Culture Reject

Culture Reject

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

to the sticks, under the city, through the alley, across the field, up the escalator, down the mudslide, on the shortwave, in your earphones


Culture Reject began as the pop experiment of Torontos multi-instrumentalist Michael OConnell. The self-titled debut on Whitewhale Records introduced OConnells fresh collection of prose-induced, 60's soul inspired, lo-fi pop songs soon to be characterized as epitomizing the boldness of the new Canadian sound. Much of the attention came from the underground hit Inside the Cinema an understated anthem that revealed a taste for early Modest Mouse as much as for the syncopation of Afro-Cuban ensembles.

After extensive touring throughout the US, Europe and Canada with festivals ranging from Hillside, New Yorks CMW, POP Montreal to Reykjaviks Iceland Airwaves, Culture Reject caught the attention of French vinyl label, Specific Recordings. That relationship culminated into the latest release Forces. This 6 track EP (digital available on iTunes) evolves out of the compelling experimentation of the debut but explores darker tones enveloped in rich harmonies, heavier guitars, intricate percussion, trumpets and generally, more sophisticated production. But Culture Rejects signature play with melody and rhythm is still alive and well on Forces. OConnell has also added singer and bassist Carlie Howell (Os Tropes) and continues to work with the prominently haunting voice of Karri North.

The band spent time at 6 Nassau Studios in Kensington Market in the summer of 2012 with engineer/mixer James Anderson (The Burning Hell, Great Lake Swimmers) hammering out bed tracks and vocals. From there, OConnell packed a small car with analog synths, guitars, amps and drums to a quiet cabin near Killbear Park in the fall. There, he was able to outfit the recordings with the small details that similarly made Culture Rejects debut a unique audio experience. Mastered at the House of Miracles (Jim Guthrie, The Constantines), Forces is a record that Michael likes to consider. a teaser before the big boom that drops in 2014?.

"Were CDs able to make babies, Culture Reject would undoubtedly be the lovechild sprung from the joining of Miracle Fortress' FIVE ROSES and Chad VanGaalen's SKELLICONNECTION...Every song is lush and meticulously arranged."

ECHO WEEKLY "greatness in the veins of Sebadoh in their earliest days and Plastic Ono Band-era John Lennon. There's a certain sweetness and romance in this startling pretty, tiny music."

"Culture Reject epitomizes the confidence of the new Canadian sound."

" album that could soundtrack every aspect of your summer. One of the most surprisingly great albums of the year-to-date that doesn't sound like anyone else."

LAST.FM (BLOGGER'S TOP TEN OF 2008 so far) a cinematic familiarity that makes it seem like a lost Wes Anderson soundtrack. This Canadian made me want to listen, and I want more.

"Michael O'Connell specializes in playing any instrument that makes a noise, and playing all of them masterfully. He uses this considerable skill to shape the artful melodies that accompany his evocative lyrics."



Written By: michael o'connell

Orchestral and divine forces made you
and your house blares music when it's supposed to
When I hear you sing, I sing to myself "Amen"
and then I find myself drifting all alone again

Cause you show a love
that's not real to me
at all.

I'm taking everything that's broken and I'm gonna build a wall
To protect us from an avalanche that's gonna fall
And if you see me standing in the light
You'll see me holding out my hand.
If we get a moment in the sun,
I know you'll understand....

Orchestral and divine forces made you complete
Your house blares music out into my street

But you show a love
that's not real to me
at all

Inside the Cinema

Written By: michael o'connell

Here I've got the perfect perch
Beside you I search inside your purse
I fund my ideas
You watch and I'll put on some airs
I'll watch to make sure that you stare
Down low inside the cinema

Come culture reject expect respect
You protect what is good
Yeah, we know what is good.
Yeah, we know what is good.

I won't judge but what's the effect
When we move away from it?
I'll purge what's inside my chest
Hold me if I can't handle it.
I'll watch while you put on some airs
I love that Bill Murray man
Down low inside the cinema.

Come culture reject expect respect
To protect what is good
Yeah, we know what is good.

Who fucking loves New York?
Who is the biggest fan?
Who is a fiery cheerleader caught
in some un-New York foreign land?

I wanna get home I wanna get stoned
Make myself food make myself good
Make myself good make myself good

I wanna get home I wanna get stoned
Make myself food make myself good
Make myself good make myself good
Make myself

Come culture reject expect respect
You protect what is good
Yeah, we know what is good
Come, come
Come culture reject, cool respect
Do not pretend to love
You will just get depressed.


2009 Culture Reject s/t -- Whitewhale Records
2013 FORCES ep-- Whitewhale Records/Specific Recordings (FRANCE)