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

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative New Age


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Michael Cranston and Spenser Bell make up Cranston, a dream pop band from Toronto with a soft, luxurious song titled “West”. The carefully plucked notes and intoxicatingly bendy synths in the background — as well as the layering of voices both comforting and distorted — create a unique sound that makes for a perfectly chill five minutes.

While Michael Cranston provides the vocals and music, Spenser Bell showcases his percussion talents. Their debut album, Texas, is due to be released sometime in May, just in time for summer. You can hear more dreamy tracks by the band on their SoundCloud page before then.

Keep up with the Canadian duo on their website or Facebook page for more news and updates. - new sick music


Cranston is the dream pop project of Toronto’s Michael Cranston and Spenser Bell. “West” is from an upcoming LP called Texas to be released in May. Though it is said that this was recorded in a basement, the sounds are expansive and yearn for escape into somewhere else, like the empty field on the album’s cover. - ride the tempo

"New Music Monday: Michael Cranston"

Michael Cranston emailed us asking to be featured on the site in our very early days of existence. At that time, we weren't really sure if we were going to feature male musicians or not. However, in Michael's proposal email, he made sure to let us know that he's a feminist. We emailed him back asking him to write a paragraph about why he's a feminist, which he gladly did.

Here's what Michael has to say about being a feminist:

I’m a feminist because “girl bands” is still used in journalism, because men’s rights activists exist, because some people think greater awareness about sexual assault means women will lie about being raped, because there are people who think sexism is over because women can apply to the same jobs as men, because “consent” only became a buzzword in 2014, because of Gamer Gate, because it’s god damn insane that there are people (men) who agree women are equal, deserve respect and aren’t objects yet won’t call themselves a feminist.

Borrowing from Rostam B, I’m a feminist because feminism is like jazz - an open system.

Image via Rostam Batmanglij's Twitter
Michael's story is that he wanted to play music, but he went to school instead. He started writing about music even though he wanted to be playing it. Then, he got a bunch of jobs when he really should have been making music. Now, he's finally making music.

Michael's SoundCloud has three songs up right now. His sound is very low-key indie. Chillwave, if you will. He has a very wide vocal range, and his voice is strikingly similar to that of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. Not only is his voice similar, but his musical stylings take obvious cues from Vernon as well.

"Waco" is the most peaceful song of the three. The guitar has a very sweet sound, but the percussion is what makes this song stand out. This is exactly the type of song that I would listen to while I'm trying to fall asleep. It's both very calm and very rhythmic. The end of this song is fantastic, so hopefully I wouldn't fall asleep until the very last second. Cranston layers multiple instruments to create a dramatic wall of sound that leaves the listener wanting to hear more.

"Girlfriend" is where I see the strongest similarities to Bon Iver. Cranston sweetly sings about an unrequited love - a topic that Vernon has definitely never avoided. The song has an obvious tone of sadness to it, but in an endearing way. The listener can't help but feel Cranston's pain as they listen to the song. "We'd move into the countryside where your parents grew up," he croons. My heart.

"West" is the type of song that I would want to listen to on a rainy drive through the woods. The quick, quiet beats of the guitar remind me of a soft drizzle hitting crisp leaves. This song sounds like organic soy candles smell - sweet and relaxing. Cranston's wide vocal range is best put to use in this song as he hits note both low and high.

If spending a weekend with Justin Vernon and Sufjan Stevens in a log cabin sounds like fun to you, then you will definitely love Michael Cranston's music.

Check out Michael Cranston's SoundCloud and follow him on Twitter! - Cherry Bomb


Still working on that hot first release.



My girlfriend said if we didn't move to Texas she would leave me. We tried but couldn’t make it happen (logistics, money, etc), so I started making music about it. I recorded in the basement. The added layer of cement insulated us from the outside world. We were finding holes that we needed to glue up. Still haven’t moved to Texas but we haven’t broken up. The album bought time. I hope you enjoy. The first song is called "West,” and will be apart of the Texas LP out in May.

Band Members