Artful Vandelays
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Artful Vandelays

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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"CMW’s Day 1. Tuesday March 19th. Artful Vandelays, Theset and Mrs. Cold."

CMW’s began with a cough. I arose Tuesday morning with a familiar burn hanging around my throat like an unlucky charm. I am sick with cold and it’s war. I have 5 days to battle the forces of the coronaviruses that have been squatting inside my anatomic homestead. Timing could’t be worse. BUT, I am a trooper dammit and despite an ugly face-off with my common sense I decided to take in CMW DAY 1 with the mind-expanding sounds of Artful Vandelays and the staggering intensity of Theset.

Artful Vandelays

I hadn’t plan the evening other than aiming to see Theset at 1am. Theset was playing The Rivoli on Queen, an area dense with CMW buzz. I figured if I headed in that direction I was bound to find something worth seeing and I was RIGHT. I arrive at The Rivoli to find I had just missed LYON. While I stood blankly watching the next band assemble their gear, I logged onto Twitter to find the following tweet from @CMW_FEST ‘WOW!! @silvercreekrock just ROCKED the @HorseshoeTavern!’ The crowd chanted ‘life is just a glorious fight to be free’. This of course was enough to convince me the party was at The Horseshoe. Off I go. Unfortunately as I arrived Silver Creek Rock was packing it in and I started to wonder if my evening was just going to be a series of change-overs. I decided to wait it out.

I was slouched on a stool toward the back of the tavern perusing twitter and vampire coughing into my sweater when Artful Vandelays took the stage. The dreamy nature of the guitar and the Tom Yorke-esque voice bellowing over the room jolted me off my seat and onto the dance floor. I immediately noticed the drummer. It was obvious his chops were well-qualified to hold water against the drum Gods. His groove flowed effortlessly and he looked completely relaxed despite hitting with enormous force while simultaneously playing synth. I repeat. Drumming and playing synth. AT THE SAME TIME. I took a picture with disbelief which I had to review the following day to ensure I was seeing clearly. Once I pried my focus away from the drummer I began to devour the overall picture. As a 3 piece the fatness of sound was shocking. The dynamics and arrangements were planned with faultless care and fidelity. At one point a swelling calypso groove evolved seemingly out of thin air and fell apart just as quickly into lush soft vocals. Very creative and captivating. After purchasing myself a Artful Vandelays slap bracelet attached to a USB full of tunes (so creative!)I was happy to learn the band was a local Toronto staple and I look forward to becoming a familiar face in their crowd! Connect with Artful Vandelays @ www.artfulvandelays.com

I am back on the road to CMW DAY 2. Check back tomorrow for my review on Theset and any shenanigans that may ensue between now and then! Love, Peace and Music, Scarlett - Running Red Lights


"CMF 2013 Live Review – The Artful Vandelays - 8.4/10"

Who: The Artful Vandelays
Where: The Horseshoe Tavern
When: Tuesday, March 19 @ 11:10 pm



Crowd: The Horseshoe had an impressive amount of people packed in and the crowd was engaged. Lead singer Anton even started a “sing along” which had the whole room participating.

Style: Alternative, Indie, Progressive, Rock

Technicalities: Other than a wobbly drum that didn’t seem to hinder drummer Braeden in the least bit, everything else went off without a hitch.

Memorable Song/Moment: Hypomania with it’s wicked guitar riff, spunky baseline and high energy drums.

Sex Appeal/Image: At times, Anton’s voice made me perk up because he sounded so much like Thom Yorke.

Review by: Ashley Macnie
Photos: Tom Kato - The Scene Magazine


"ARTFUL VANDELAYS – THE HORSESHOE"

Pushing the boundaries of indie rock by infusing elements of hard rock, British alt-rock, and art/prog overtones, Artful Vandelays rolled into their final show having made their mark. This four-piece achieved a balance between rock grandeur and crafty time signatures bolstered by sprawling guitar-work, propulsive rhythms, and the Thom Yorke-styled vocals of Anton Hyginus resulting in a soundscapish quality anchored by solid musicianship. Bands come and go, but during their four year run, Artful Vandelays can take pride in offering up something original to the music scene. - Lonely Vagabond


"An “alternative” night at the Horseshoe Tavern"

Next up was the band that invited me to the show, The Artful Vandelays. While Missing in Venice was a high-energy and enthusiastic band, this band had the same levels of energy but this time channeled through very calm exteriors. Though I had only listened to the band’s latest EP once, I found their music to be quite enjoyable. The pre-recorded bits they played before they used their instruments were cool at times, and all of the musicians played with a high level of expertise, with three of the four band members contributing vocals at some point. - GrayOwlPoint


"Artful Vandelays @ Horseshoe Tavern on June 9th, 2012"

Six months seemed like forever - Toronto rock band, Artful Vandelays at last broke their silence and returned to the Horseshoe Tavern on June 9th, with The Bigups, Dan Kosub and Lamont James.

The reason behind their hiatus was to veer away from their Radiohead/Muse soundalike rock tunes, which no longer fitted with what they wanted to pursue from their sound. Abandoning all their old tunes, the quartet crafted new tunes that define the new Artful Vandelays in the last six months.

With that being said, they delivered six brand new tracks to the long-awaiting audience. The initial track, Education was the instant hooker with three layers of vigorous drum beats. My attention was drawn to how each individual crafted their own individual sound. As if each member was sewing musical seams into a quilt. Rearranged Songlines sounded well put together, in the ravelment of the flawless baseline and resonating guitar riffs. The only song that the band kept from their previous shows was a old new song, Lucid, which refreshed up their performance with the uptemp pop rock tune. The audience stayed very attentive to study each of the new songs, but during this song they seemed to really enjoy the familiar song. It is just a matter of time for the audience to learn all the new songs as they have distinctive hooks to each songs. Each song extracts each member's personality better than the old songs did.

Artful Vandelays closed their set with another new tune, Twinkle, which was a total blast. Despite the song title, this song was the most aggressive tone of the night, casting thunder storms onto the stage. It's good to have you guys back on the scene. It was a great opening to the new chapter of Artful Vandelays. - MusicPsychos


"Quick Hitters: the Artful Vandelays"

I'll be honest; naming your band after one of our favorite Seinfeld references is a surefire way to get noticed on herohill. I mean, you could honestly sound like a bag of ass and on name alone we'd give you a spin. How much do we love Art Vandelay here on the hill? Well, our three-on-three hoops team combines the awesomeness of AV and one of our all time favorite classic NBAers (Kiki Vandeweghe) to form the unstoppable Vandeweghe Industries.

Anyway, lets jump right into The Artful Vandelays. The Thornhill, Ontario natives sent over a copy of their EP – Four Ring Circus – and as the opening notes poured through my headphones, I was left thinking… "Great another EP by a band that wants to sound like Radiohead." Sign Language starts off using a lot of the same elements often pillaged from Radiohead's back catalog (although I have to say, I love the nice bass line), but they quickly expose some other influences that transform their sound into something unique. After a atmospheric intro, heavier, more technical guitar takes over Pyramid Scheme. The guitar notes fly all over the place and Anton matches the intensity with soaring (and shouted) vocals.

Overall the EP shows the band trying to find a mix between the sounds you'd expect and the post punk that they obviously enjoy. Overall, I'm not sure they are quite there yet, but the way the try to blend spacey melodies with rage and power is definitely something to keep an eye on.
- Herohill


"The Artful Vandelays Are Back!"

It was not so long ago that the co-founder of the Artful Vandelays, Jon departed from the band to pursue a non-musical career. It shocked me to know that I wouldn’t be able to hear the intricate and delicate sound of Jon's guitar in the band. A truly heartbreaking moment...

After three months of near silence; the progressive rock quartet staged a strong return to the stage at Rancho Relaxo on December 14th, along with their new guitarist, Bryen Shi. I am not saying it because he is my friend, or co-writer. Anybody who reads this blog should know how brutal I can be during show reviews.

The moment The “new” Artful Vandelays appeared on the stage, you could feel the fan’s excitement in the air building to the max.

The new addition is very positive – the sound of the band has changed drastically: The live show was more edgy and powerful than their latest EP. Bryen is a guitarist who does not fear to be different. He was on the stage to simply enjoy the music he played with the band. He improvised riffs and made some changes, but it was a fun part of live show!

I have to admit, I am so ashamed of myself that I had not noticed how amazing Kevin’s bass playing was until now. Kevin blew my mind when they played one of my favourite songs, “Sign Language”. In the last few shows that I attended of theirs in the summer I was overwhelmed by Anton's powerful vocals and Braedan's complex drumming. I thought they were the strongest players of the band. Yet, I was all wrong. Kevin’s intricate rhythms and Bryen’s style of playing is a perfect match - The Artful Vandelays are now complete… I will now proudly claim that I am the biggest fan of this band.

One thing though I have to mention... The last song, "Tenterhooks" was not strong enough to end the show with. I felt the energy of the show deescalated in that last song.

If you missed the December 14th show, don't be sad! I have great news for you! They will play again on December 23rd (right on time for Christmas!) at The Smiling Buddha Bar (961 College Street West) AND it’s only a $2.00 cover! Click here to check out the details of the show and you will see me there before I go home for Christmas! - Music Psychos


"Don't Dodge the Artful Vandelays"

I probably shouldn't admit this, but there are times when I crave unabashedly mainstream-oriented rock. Nothing so awful as Nickelback, of course, but give me a bit of Kings of Leon or The Killers and I'm a happy man. I suppose they could be called guilty pleasures, but really, there's no guilt for me there -- as far as I'm concerned they're fun and catchy, and they don't take a whole lot of effort to appreciate. As much as I usually love bands like Born Ruffians and Parlovr, I don't think the same could be said for either of them.

One band it could be said for, however, is The Artful Vandelays. As the band demonstrates repeatedly on their self-titled sophomore EP, they may not be mainstream in terms of popularity, but that's about the only thing keeping that descriptor from being completely appropriate. I mean, just listen to songs like "Silent Revolution" and "Demons"; if we live in a world where Muse and Bends-era Radiohead can dominate the airwaves, with music like that I'm pretty sure The Artful Vandelays could as well. They've got an incredibly dynamic lead singer (in Anton Hyginus). They've got big, catchy hooks on every song on the album. Basically, they really seem to have got it all...and if that's your thing, you really should get it too, because you won't be disappointed. - i(heart)music


Discography

2013 - Artful Vandelays EP (Unreleased)

Photos

Bio

The existence of subcultures is a testament to the failures of mainstream culture, but when subcultures become as diluted the mainstream they so emphatically oppose, this is indeed problematic.

In a world where DJs claim more cultural merit than theoretical physicists, it becomes painfully obvious that a career in music for musicians who want to do something different is a fantasy, and this is the fantasy world that Artful Vandelays inhabit.

There is something otherworldly about Artful Vandelays' music; it is at times foreboding and ominous, and other times hopeful and cathartic. It deals with the mystical and ethereal in songs like "Overheads," promising a coming distaster to end ages, and other times painstakingly nitty-gritty in a critique of ubiquitous pharmaceutical giants in "Pharma Co," likening drug companies to street drug peddlers. It will have you in a trance only to be brought back to reality, and somehow at the end of it all, there is only optimism to take from it.

For anyone who has ever felt dissatisfied with the world at large, Artful Vandelays can empathize, and would like to offer you some solace in their music.