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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Rock




"Album Review - Cantoo"

Cantoo’s debut, self-titled album released earlier this year is an amazing throwback to 60’s harmonies (similar to The Zombies, Simon & Garfunkle, etc.) mixed in with a twist of dark and foreboding synth.
The band features singer Aaron Parker (not the country singer), his wife Giselle Parker, Tim Batke and Brock Tyler. Both Aaron and Giselle Parker have amazing voices which create an eerie male/female harmony that suits the albums theme that “love is a really messed up thing” (see Aaron Parker’s interview with blogger of The Low Level Hum). The instrumental component of the bad is great as well, which gives the album the whole package! Harmonies, great synth and guitar, and painful ennui about love. Who could ask for more?
Go ahead, check them out.
Top Tracks: Ivory Eyes, He’s Our Man, Alabaster, I Want to Sing
Rating: 4.5/5 - CFXU Music Blog

"Cantoo - Cantoo "Must-Have of the Month""

We are going back to the 60s with Cantoo's self-titled debut album, released in May of this year and October's Must-Have of the Month. I know a lot of 60s music by sound, thanks to my father being a huge music fan like me and him being a teen in the 60s. And for some reason the music you hear in your teenage years will always mean something special, so when I grew up in the 80s and 90s my father still played the hundreds of records he had with all the older music on it. And being a parent usually means the new music is complete rubbish, and we all know how 'unmusical' the 90s were, with the eurodance and hardcore (which I both still love) controlling the music charts (at least in my part of Europe).

The 60s still live on now. for example through new music being released nowadays, but heavily inspired by those times 50 years ago. Enter: Cantoo. Their music is based on those times, but luckily not stuck in it. The harmonies, the instruments and the hints of psychedelia are all there. But it sounds fresher, more experimental, less forced. More now. And I guess that is what makes it so good. With one foot in the tradition of what was probably the most inspiring musical decade of 'recent' history and the other foot in the here and now, Cantoo has created a sound that is classic and new, combining the best of both worlds. I haven't received my copy yet, but I bet it works even better played on vinyl.

This is one of those records I just know I'll be playing for years. I listen to it several times a day at home, updated all my devices so it's on there and won't rest untill I've succesfully figured out all the lyrics. The music sets a mood I probably connect to my younger days doing the dishes with my father, while he's busy finding a 25 year old record he just happened to think of that day. Happy times, making this record just a little more special.

Cantoo's debut album is a beauty. Even without the huge amount of memories I poured out here, this is a great work of art. I can only hope that you enjoy these 4 songs as much as I do and will give the entire album a few spins from start to finish at Be sure to do nothing (well a walk in the woods or something might work very well), so you take it all in. And I know you'll be amazed by the beauty of this album.

Great. Fucking. Album. Absolute Must-Have.
- Plug in, Baby! (Blog)

"Cantoo, Self-Titled"

Cantoo arose from Edmonton local Aaron Parker’s desire to make “music of change and freshness.” The band’s eponymous release contains vintage sunshine-pop throughout and often edges dangerously close to Pet Sounds worship, but goodness does it ever feel fresh. The wobbly synth and lo-fi drums on “Send in the Clouds” hint at some sort of bastard twee-dubstep but by the time the bass guitar comes in, the band is already in a midsummer pop dream. Likewise, the lazy acoustic intro, vibraphone arpeggios and boy-girl vocals on “January Smiles” sound nauseatingly precious until the raunchy Moog bassline and stoned-out synth-trombone lead come in. The instrumentation shouldn’t surprise anyone, but Cantoo’s multi-talented members know how to throw a nasty curveball in the middle of a track: the horn-and-harpsichord rich psychedelia of “Do the Worm” delves suddenly into strings and hand percussion at the halfway point and builds to wonderfully serene close and “I’ll Have to Cry” veers from corny-corporate-training-soundtrack proto-techno into more foreboding melancholy as soon as the vocals come in. Cantoo uses familiar musical trends to build the listener’s expectations in a certain direction and the band’s love of subverting those expectations makes for some fantastically engaging songs.

By John Julius - Beatroute Magazine


Edmonton pop band Cantoo is putting out their self-titled debut this spring. While the band is a relatively new project, it's made up of folks who have been part of many other musical acts in recent years -- including the groups Toy Singers, the Whitsundays and Faunts, as well as Brock Tyler, who's a fine singer-songwriter in his own right.

The debut record sees an official launch on Saturday, June 15th at Edmonton's Haven Social Club -- as part of a double-bill album release event with fellow Edmonton act Doug Hoyer. Cantoo will also be performing at the Palomino in Calgary as part of Sled Island; that show goes at 5pm on Friday, June 21st. The band will be back in Edmonton for a free all-ages show at the Works Art & Design Festival in Sir Winston Churchill Square on June 29th at 3:45pm.

In addition to all of this, Cantoo's singer and songwriter, Aaron Parker swung by CKUA to drop off a copy of the debut album -- and to pay a visit to the Lunch Box program.

(Interview Podcast at the URL below) -

"Cantoo - S/T"

Cantoo is the brainchild of glow-pops Aaron & Giselle Parker, accompanied by a selection of edmo all stars. This record is back to back with classy jams that span from the British invasion of “Ivory Eyes” to the strutting snap of “He’s Our Man” to the new-wave flange of “Alabaster.” This is an ideas record, characterized by bio-activating bass lines and ethereal harmonics. Aaron and Giselle’s vocal interplay juxtaposes the soaring astral melodies with a boy/girl-next-door aesthetic. Cop this on wax for superior fidelity, play alongside muted Wes Anderson flick. -

"Cantoo - S/T"

Cantoo is the brainchild of glow-pops Aaron & Giselle Parker, accompanied by a selection of edmo all stars. This record is back to back with classy jams that span from the British invasion of “Ivory Eyes” to the strutting snap of “He’s Our Man” to the new-wave flange of “Alabaster.” This is an ideas record, characterized by bio-activating bass lines and ethereal harmonics. Aaron and Giselle’s vocal interplay juxtaposes the soaring astral melodies with a boy/girl-next-door aesthetic. Cop this on wax for superior fidelity, play alongside muted Wes Anderson flick. -

"Concert preview: Cantoo breaks rules with debut album"

EDMONTON - Each one of us lives by our own set of rules — from “I refuse to stand in line for coffee!” to “I will only paint portraits of cats.”

These seemingly arbitrary decisions help us navigate our days, but they can also constrain us. Only when we ditch some of these habits — often with great reluctance — can we discover new opportunities, new talents, new serendipitous mistakes.

Just ask vocalist/guitarist Aaron Parker. After years of toiling away in bands such as Toy Singers or Whitsundays, the Edmonton musician only started to hit his stride when he decided to break some of his rules. The self-titled debut by his latest psych-pop project, Cantoo, is a testament to this personal anarchy, such as letting himself use the word “babe” in a tune (Ivory Eyes) or crooning about making music (I Want to Sing).

“I had a whole bunch of rules — ‘You can’t do this’ and ‘You can’t do that’ — but the type of music I listened to had so many examples of all my rules being broken,” he chuckles. “I allowed those people to do that, but I never allowed myself. ‘I don’t know, babe’ is the first line in Ivory Eyes and that would’ve NEVER happened. Even writing lyrics about playing music was not something I would’ve done before, or at least I would’ve beaten myself up about it.”

Parker points to Alabaster, a soft, breezy tune drenched in warm, echoey harmonies, as another rule-breaker, thanks to what he calls “ridiculously cheesy” lyrics: “Now my thoughts hang in your laughter / From the rafters.” So what helped him finally embrace these instincts? A ’60s folk-pop star by the name of Donovan. You know, the guy behind the smooth and ridiculously silly hit, Mellow Yellow.

“A lot of his stuff that I absolutely love couldn’t be more cheesy. But it was his lack of inhibition that is very inspiring as an artist. I think we all want to be as free as he was or maybe is.”

The count of Cantoo also credits his bandmates — wife Giselle Parker and Brock Tyler — for letting him explore his inhibitions. “It feels amazing. The only thing I’m worried about now is going too far, but I don’t think that I will. I usually write songs in my head, especially the lyrics and melodies, so when I go to record them, they already exist and I’m digging away the stuff around the song. It’s easier to do it like that because then I’m not starting with a blank palette. You have a recipe in your head; you’re not just throwing everything from your cabinets in.”

Until he records his songs, Parker thinks of them as passengers in his brain: “My wife can tell you that they’re often talking to me while she’s trying to talk to me, too.” He doesn’t worry about forgetting any of his ditties. If he does, he figures they weren’t any good to begin with.

Some of the passengers that made the cut on Cantoo’s first album, now available on iTunes and Bandcamp, include January Smiles, a space-pop number that feels like a ’60s TV jingle for Valium; and Do the Worm, which wriggles with horns, laid-back riffs, psychedelic synths, and lyrics about vices.

Don’t let their hazy boppiness fool you. “I’ve always appreciated secret menace in a song — a pretty veneer with something more sinister underneath. Sometimes I worry I’ve made it too secret, considering how hummable some of the songs are. I think there’s sort of a subtle feeling of ‘Everything’s not OK’ or ‘The world is kind of messed up, but that’s just the way it’s supposed to be,’ so it’s not depressing.” - the Edmonton Journal


The full length, self-titled album was released in June, 2013 on Kinsella Recordings.

A digital split-single with Brock Tyler was released in November 2013



Cantoo is a band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that plays melodic pop music with a slight psychedelic bent. Guitars, harmonies and synthesizers nod towards the sixties and the future.

The band began as the recording project of Edmonton musician Aaron Parker. Having enjoyed playing in other bands (The Whitsundays, Toy Singers), he began to feel a creative backlog for which he didn't have an outlet. Conceived while staring at the ceiling one sleepless night, Cantoo was to be music of change and freshness. Considered but not precious. Arranged, but not laboured. Lofty goals, to be sure but, hey, art is a pretentious business.

Cantoo's debut album (to be released in spring 2013) is the work of two years during which Parker aimed to meld stalwart, long-time musical touchstones with newer musical discoveries that were unlearned. He scoured the internet and record bins for new influences. He involved talented friends (members of Faunts and The Whitsundays) to keep things fresh. The result is an album that reflects the lessons of a lifetime of music listening as well as the giddiness of new discovery.

Band Members