Music and Mutterings of 2015

Well, here we are at the last day of 2015. And it’s been an interesting year, as in “may you live in interesting times.” There’s nothing that can be said quickly about what’s going on around us, except that you have to hope that more people are taking a personal role in speaking out against bigotry, ignorance, and hatred, wherever it shows up. Positivity and compassion, may those ideas fill us all and shape our so-called reality.

Musically, there’s been the constant flow of new material, although to look at the charts, you’d find it hard to believe that besides a small handful of people in the eye of the media, anyone else is actually doing anything. Step away from the mainstream though, and there’s a lot of people out there, fighting the good fight and struggling to get heard in the flood of what’s available.

Someone said to me that artists who have achieved success should stand aside, and let the new come through. I really don’t agree with that, for many reasons, not the least being that to say to someone they no longer have a reason to create is to kill them, early. Let’s be grateful for the people out there who want to keep going, and do, right to the end.  

We just lost a fine example of living life on your own terms, not to a mediatized schedule. Lemmy (RIP) said “If you’re going to be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don’t want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet.”

May you find your planet in 2016.

2015 Video Playlist

Top Ten Albums of 2015

Drenge – Undertow

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – Angels and Ghosts

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Jamie xx – In Colour

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Spector – Moth Boys

Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool

American Wrestlers – American Wrestlers

Dilly Dally – Sore

Mew – + –

Top Ten Songs of 2015

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – All of This and Nothing

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Drenge – Standing in the Cold

Kendrick Lamar – How Much a Dollar Cost

Spector – All The Sad Young Men

American Wrestlers – Wild Yonder

Mew – Water Slides

Jamie xx – Hold Tight

Dilly Dally – Desire

Bang Gang feat. Keren Ann – A Lonely Bird

Special Mentions

DTCV – Uptime!

Lull – Bubble Tea EP

Katie Monks and Dilly Dally

Katie Monks of Dilly Dally talks about what matters…

Dilly Dally has been kicking around Toronto for a while, but their moment to step under the bright spotlight has arrived. Comprised of Katie Monks on vocals and guitar, Liz Ball on guitar, and newer members Jimmy Tony on bass, and Benjamin Reinhartz on drums, Dilly Dally has found a perfect line up, one that can deliver their spot-on mix of urgent emotion and empowering risk taking. With their debut LP, Sore, coming out on Partisan Records in October, it’s beyond time for the rest of the world to get to know them. The first single off the album, “Desire”, unleashed a powerful sound combining anger and melody. Now the second single, “Purple Rage”, has come out to blast away any end of summer blues or regrets. The band’s been getting play and attention from a lot of different quarters, including Zane Lowe and Noisey. Not a surprise, when Katie Monks’ vocal delivery and fierce energy create an irresistible force field of defiance and frustration. Northern Transmissions wanted to hear more about the band. Alice Severin caught up with Katie Monks in New York City, where they talked about the album and the fight to find your own voice.

NT: How are you and where are you?

KM: I’m in New York. Just waking up and whatever. I’ve had a slow morning.

NT: That sounds perfect. What are you doing in New York?

KM: I’m just hanging with my brother.

NT: Nice. Anywhere in particular you’ve been going, or anything you like to do here?

KM: Honestly, this is my first time chilling here where I’m not like doing band stuff, so. Just been like kicking back, going to the beach today. Pretty minimal, to be honest. A pretty chill version of New York.

NT: That sounds ideal. It’s going to be a good beach day. Which beach?

KM: I think it’s called Rockaway. Apparently there’s water and stuff. (laughs)

NT: So you’ve been doing lots of interviews lately and the band has been getting a lot of attention, which is great. So what’s life been like for you and the band lately?

KM: Life has been chill. We’re just kind of antsy, I guess, because we’ve been working on this band for like six years now, had different members and stuff. It feels like we just have so much energy pent up inside us, and we just want to play shows all the time. Since we’re not on the road at the moment, I think everyone’s just kind of like feeling antsy, and I don’t know, just trying to keep busy with alcohol and working in restaurants and stuff.

NT: You’re going to be touring in the fall, you’ve got a big tour lined up to promote the album.

KM: Yeah, I’m so excited. It’s like our first real big trans-state, and we’re headlining, which is crazy.

NT: Have you got a tour bus? It looks like you will be out West a lot, then you’ll be back here in New York.

KM: Yeah, we’ve got like a crusty band van, that one of our friends will drive, do merch, pretty DIY tour situation. It’ll be a good adventure. But no tour bus yet.

NT: The band’s has been going for a long time, and you’ve got new members. But you’ve said that you feel like you’re all friends. You’ve known Liz for a really long time. Does that make the experience a lot more fun?

KM: Yeah, yeah. Totally. Literally everyone we work with on the band, it’s like if they’re not, if there isn’t like a real personal connection, we’re just not interested. And of course, that is super real with the band. We’re lucky we are all friends. Let’s see what happens in five years, but yeah. (laughs) Who knows? We haven’t been in a band with only each other for as long as we may be so we will see what happens. More to come.
NT: I’ve been listening a lot to the latest song and the video from the new album. What’s the writing and recording process been like? I’m excited to hear the entire album.

KM: Yeah, back in the winter, I quit my job at a restaurant, I was cooking breakfast, and I broke up with a friend I was dating, we mutually broke up. I went back to my parent’s house – I’m 26, it kinda sucks to go back, but just wanted to focus on literally writing as much material as I could before we got in the studio. I find that sometimes the newest songs are like just come out really good when you record them.

NT: That’s really true. And it’s hard to have a voice as a woman, in any business, especially in the music business. It must be strange being asked for the sound bite – ok, define everything in ten words, go.

KM: Yeah. I mean, it would be so easy if I could go, yeah, this record is about when I went to the zoo last week. (laughs) Whatever. Yeah. Definitely that hit me, the fact that I even feel like that anyone has to fight so hard to be heard.

More this way….press the link below

Interview with Katie Monks of Dilly Dally