The Return of Pop Collectives: Aerials Up and Gentlemen Hall

Music festivals always bring out a variety of performers.  Two that I’m looking forward to seeing at Canadian Music Week are multi-member pop collectives.

Alan (Kemy) Kemlo leads Scotland’s Aerials Up, a 7 member band that features the classic pop/rock band instrumentation, which is in turn augmented by violin and cello.  Their hit-bound pop/rock arrangements then make my ears perk up as the additional instruments round out the sound and give it alternately playful, folky, and classy tones.  The group is in the process of putting final touches on a full album, and have opened for the likes of fellow countryfolk Snow Patrol and Paolo Nutini.  

Aerials Up has already released the downright infectious crowd-pleaser “I Am” and a 3 song EP called Superglue, whose title song grabs you with its classical start up but takes you to rockland with some highly complimentary harmonizing.  These days you do indeed need superglue to keep pop collectives together, but from what I hear, Aerials Up is one tight unit and I look forward to listening to much more from them.  Listen to “I Am”  and “Superglue” below and buy them on iTunes.

Aerials Up performs twice during Canadian Music Week, first on Thursday March 22 at 11:00 pm at the Drake Underground (sold out to the general public already), and then on Saturday March 24 in the international music showcase at the Global Village Backpackers, Departure Lounge (doors are at 7:30 pm).

“I Am”

“Superglue”

It’s a bit hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since Boston’s Gentlemen Hall came into the mass public’s eye on the Billboard Music Awards, after which I blogged about their engaging song “How Long Have They Been Watching?”.  A six piece band, the emphasis here is on captivating lead vocals carried by vintage 80’s synth sounds and other instrumentation such as flute and piccolo.  Since that time there has been much, much touring and a six song EP called When We All Disappear, which you can get for free from the band’s Facebook page with an email subscription.  

The EP has some lush sounding production, but it was the band’s strong  showcase on that awards show plus some of their performance videos that sold me, so I’m looking forward to seeing Gavin, Cobi, and bandmates now that they’re in my city.  Listen to “Gravity Will Break Our Bones” and “Take Me Under” below.

Gentlemen Hall perform during Canadian Music Week tonight at midnight at Lee’s Palace, and then again on Saturday March 24 at midnight at Sneaky Dee’s.

“Gravity Will Break Our Bones”

“Take Me Under”

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] UP:  The first of my pop collectives, as I blogged about last week, the 7 piece Scottish unit led by Alan Kemlo offered up one of the very best shows I saw with a […]


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