Fast Romantics / Begonia / Years of Ernest at Meteor Friday Nov 8th $10 advanced / $12 Door / 9:00pm Doors Fast Romantics Fast Romantics have been blurring the lines between
Fast Romantics / Begonia / Years of Ernest at Meteor Friday Nov 8th
$10 advanced / $12 Door / 9:00pm Doors
Fast Romantics have been blurring the lines between modern indie-rock, classic pop, and rock n’ roll for some time, carving their own unique path to radio success. Led by singer-songwriter Matthew Angus, Fast Romantics have begun to earn a loyal following with their irresistible pop hooks, anthemic live shows, and Angus’ emotive and personal approach to lyricism, often infused with the political and social chaos of the times. Their second LP American Love, produced by the dynamic duo of Gus Van Go and Werner F (Wintersleep, Arkells, Whitehorse) was introduced to the world via their breakthrough single Julia in 2015. “Julia” ended up climbing the commercial and AAA radio charts on both sides of the border, and eventually won the SOCAN national songwriting prize in 2016. The second single from American Love — the anthemic “Why We Fight”— broke the top 20 on the Canadian alternative rock charts (Mediabase) and hit #1 on the CBC R2 National Charts. Two more singles went on to reach the top 5 on R2 and continue to build up a demand for the band. And as a year of intensive touring for the record wound down in late 2017, Fast Romantics capped it off by being short-listed for the prestigious Anchor Award at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany. In 2018, while the band continued to play shows and festivals to support “American Love,” the band chose to look inward as it contemplated the sound of its followup album. Intense months of writing and sound-searching resulted in a decision to self-produce for the first time since the band’s inception, and a new single — “Mexico” — was released in the fall of 2018, marking the beginning of an exciting creative phase leading up to what will be the production of their third LP. Now, with the record mostly completed and gearing up for a fall 2019 release, the band prepares to release the album’s summery lead-off single, Do No Wrong, on May 24 ahead of what will be a year of intense touring around North America and Europe.
Three years ago, Alexa Dirks began to transform. Dirks—an eminently talented vocalist equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads—had made a name for herself in local circles for her work in ensembles like the Juno-winning Chic Gamine. But in 2016, she stepped forward, redubbing herself ‘Begonia’ and signalling the blossom of a dynamic and intriguing artist: a glittery supernova who felt like music’s best-kept secret.
With her long-awaited debut album Fear out September 13, that secret will finally come out. Fear is a deeply personal album, at once bursting with ruminations on solitude, self-doubt, anxiety, and panic, all bundled up in that serene feeling that comes with an artist fully embracing themselves in both the past and the present tense. She wrote and co-produced the record with a familiar team: Matt Schellenberg and Matt Peters of Royal Canoe, along with Marcus Paquin, who has previously worked with The National, Arcade Fire and Local Natives.
On stage, Begonia dresses in bold, sometimes bright-coloured wardrobe: it’s how she feels most powerful, “almost like a superhero version of herself,” she says. On most tracks, her invincibility is buoyed by profound vulnerability. The title track begins with frantic clapping, and the lyrics take the cue: Begonia rattles through anxiety after anxiety, fear after fear, eventually culminating in a pained scream that acts as a pseudo-chorus we’ve all sung before. This is the power of Begonia: her music feels like something we’ve all been waiting for the chance to say, but couldn’t quite phrase, a throwback to something that’s never existed before.
Begonia’s debut full length album, Fear, is being released via Begonia’s own label imprint, Rex Baby Records (Birthday Cake/The Orchard) on September 13, 2019. The single Hanging On A Line has already gone #1 in Canada on CBC Music (Canada’s national public broadcaster). This is the second time Begonia has topped the chart in Canada, following #1 single Juniper in 2017. Begonia’s first solo EP, Lady in Mind, was well-received, being listed on NPR’s 10 Artists You Need To Know in 2017. Noisey wrote that, “Begonia has one of Canada’s most extraordinary voices, and thankfully she uses it to obliterate the misery from this world one live performance at a time.” NPR wrote that Begonia is “the place where where synth-pop meets old soul and scrappy meets sexy.”
8 (Friday) 9:00 pm - 9 (Saturday) 12:00 am
138 University Avenue West