overtop the noir glide of anxious rhythms is singer Caila Ellerman, whose vocals provides a harmonic anchor to the oft-lithesome melodies. /CM


Shirley & The Pyramids – “Nothing is Real”

Call it ambience for the post-apocalyptic dance floor. Leading with a smoky kool-aid fade-in, the lead single from Shirley & The Pyramids’ upcoming full-length album wends and drones, but pops and hooks as noise riffs ping pong amidst snaky bass lines and the purgatory of infinite Krautrock drumming. Fog pop with tangible tendrils of melody in addition to the obligatory chime of meticulous-yet-meandering guitar work, file this under destructo-pop-wave. Or don’t, I dunno. /CM


Vagiant – “Just to Waste”

Animal rights. Human terror. Destruction of the environment. This is the subject matter that make up the vitriol that is Vagiant. A nice mix of sludging doom metal and crust punk is presented with cool rhythmic patterns and expansive vocal ranges from both members of the duo. Looking forward to listening to some more songs while I try to get my Bic lighter to actually fucking light this bong hit. /AS


Anna Haverstock – “These Years”

Existing in that sweet spot where laid back Broadway bustle mashes politely into prairies pop sensibilities, the predominant aesthetic on the latest track from Anna Haverstock sees sly guitar lines backed by big harmonies. Lite swells ebb around breezy, straightforward vocal delivery, while a pop rox-fueled rhythm section delivers an appropriate amount of thump. /CM


Chronobot/Algoma – split EP

Another decent effort by Saskatchewan monster men Chronobot. Though their riffs are predictable, all the right ingredients are there; the slow and heavy guitars, crashing drums, and vocals that sound like Cthulhu waking up with a hangover. Effects oscillate and skitter around like LSD-inspired bugs frantically crawling around under your skin. A wigged out Dracula hammers organ notes in frenzied effect. Pretty fucked up, and pretty cool. /AS


A Voice for Vultures – The Descent

Driven by the piano work of singer Jared Ens aka A Voice for Vultures, The Descent delivers a package of total tenderness wrapped in acoustic folk wending and winding. Amidst the depths of feels is an earnest voice amongst a swaying crop of backing instrumentation waiting patiently in the wings to add another soft-spoken layer to a collection of songs that revel in tiny nuances. However, despite sounding mournful at times, Ens occasionally opens up to jubilance, specifically on the spritely “Sword in my Side.” /CM


Shooting Guns – “Flavour Country”

Local senior citizens Shooting Guns prove yet again why they are the best in the biz. SG doesn’t beat you over the head with shit the way a lot of acts tend to do. Instead, they opt for subtlety and nuance, which is far more interesting and works better to lure the listener into a dreamlike state. /AS


Friends of Foes – Faults

Faults from Friends of Foes flows and fizzes with fuzzy melodies, frothy and frantic rhythms and a flock of vocal flourishes. For fans of flickering indie pop and dance floor frenzies, Faults finds the four-piece fully embracing fluid beats and fearless feelings. Word on the street is that this EP will make an appearance on lathe-cut vinyl in time for Record Store Day. Also, we ran out of alliterations. Frig. /CM

Want more Sask. super cool awesomeness? Click HERE for more of the best new music of 2016.