BLAJK
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BLAJK

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Pop Indie

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"BLAJK break through thanks to online success"

Considering they played their first gig just over three months ago, Toronto band BLAJK is fast becoming an overnight success.

The up-and-coming electro-rock group (their name is pronounced "black") played their debut show at the Drake Hotel in Toronto just last Halloween, but has drawn immediate attention thanks to the early online success of singles "French Class" and "Hamptons" from their self-titled debut EP, which was recorded a few months before their first live show.

"French Class" is already approaching 200,000 plays on Spotify and has helped land the group — featuring Jordan Radics on vocals, Paul Doherty on guitars and production, Brent Gordon on guitar, Tom Conrad on bass and keyboards, and Raymond McTaggart on drums — a spot opening for Young Empires on a tour that will bring the band to Maxwell's in Waterloo next Friday, Feb. 19.

As McTaggart said in a phone interview this week, the band is pleasantly surprised by their early success.

"We're very happy about the whole thing. It's interesting because you mention these things to people and they get really excited, but it's still not at the point where it affects our daily lives too much. It feels good, it feels great, and we're happy that we've been getting so much attention and people are liking what we're doing, and that's just kind of pushing us even more now," he said.

Though the group's sophisticated synth-pop has helped them make a name for themselves quickly, McTaggart said the genesis of the band itself was relatively slow.

"It took a long time. I've known Brent for a while and he was working with Paul on this little project, and they had been looking for a singer and Jordan was looking for a band, so they ended up just coming together serendipitously through a friend of a friend, and then I play drums, I was around," he said with a laugh. "I'm just kind of a go-to guy in my circle of friends if you need some drums done, and Tom is also kind of in the same way with bass and keyboards, so we just jumped on."

As for the band's unusual name, McTaggart said they landed upon it by chance.

"We had this poster of a map of Sweden in our studio space and it was on the map, and it's so hard to find a band name these days that anything that sticks out and has any semblance of a meaning, we just grabbed it, checked if there was a website for it, 'Nope, nobody has it. Perfect,'" he recalled.

After the band's upcoming tour, they'll be headed straight back into the studio to record a followup EP. McTaggart said they plan to record at both Revolution Recording and at Dream House Studios in Toronto, and hope to have the new record out within a couple of months. There are no plans for a full-length album as yet, however.

"We found being in other bands that it doesn't really matter how much you bring out, if people like what you're doing, they're going to want more. So if you release three songs and people really, really like them, they're going to want more songs immediately. If you release a full-length album, they're going to want more songs immediately. So if you kind of space it out a bit, especially at such a point in your career where you're at your beginning — you can't just drop everything and go into the studio for a month, record an album and push out things as quickly as we might like to — it definitely helps to have just a constant stream of songs, and they're continually improving as we grow as a band," he said.

The band's show at Maxwell's will be their first on the Young Empires tour, and their first-ever show outside of Toronto, a sign of just how quickly things have moved for the group so far.

"Honestly, things have just been heading much, much faster than we could have expected. We thought that we would have had other shows in Toronto or went out other places, but people like what we're doing and we're happy to play for whoever will take us," said McTaggart. - The Record


"RELEASED TODAY: BLAJK – Lethal"

The wait will soon be over because BLAJK, the charming indie-pop quartet from Toronto, is about to release their debut EP “Limited” on July 19th. To celebrate what’s in store soon, they dropped “Lethal” today, an elegantly dark number with a laidback yet captivating appeal that BLAJK are known for. “Lethal is a song about a tarnished yet lustful relationship that has kept you going back and forth over time. Constantly yearning for the person while fully aware that reconnecting only leads to trouble and unhappiness. It’s about indulging in the guilty pleasure that is this person and living with the consequences.”

Once again, Jordan Radics‘ deep vocals lure us in and don’t let go, Brent Gordon‘s guitar shines, Thomas Conrad adds his bass and keys chops and Raymond McTaggart holds it all together with a steady and hypnotic beat. Listen to the absolutely stunning “Lethal” now and get excited for the EP to drop next week: - glamglare


"BLAJK "Good Liars""

Months after sharing their track "French Class" with us, a new EP from Toronto-based five-piece BLAJK is on the horizon. Before its release, Exclaim! has your first look at the effort's leading single "Good Liars" right here.

Blending electronics with their indie rock sound, the polished new track takes aim at the vanity that comes with technology, or what the band calls "the story of contrived, synthetic lives and personalities broadcast through screens and filters."

Further explaining the track, the band tells Exclaim!:

"Good Liars" was built off another song we had written about a year ago. We had always liked its energy but didn't really know where to go with it. So when it came time to piece together all the demos we had for the EP, that song quickly evolved and became one of our favourites. The original demo sounded much different and it took a couple nights of writing to really bring it to life. But when Jordan sang over it we knew it was strong and it proves to be whenever we play it live.

BLAJK have performances lined up as part of Canadian Music Week in Toronto to start May and will hit the road with Young Empires for a string of dates on West Coast not long after before returning to the provincial capital to play Bestival. Scroll through the band's upcoming live dates and listen to "Good Liars" in the player below.

Tour dates:

05/04 Toronto, ON - The Velvet Underground
05/06 Toronto, ON - Royal Ontario Museum
05/08 Toronto, ON - Adelaide Hall
05/18 Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub*
05/19 Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club*
05/20 Kelowna, BC - Habitat*
05/21 Calgary, AB - Commonwealth*
05/22 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room*
05/24 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's*
05/25 Winnipeg, MB - Park Theatre*
06/12 Toronto, ON - Bestival

* with Young Empires - Exclaim


"LISTEN: BLAJK // LETHAL"

We first wrote about Toronto’s BLAJK back in May, when we stumbled across previous single ‘Good Liars’. It was polished and fresh, masterfully blending electronics and indie rock.

Now they’ve unleashed their new EP, which features more of the wonderful same. Standout track ‘Lethal’ is a dark, dancefloor ready slice of noir-pop. The clipped, subtle rhythm is both limb-jerking and as smooth as black velvet; likewise for honey-mixed-with-venom vocals. This is alluring. This is great. - When The Gramophone Rings


"BLAJK "French Class""

Toronto-based five-piece BLAJK are finalizing their forthcoming EP, but before the full release arrives, you can check out a brand new track titled "French Class."

Unashamed to "wear their influences on a well-tailored sleeve," the group draw from a background of musical appreciation that ranges from Outkast to electro-tinged pop acts like the Neighbourhood, Phantogram and the 1975.

"French Class" brings together emotive instrumentation with deep, melancholic vocals. The track nevertheless remains upbeat, delivering pristinely polished synth-pop sounds that will surely add a bit of sparkle to your speakers.

BLAJK's next live show will take place at the Drake in Toronto on December 18, alongside Mune. Find full show information here and listen to "French Class" in the player below. The single artwork (pictured above) was created by Jiyeon Kathrina Hong. - Exclaim


"Blajk – “Lethal”"

Deep vocals, funky and chill melodies are combined in BLAJK single “Lethal,” a track that stays in the indie zone while flirting with R&B.

BLAJK is a 4 piece born from Toronto’s rapidly flourishing music scene. They had a pretty agitated 2016, touring with Young Empires and playing their first festival at Bestival in Toronto. Last month they released Limited, their debut LP featuring “Lethal” as its main single.

“Lethal is a song about a tarnished yet lustful relationship that has kept you going back and forth over time. Constantly yearning for the person while fully aware that reconnecting only leads to trouble and unhappiness. It’s about indulging in the guilty pleasure that is this person and living with the consequences.” - Too Much Love


"TORONTO’S BLAJK RELEASE ‘GOOD LIARS’"

Born from Toronto’s rapidly flourishing music scene, indie pop 4 piece ‘BLAJK’ wear their influences on a well-tailored sleeve. Fresh off of their first tour supporting Banners and fellow Torontonians Young Empires, BLAJK release the lead single from their forthcoming EP.

“Good Liars” sees lead vocalist Jordan Radics tell the story of contrived, synthetic lives and personalities broadcast through screens and filters. BLAJK bring a sense of polished performance and compelling production to their latest single that they will be showcasing first at Canadian Music Week and on a tour of western Canada with Young Empires, and then at their debut festival performance at Bestival Toronto.

“Good Liars was built off another song we had written about a year ago. We had always liked its energy but didn’t really know where to go with it. So when it came time to piece together all the demos we had for the EP, that song quickly evolved and became one of our favourites. The original demo sounded much different and it took a couple nights of writing to really bring it to life. But when Jordan sang over it we knew it was strong and it proves to be whenever we play it live.” – BLAJK

Tour Dates
May 4 / The Velvet Underground / Toronto, ON (w/ Baio, ROMES, Only Yours and TMPL)
May 6 / Royal Ontario Museum / Toronto, ON
May 8 / Adelaide Hall / Toronto, ON (w/ Big Black Delta, Rolemodel and Wilde)
May 18 / Sugar Nightclub / Victoria, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 19 / Fortune Sound Club / Vancouver, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 20 / Habitat / Kelowna, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 21 / Commonwealth / Calgary, AB (w/ Young Empires)
May 22 / Starlite Room / Edmonton, AB (w/ Young Empires)
May 24 / Amigos / Saskatoon, SK (w/ Young Empires)
May 25 / Park Theatre / Winnipeg, MB (w/ Young Empires)
Jun 12 / Bestival / Toronto, ON - Northern Transmissions


Discography

2016 - Limited EP
2016 - Good Liars (Single)
2015 - French Class (Single)
2015 - Lost (Single)
2015 - Hamptons (Single)

Photos

Bio

Born from Toronto’s rapidly flourishing music scene, indie pop 4 piece ‘BLAJK’ wear their influences on a well-tailored sleeve. Fresh off of a Western Canada tour supporting Young Empires and their first festival performance at Bestival in Toronto, BLAJK released their much-anticipated debut EP 'Limited' in July 2016.

Band Members