Gig Seeker Pro



Band Alternative Folk


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



"Holy Folk Rock 'eroni!"

You have GOTS to listen to Formalists if you like folk music like AT ALL.
Seriously, my folk-boner (folkner one might say) is raging for their album Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards And Excel!. From the second the drums kick in to the stunning back up vocal accompaniment... my metaphorical ear-boners get off on the classical structure of each song that pulls it away from that Conor Oberst shadow and into a light all its own.
I'm not just boner-ing around here either, I have serious love for this band! They're releasing this album on February 9th at the Annex Live, so go see them.

- Music She Blogged

"Formalists: Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards And Excel!"

It must have been very exciting for Thornhill experimental folk band, Formalists to finally release their debut albums. Yes, it is a double release: Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards and Excel! and In Support Of Healthy Structure' at the Annex Live. Since the formation of the band in 2010, they've evolved its structure several times and arrived where they are today. These two EPs are the representation of all the hard works that the band has put together and accomplished. It can not get more exciting than that, right?

As all the members are classically trained throughout their undergraduate study, you can enjoy the well-structured tunes, filled with classic folk melodies with a tickle of intriguing electro guitar riffs. My favorite song of the EP is Thomas Edison: the Great Intender. The song is crafted with aesthetic folk verses, indulged with airy guitar jams with the delightful visit of banjo coated with sugar sweet vocal. If you are fond of folk music, you will be missing out not to check them out.

Formalists is performing at the Annex Live on February 9th and at Clinton`s Tavern on February 27th. - Music Psychos


Oy, it hurts! Everyday I get messages and emails from Toronto friends and acquaintances with links to the latest music they’re making. I miss that old world, my old life in that city’s amazing music scene…

The other week I got hit up by Jo Landua with the new EP from his band, increasingly-ornate folk-pop(ish) types Formalists. Having done a lot of shows with them and worked with Jo over the years, it’s been a pleasure to observe his band’s and his own artistic progression, and the latest EP is another gem from a great bunch of artists. The lyrics in particular on this guy show a huge maturation – read ‘em and…be impressed…they’re on the bandcamp.

“Ghost don’t die, they never leave/They sleep in answering machines.” Very nice, Jo, very nice indeed. - Gold Soundz


Our very good friends and neighbours, ‘The Formalists’ have just released an excellent EP entitled, “Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards And Excel!” The second track on the album, ‘Thomas Edison: The Great Intender’ has been on repeat over here with its frantic sentimental folk to beach-reggae shifts and heartfelt lyrics. This album rules! Can’t wait for the next time we can see these guys live! - Rotten Folk records

"Upcoming Release: FORMALISTS – Congratulations To Those Who Move Onwards And Excel!"

There’s something quite calming and beautiful about the sounds of Toronto folk-pop outfit FORMALISTS… musically and lyrically. We definitely know a good thing when we hear it and now it’s time to share it with you. Back in early December the band released their debut EP (under the current line-up) and it seems as though we’ve had it on repeat ever since. One listen to this sucker and we’re sure you’ll be hooked too. - The iNDiE MACHiNE


Lovers On a Bus - EP, February 2011

Congratulations to Those Who Move Onwards and Excel! - EP, December 2012

In Support of Healthy Structure - EP, February 2013

Self-Titled - February 2013. Collects previous two EPs on one CD.

All released music can be streamed at



Formalists are a quartet based in suburban Toronto. The group was started in 2010 by vocalist, and nylon-string guitarist Joseph Landau. By early 2012 the current lineup had formed. All the members of Formalists are classically trained musicians who met while studying together in university. Formalists combine alt-folk and indie-rock influences, within an opaque and erudite prism of classical period composition. They channel their fear, confusion, and nervous energy to create music that defamiliarizes the listener to the essential tragedy of half-lived suburban lives. Formalists create art that is illusive even as it beckons the listener closer.