Underground Toronto Artists
Thoughts | Dan Rona
Song: Sex Drugs & Camping
XELΛRΛIN is a producer whose music will take you on a complete trip. His lo-fi, atmospheric sound with heavy bass and punching drums carry you away to a new state of mind. I would describe his production style as unique in how he melds various sounds to create an ambience beneath all the layers to create a feeling of floating in space. “Sex Drugs & Camping” starts off with calming water samples to complement the velvety synth, trippy vocals, and pounding drums. Add sex moans for effect because what track named “Sex Drugs & Camping” would be complete without some steamy samples? XELΛRΛIN is currently on hiatus, but be on the lookout for new music sometime in the future.
Song: Bye Baby
EBHONI is a 16 year-old singer who recently performed at the 2017 edition of NXNE. Her music is heavily R&B based with pop influences with vocals evoking Beyoncé - which is fitting seeing as she lists Queen Bey as one of her major influences. EBHONI’s sound is dark and melancholy at times, but in her song “Bye Baby” produced by fellow Torontonian, XELΛRΛIN (see above), we get the opposite impression. With a bubblegum pop sound based in her R&B background and maximalist electro influences, “Bye Baby” is an instant crowd pleaser and a fresh approach to pop R&B. The various layers in the sound catch the listener off-guard at times, but in a way that keeps you coming back to try and dissect this masterful production. Check out her “Mood Ring EP” which dropped earlier this year.
KILLY is a young hip-hop artist hailing from the East end hopping on the new-age hip-hop/trap-influenced sound. He has a bright future ahead of him – his track “Killamonjaro” is his first to really catch some hype with the video gaining over 1.4 million views on YouTube since February. The beat on this song absolutely slaps and KILLY goes in on the beat, not holding back. Throughout the track he raps about partying, drugs, and his come-up while giving off some melodic trap vibes à la Travis Scott. “Killamonjaro” is a perfect song for turning up at a party or even some (hype) late night driving. Check out more tracks and anticipate new music on his SoundCloud profile.
Overlapse is an alternative R&B trio. Members include Quin Kiu, Marie Ko, and Rhys Darnell-Martin. They released their debut LP, There’s Nothing in the Annex, in late 2016. Each track has tension brewing beneath the surface, growing and waning throughout the album. Sorrow, frenzy, and madness come out in each track, pulling the listener into the ephemeral lifestyle of a young adult trying to find purpose and survive school. From drug-induced regrets to failed relationships, each track causes emotions to strain through your chest and burst out. The lead track “165” starts of chill, but dark and melancholy with muted, somber vocals. The dark ambience and buzzing electric guitars swell into the breakdown where the drums just hit repeatedly with pleading vocals underneath - all the tension bursts through, only to calm back down for chill, flowing vocals. Keep checking their SoundCloud for new music.