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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Country




"Torero Makes Pretty Alt-Country Songs That Rock"

Country music has not only traveled down a variety of paths from rockabilly to the broader Americana, but it has also come from a variety of places. Torero is a good example of both. This Toronto band explores the avenue of alt-country on its self-titled album.

The album opens with "Shot in the Dark", a song whose intro sounds like it belongs in a spaghetti western when the man in the dark hat has just ridden into town and you know a showdown with the law is on the horizon. From there, the song is propelled by a combination of the haunting vocals of Eleanor Bull and the regimental drums. It might take you a moment to think about who Bull reminds you of, but eventually you might come up with Johnnette Napolitano. The familiarity is not just in the way the vocals sound, but also in the emotion conveyed.

This band has something else in common with Concrete Blonde. It has a knack for creating pretty songs that tell a good story. "Don't Bother" is a good example. In this song, Bull sings "I've become a thief and a liar just to prove that I'm true." This is a powerful song that is great for slow dancing - especially in the instrumental break in which the pedal steel and the piano play prominently. The thing is, this band's talent isn't in just creating pretty songs. It's in creating pretty songs with powerful guitars. "Torero" is probably the best example. Simultaneously, this song will make you feel pensive and make you want to pump your fist - at least in parts. Not too many bands can pull that off, but this one sure does.

It's fair to say that this band has done a fair amount of exploration of alt-country - going back to the early days. Throughout the album - like on "Canyon" - you'll hear some pedal-steel guitar that is a nice accent to the melodies. You'll also hear some great harmony vocals. For example, "Youth" has harmony vocals that are reminiscent of classic-country duets combined with a melody that might remind you a bit of Drive-By Truckers. That's actually a pretty good summary of this band: an excellent mixture of classic country and rock and roll.

Torero's eponymous album is a solid effort with 10 songs that sound just as great in your living room as they would in a dark bar. The album is available now on Bandcamp for the low price of $10. If you're a fan of pretty alt-country, this is an album you should have. - AXS

"Toronto musicians to watch in 2017: folk and country edition"


If you can’t decide between twang or grit, country or jangly pop/rock, no problem. There’s Torero. Fronted by sultry, assured, soulful Pretenders fan Eleanor Bull, Torero just may be local alt-country’s answer to Alvvays. They released their Lincoln County Social Club-recorded debut mid-2015 and are at work on a follow-up. - NOW Magazine


Torero - June 2015



Torero is a roots rock and roll band from Toronto. One part country, three parts rock and roll, they strike the right balance between twang and grit, 70s and 80s, Gram Parsons and Keith Richards, classic country and rock and roll. Fronted by sultry, assured, soulful Pretenders fan Eleanor Bull, Torero embodies a new brand of alt country unlike you've ever heard.

They started in 2013, when lead singer Eleanor Bull, and lead guitar player Evan Fowler started writing together. In 2015 they released their debut full-length album. Receiving critical acclaim, Torero (2015) has had airplay on CBC radio, 102.1 the edge, and other stations across Canada. Since the album, they have released an official music video for single "Canyon", and a string of live videos with Wood & Wires and Southern Souls. All the while, they've been touring all over Ontario and the East Coast.

Band Members