Vapor Showcase Roundup 2011

•April 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

On Wednesday, April 6th, VAPOR held its 3rd Independent Artist Showcase at Revival Bar in Toronto, in partnership with our friends at stealing time editing. Attendees from all aspects of the advertising, film, television, gaming and interactive realms enjoyed music by bands Sweet Thing, Freedom or Death, Grand Analog, and Humans.

Check out pics below!

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Vapor Showcase Artist of the Week: Humans

•March 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By now, you’ve learned all about the first three acts on the Vapor Independent Music Showcase 2011 bill — Freedom or Death, Sweet Thing and Grand Analog — but with less than a week until the big day, it’s time for us to round off the evening.  Finishing off the night will be Humans, an electronic duo from Vancouver  who have been generating buzz wherever they go.  Hot off performances at Canadian Music Week and South by Southwest, Humans are the next big thing that you haven’t heard yet.

Their album was described by Exclaim Magazine as “ridiculously fun,” and Humans themselves have said that “the purpose of the project is dancing and audience participation.”  We couldn’t think of a better way to end the evening’s performances.

Sounds Like:
“Vancouver, BC-based Humans are an inventive, refreshing duo focused on weaving solid, dirty electro with a touch of funk (thanks to Montreal native Peter Ricq) and the mellow crooning and reggae hooks of Robbie Slade.”
Exclaim Magazine

“At times, the desire to shake the floor overcomes the need to craft great pop songs, resulting in some overlong tracks. But by following their gut instincts rather than any formula Humans have succeeded where so many others have failed…Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq have crafted seven tracks that are both headphone masterpieces and dancefloor rump-shakers.”
— ChartAttack

“Humans have a sense of self-awareness and intuition that allows them meld elements from separate genres to create a unique experience in terms of their signature electro-based sound… With Slade’s vocals and handiwork on the guitar and keys, and Ricq’s obvious presence on the sampler, sequencer and drum machine, the duo create delicious medley of flavours for your ears. ”
— Lithium Magazine

Official Website
Humans on MySpace
Watch Humans’ video for “Bike Home”
Watch Humans’ “trailer” for “The End”
Watch Humans’ live performance footage
Follow Humans on Twitter
‘Like’ Humans on Facebook

Vapor Showcase Artist of the Week: Grand Analog

•March 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The clock is ticking as we approach our Vapor Independent Music Showcase (brought to you in partnership with our friends at Stealing Time!), which is now less than two weeks away!  The buzz is growing and we can’t wait to show you some of our favourite new musicians live on stage.

This week, we’d like to introduce you to Grand Analog, a raw hip-hop collective created in 2006. Its members are seasoned record collectors, musicians and self described beat junkies who you can easily find DJing at various clubs around Toronto or Winnipeg.  Band leader and creator, Odario Williams, describes the Grand Analog sound as “a beautiful mess of rap’n’roll, dub and soul”, using live instruments to bring a fresh, organic feeling to their music and particularly their stage performance.  “Grand Analog continues to sweeten its hip-hop cocktail by spiking the punch with everything they can get their hands on: blazing rock guitars, dubby reggae, wah-wah funk, Bo Diddley beats and even a smoking kazoo solo.”

If you didn’t hear them in Season 1 of Winnipeg’s own Less Than Kind or their track “Electric City” on Rookie Blue last season, you have plenty of opportunities to see the group in action in the near future.  Next month, you’ll be able to hear Grand Analog alongside those of Chali 2na and Aceyalone as a part of the Vapor Music-produced cover of Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaka,” one of five covers recorded for the upcoming feature film ‘Textuality’.  Hear them first when they hit the stage on April 6th at our Independent Music Showcase.

What are you waiting for?
Download Grand Analog, Chali 2na and Aceyalone’s cover of RUMP SHAKA

Sounds Like:
“A simmering summer party disc full of crackling vintage instruments and deep, organic beats.”
Winnipeg Free Press


“On Metropolis is Burning, Grand Analog brings together a diverse array of influences, ranging from psychedelic rock to reggae, but still manages to produce an album that is straight-up head nodding hip-hop.  In an era where genre-blending hip-hop is most commonly associated with rappers who dream of being wanky rock stars and awkward collaborations, it’s a welcome relief to hear an act that can draw from diverse sources while still staying true.”
— Exclaim Magazine

“The approach to beat-making is inventive, refreshing and stays away from cliches while still drawing on traditional hip-hop sampled genres. The rapping flows really well as Grand takes on any beat and plays with his words in a fun and engaging way. Choruses and hooks sit well in the groove, adding to the head bob, complementing the beats rather than smothering them. Good variety, satisfying throughout and definitely recommended.”
— BeatRoute Magazine

Grand Analog on MySpace
Watch Grand Analog’s video for “Her Daddy (Don’t Like Me)”
Watch Grand Analog’s video for “Take It Slow (Spaces and Places)”
Follow Grand Analog on Twitter
‘Like’ Grand Analog on Facebook

Vapor Showcase Artist: Sweet Thing

•March 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We’re but three weeks away from the Vapor Independent Music Showcase (brought to you in partnership with our friends at Stealing Time Editing), and we can’t wait for you to hear this year’s lineup live on stage.  To prepare you for April 6th, we’re introducing you to each performer in advance through our Artist of the Week series.

Sweet Thing cannot be characterized better than in their official bio, where they’re described as “a five-piece Toronto band that play infectious pop tunes. Sometimes they get pretty rocking, in that dramatic way that feels best when you clench your fist and raise it to the sky. Charged with dueling guitars, Fleetwood Mac-y harmonies, and energy up the wazoo, Sweet Thing are the musical equivalent of drinking a milkshake at a 50s diner where the waiter keeps jumping on the table (and you like it). Let’s call it ‘music to dance like a dork to’.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Their debut album was released last year, and their single “Change of Seasons” was included in the Vapor music-supervised soundtrack to the Ubisoft video game Shaun White Skateboarding.  Sure to become a household name very soon, Sweet Thing is one band you don’t want to miss.

Sounds Like:
“On the whole, Sweet Thing is what it would sound like if Michael Jackson was fronting Les Savy Fav. Throw this disc on after last year’s Spirits self-titled long-player and you’ve got the makings of a gooey, ’90s high school dance party.”
– Chart Attack

“Musically, the band is incredibly versatile; switching it up between pop, a little bit of blues, and even jazz.  Lead singer Owen Carrier, with his swoon-worthy vocals, alluring character, and polished 60’s style (think That Thing You Do), may just bet he most charismatic frontman in Canadian rock today.  Their skillful musicianship and blazing chemistry was truly inspiring.  This is undoubtedly only the beginning of what Sweet Thing has up their sleeve.”

— Sticky Magazine

“The band wears down your defences with the sheer sparkle of its songwriting. “Lazy Susan” and “Lorraine” prance like Spoon after a ’70s soft-rock bender, while “Winter Night” makes a run for the children-of-Coldplay club and succeeds with a smashingly universal and emotive girly-boy chorus. The production doesn’t obscure the band’s ability to rock out with disciplined aplomb on less fluffy songs on songs like the authentically Pixies-esque “Duotang” and the fun first single “Dance Mother.”  These kids can play.”

— Toronto Star

Official Website
Sweet Thing on MySpace
Watch Sweet Thing’s video for “Change of Seasons”
Watch Sweet Thing’s video for “Lazy Susan”
Watch Sweet Thing bake cookies (they’re “sweet”, after all!)
Follow Sweet Thing on Twitter
‘Like’ Sweet Thing on Facebook

Vapor Showcase Artist: Freedom Or Death

•March 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By now, we’re hoping our big news has spread like wildfire — Vapor Music (in partnership with our friends at Stealing Time Editing) is hosting our annual Independent Music Showcase next month, on April 6th, and you’re ALL invited.  Last year’s event was a smashing success, and featured performances by Hollerado, In-Flight Safety, Jay Malinowski (of Bedouin Soundclash) and Zeus.  This year’s lineup is set to be even better, and includes Sweet Thing, Grand Analog, Humans, and today’s Artist of the Week — Freedom or Death.

Already on critical music press radars and much blogged about, Toronto’s Freedom Or Death is the music-making duo of Fernandez (a classically trained pianist and DJ) and Sway (a vocalist and songwriter for various bands).  A gig at CMJ in New York City in October 2010 earned Freedom Or Death preview accolades from the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy section, claiming the band as one of the top 12 ‘must see’ bands of the 1200 at the festival. At home, blogs have buzzed with praise for early released tracks (their latest EP, “EGO,” drops in April), and here at Vapor, we feel the same way.

Their name, Freedom Or Death is a direct nod to the band’s desire to remain creatively independent. “We want to have the freedom to make the music and the artistic choices that we want. If we can’t have that freedom, we’d rather not put anything out, which is the death of our art,” the duo states.  Their artistic choices have been serving them and their fans well so far, and we can’t wait for you to hear them on April 6th.

Sounds Like:
“Earmilk said it best: ‘It’s like Bon Iver car pooled with the Junior Boys on the way to the Massive Attack concert – but they got snowed in.’”
– Indie Music Filter

“Freedom Or Death, a Toronto-based duo, express warmth whether they’re playing quiet folk guitars or electronic music under their engaging vocals. Wise is the executive who signs and nurtures them.”
– Wall Street Journal

“There’s a palpable ache at the heart (of the) Toronto duo that’ll be instantly recognizable to anyone who’s ever felt like they were moving in slow motion while a crush of strangers rushes past you…they can make an electronic keyboard feel as organic as a plank of oak”
— Toronto Star

Freedom or Death on MySpace
Watch Freedom or Death’s video for “Lost in Dances”
Watch Freedom or Death perform “Meter Maid” on AUX TV
Watch the ‘Making of’ video for the recording of Freedom or Death’s EP
Follow Freedom or Death on Twitter
‘Like’ Freedom or Death on Facebook

Listen to & Download:
“This Crowded Room” by Freedom Or Death

Vapor Independent Music Showcase 2011

•March 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This week, we’re thrilled to be able to announce the lineup for Vapor Music‘s Independent Music Showcase 2011 (brought to you in partnership with our friends at Stealing Time Editing), happening on Wednesday April 6th at Revival Bar in Toronto.  Tickets are available by invitation only, but shoot Heather an email at if you think we missed you!

This year’s featured artists cover a wide spectrum of musical genres, and we will be featuring an act a week until the big day.  Stay tuned to learn more about these fantastic musicians that are surely the next big things in the Canadian music scene!

Artist of the Week: Cut Copy

•February 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

In their review of electro band Cut Copy’s new album ‘Zonoscope,’ the famed Pitchfork Magazine states that “Even in the dead of winter, Zonoscope does its job beautifully. Imagine how it’ll sound when you don’t have to layer up to go outside.”  They raise a good point — very rarely is dance music associated with icy temperatures.  Even without the beach parties and warmth of the sun, Cut Copy is the kind of group that manages to get you up and moving, whatever the season.

Cut Copy is a group that’s been on our radar since the release of their debut LP in 2004, and their buzz has continued to grow with each subsequent album.  A couple years ago, we featured their track “Feel The Love” in an ad for Virgin Mobile, and with a third album under their belts (released earlier this month to critical acclaim), the group is as good as ever.

Cut Copy hits the stage in Toronto on April 7th — just in time for the layers to start coming off and the fun to begin.

Sounds Like:
“…distinctly pop sensibility that draws on classic AM radio pop singles from the 1970s and ’80s, with elements of vintage disco and synth pop that appeal to song-based listeners as well as the club kidz.”
— Allmusic Similar Artists: Air, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem


” The album’s impact lies instead in the band’s confidence in its own instincts and the clarity of its vision.  Beneath Cut Copy’s nods to forebears and its loving advocacy of early ’80s pop, Zonoscope’s the sound of a band beginning to trademark itself.”
— Resident Advisor

“In case you still needed a reason to give this album a listen, do it for “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution” and some of the finest electric xylophone you’re likely to hear on this side of Revenge of The Nerds talent show.  Zonoscope is a much needed glimpse of summer in a bleak winter world.”
— Blare

Official Website
Cut Copy on MySpace
Watch Cut Copy’s brand new video for “Need You Now”
Watch the “Making of” Cut Copy’s album ‘Zonoscope’
Watch Virgin Mobile’s ‘Bakery’ spot, featuring Cut Copy’s “Feel The Love”
Follow Cut Copy on Twitter
‘Like’ Cut Copy on Facebook