Musical staff

Exclaim Staff Pick! for August 8, 2022: ELIO, Channel Tres, the Zolas

Photos (clockwise from top left): Channel Tres by Leeay, the Zolas by Conor Cunningham, Rachel Bobbitt by Paige Paton, ELIO by Becca Hamel

Posted on August 08, 2022

No animals were harmed in the making of this week’s Staff Picks batch, but read on to find out how cute a punk rock goat and a “spacey” cat are. If this precious pair isn’t enough to multiply your intrigue, we have other pairings among us, including two Rachels to remember, a couple from Exclaim! New old faves and a double single – one of our favorite oxymorons!

Don’t forget to check out our album reviews section for more on the latest and greatest music releases.

Rachel Bobbitt
The ceiling could collapse
(Fantasy / Concorde)

Sure, the ceiling might crumble, but if it does, we’ll at least listen to the soulful folk rock songs of this Nova Scotia-raised Toronto songwriter. Chorale-style harmonies and elegiac strings create an elegant, baroque atmosphere that is occasionally sliced ​​by electric guitar courtesy of Justice Der.
Alex Hudson

Doll Spirit Vessel
“Something Small”
(Disposable America)

Doll Spirit Vessel’s “Something Small” begins as, well, something small: Kati Malison’s vocals settle heavily over a faceless beat and some sleepy-eyed guitar tendrils, evoking so many innocuous indie tracks. – insomniac pop. It’s when the collapsing puzzle of a chorus arrives that the magic of the Philly trio really comes to light. Understated yet complex, quiet with something louder stirring just below the surface, “Something Small” is much bigger than it first appears.
Kaelen Bell


The title of Charli XCX’s protege may be an overwhelming scarlet A, but ELIO is in full control of his own brush as he descends through the nine circles of hell. ELIO’S HELL sees the futurist’s confident take on Toronto pop (“Brain’s like Aristotle/Face like Harry Styles”) at its most cohesive, largely eschewing the dreamier ballad of Can you hear me now? notable “@elio.irl” for embracing a compressed dance-pop bent. She inflects her voice with fluidity for anguished, child-terrible kisses (“9 Lives,” “Godly Behaviour”) and breathless sugar rushes (“SUPERPOSE,” “Vitamins”), even managing to cleverly crop his struggles with anxiety (“I LOVE MY BRAIN!”, “On my chest”).
Megan LaPierre

Rachel Hickey
So long

After debuting in 2021 Cope, the second EP from Kitchener-Waterloo singer-songwriter Rachel Hickey leaves nothing unwritten. With guest appearances from Toronto’s Marshall Veroni and Barrie’s Jessie Gosling and Jessica Spurrell, the Collegiate A Cappella champion’s smooth, moonlight-infused voice radiates luminescence from the center of each track’s melancholy mood. over a pared-back palette of brushed percussion, acoustic guitar and shimmering piano.
Megan LaPierre

Canal Tres
“Can’t Get Enough”

It’s no secret that the house revival (no pun intended) is here. Though effortless, the resurgence of the genre has been engulfing us for a hot minute. After recording many of my days in the throes of the pandemic, Channel Tres might finally seize its mainstream moment with “Just Can’t Get Enough.” A stellar sample of Teddy Pendergrass’ “The More I Get, The More I Want” and Tres’ deadpan yet sultry vocals make for an endlessly groovy track that just won’t stop.
Sydney Brazil


​Do you remember Biquette, the “punk rock goat” who was photographed in the front row during a Wormrot show organized in France? She clearly made a lasting impression on the Singaporean band, who firmly established themselves as the GOATs of grindcore on a furious fourth studio album. hissing, an effort of unbridled wickedness running through each of its musical twists. A standout performance by vocalist and co-founder Arif Suhaimi sadly also marks his last with the trio.
Calum Slingerland

The Zolas
“Craigslist Killer””My Limits”
(organ of light)

Last years reborn was a career high for the longtime Vancouver indie rock band (and one of Exclaim!’s Top 50 Albums of 2021), so they wisely returned to those sessions to dig up these stellar snippets, which reveal new layers of the album’s electro-Britpop sound. Read our Questionnaire interview with leader Zach Gray.
Alex Hudson