Toronto is having a grunge moment.
Photo by Tara Newell
There's a brooding current in Toronto rock that carries the vulnerability and pain of Hole's Live Through This. It's a welcome movement giving more female-identifying artists who rock the hell out their due along with opening a space for songs about emotional labour, mental health, consent, and more. Yi, a collaboration between Jesse Crowe of Beliefs and Jordan Allen of Rolemodel, deserves your attention on all counts. With the upcoming release of EP1 and EP2 on Hand Drawn Dracula, Yi establish a ying-yang approach to their intensity; confident in shoegaze and no-wave as much as more ambient, rhythmic spaces.
The duo confronts gaslighting on "Ladyfingers" off EP1, a song about "falling into someone else's emotional trap only to be blamed for setting it in the first place," Crowe describes. "I was in a weird place in life and was also spending every day from like 3-4 am writing lyrics. I felt fairly crazy and the lyrics were coming super easily." Crowe's rasp is a tender seethe over a distorted electric guitar and interruptions of radio tuner-like cacophony. "The music for this was done really quickly," Allen says. "It was written and recorded in probably 15 minutes. I record in the morning, and sometimes it's just really instinctive and fun like this." Chaos rules, but what completes "Ladyfingers" are its human moments, fingertips audibly skidding down strings recalling our own fragility.
Listen to "Ladyfingers" below:
Jill lives every single day like it's still 1994. Follow her on Twitter.