Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

My Year in Music

January 10, 2017 | Michael | Comments (0)

2016 will be remembered as a year that saw the passing of many great artists. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Sharon Jones and Merle Haggard were some of the musical icons that passed away. A lot of the year was spent re-listening to the wonderful albums these artists made (including Bowie's Blackstar and Cohen's You Want it Darker, two albums released just before their deaths).

But there were also many bright spots in the musical landscape this past year. Our Local Music Collection continued to grow and showcase the rich talent of musicians from across Toronto and Canada. Here are three of my personal favourites from 2016 that are in the Local Music Collection, plus a couple of other albums of note.

Andy Shauf - The Party. The characters in The Party are all familiar - the early arrival, the wallflower, the guy hitting on his best-friend's girlfriend - but Andy Shauf manages to turn them into real people during the course of a four minute song. The album comes together beautifully, like a book of interconnected short stories. Underpinning the songs is Shauf's trademark orchestration, adding beautiful musical phrases but never taking away from the central melody. This is, by far, my favourite album of the year.

If you like this, check out Head in the Sand by Kate Maki.

TUNS - TUNS. It should be no surprise that Chris Murphy (Sloan), Mike O'Neill (Inbreds) and Matt Murphy (Super Friendz, The Flashing Lights) made one heck of an album filled with addictive hooks and lovely harmonies. What is most impressive is that their debut album does not sound like a mixture of three songwriters cobbling together odd and ends, but like a road-tested band with a defined sound.

If you like this, check out Thought Rock Fish Scale by Nap Eyes.


Weaves - Weaves. Anyone that has seen Weaves live (like those people at our 10th anniversary celebration of Make Some Noise) can attest to the fact that this band is an absolute juggernaut. They take their sound to the edge of chaotic, but still manage to hold all the pieces together. Capturing that feeling on record was a tough task, but Weaves managed the feat on their debut LP and reinvigorated what bands could do with only guitar, bass and drums. Of course, it also helps when your singer is a dynamo like Jasmyn Burke. We don't have this CD in our system yet (it's on the way!), but in the meantime you can borrow the Weaves EP.

If you like this, check out Outer Heaven by Greys.


Other Albums of Note:

Wilco - Schmilco


Mitski - Puberty 2


Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math


Live in the Stacks: Doomsquad

October 3, 2016 | Michael | Comments (0)

Doomsquad brings their electro-psych dance music to the stacks of the Parkdale Branch on Saturday October 29.

The Toronto-based band are a sibling trio that released their second album, Total Time, earlier this year. The album was recorded in New Mexico, inspired by the desert landscape. The band just finished their Solstice Tour across Canada, U.S and Europe.



Live in the Stacks: Doomsquad
Parkdale Branch (1303 Queen St W)
7pm (doors 6:30pm)
Free, all ages

Make Some Noise 10th Anniversary with Weaves and Twist

March 8, 2016 | Michael | Comments (0)

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Make Some Noise with Weaves and Twist on April 9th at the Toronto Reference Library

In 2006, Toronto Public Library started a local music collection to celebrate the amazing musical talent that was emerging in the city. Two concerts were planned to help highlight this collection and featured musicians such as Shad, Owen Pallett (still going by Final Fantasy at this point), Great Lake Swimmers and Elliott Brood. These were planned as one-off concerts, but they were so successful (and fun!) that it seemed crazy to stop. A decade has passed, so it only seemed appropriate to celebrate the tenth anniversary of what we now call Make Some Noise.

We are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with Buzz Records to present a double-bill of Weaves and Twist on Saturday, April 9th at the Toronto Reference Library. Buzz Records is putting out some of the best music in Toronto and will be releasing the highly-anticipated debut albums from both artists this year.

Weaves - Press Photo
Photo credit: Brendan George Ko
Weaves is a four-piece band making highly addictive art-rock. Led by their dynamic singer, Jasmyn Burke, Weaves are stunning live performers and have received international acclaim for their shows. Their self-titled debut album comes out on June 17th, but you can check out their EP from the library.

Photo credit: Shelby Fenlon
Twist  began as the project of Laura Hermiston and has grown into a full band. Jangly, fuzzed-out guitars shimmer under Hermiston's vocals, which can go from sweetness to angst in a single line. Spectral, the debut album from Twist, will be released this fall.

Weaves and Twist
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Toronto Reference Library - 789 Yonge St
Free, all-ages

Live in the Stacks: Jennifer Castle

October 28, 2015 | Michael | Comments (0)

Jennifer castleJennifer Castle brings her Polaris short listed Pink City to the stacks of the Yorkville Branch on Saturday, November 28.

Jennifer Castle writes enchanting songs. The Toronto singer-songwriter crafts subtle, evocative melodies that linger long after the music has stopped. They are not songs you listen to, but ones you experience.

Her fourth album, Pink City, was recently short listed for the Polaris Music Prize (her first two albums were released under the name Castlemusic). NOW said the album is "the best 32 minutes of music you'll hear anytime soon."

Jennifer Castle has recently been opening for Destroyer across North America and Europe. We are thrilled to have her playing a free, all ages show at the Yorkville Branch on Saturday, November 28th at 7pm.

Live in the Stacks: Jennifer Castle
Yorkville Branch (22 Yorkville Ave) 
Saturday, November 28, 7-9 pm

Photo credit: Federico Álvarez

Music Business 101

October 4, 2015 | Elaine | Comments (0)

Are you a musician interested in expanding your music industry business know-how? Then join us for the Music Business 101 workshop at the Parkdale Branch on Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. MusicOntario (with partners) has designed a succinct workshop to navigate these paths on your way to a musical career, starting off on the right foot. Independent artists will learn how to be their own booking agent, publicist, tour manager, accountant, graphic designer, web designer, merchandiser, financial advisor, and record label, to get a head start in their career. 

Music Ontario      OMDC

Live in the Stacks: Junia-T and Ania Soul

May 11, 2015 | Michael | Comments (0)

Celebrate Black Music Month with special performances by Junia-T and Ania Soul! They will be "Live in the Stacks" on Friday, June 5th at the Maria A. Shchuka branch for a free, all-ages show.

Junia TPhoto credit: Angelika S

Junia T & the Juice Money Collective

Jonathon "Junia-T" Lindo has collaborated with a who’s who of Toronto talents including Rich Kidd, Tanika Charles, Slakah The Beatchild and his own groups Smash Brovaz and Chefs Plate. Whether in the UK collaborating on songs with big buzz acts like Little Simz ("Sleep Paralysis"), or charting two number #1 singles on Snoop Dogg's Underground Heat ("Too Smoove" and "Sky Is Falling"), Junia-T has exhibited the talent necessary to be a career artist on his latest album Eye See You.


Ania sPhoto credit: Jess Baumung

Ania Soul

Ania Soul bridges the gap between two disparate musical worlds. She merges the intimacy and introspection of a singer-songwriter with the rich aesthetic of roots, soul and R&B. Popular songs like "All in My Head" with its sparse catchy acoustic arrangement or in the driving, hook-laden "Over You," nothing of her vision is left by the wayside - a rare achievement. Ania’s vocal prowess soars on her self-titled EP and when she sings with the 17-piece Toronto super band St. Royals.

Dalton Higgins (Rap N’ Roll) - Host

Dalton Higgins is the proprietor behind the popular "Rap N’ Roll," a multi-genre live music series, and the author of six books including the first biography of Grammy-winning rapper Drake.

Live in the Stacks: Junia-T and Ania Soul
Maria A. Shchuka Branch (1745 Eglinton Avenue West)
Friday, June 5th @ 9pm

Live in the Stacks: Stella Ella Ola

April 28, 2015 | Michael | Comments (0)

Toronto pop-rockers Stella Ella Ola will be "Live in the Stacks" at the Palmerston Branch for a free, all ages show on May 22nd!

Stella ella ola
The long winter seems to (finally!) be over, so it's time to put on your dancing shoes and check out the fun, energetic music of Stella Ella Ola. They will be playing songs from their debut album, I Think We Should Hang Out All The Time, after the Palmerston branch (560 Palmerston Ave, at Bloor St) closes on Friday, May 22nd.

The show is free and all-ages! No tickets required. The music will start around 8pm, so don't be late!

I Think We Should Hang Out All The Time is currently available for streaming via Hoopla. All you need is a Toronto Public Library card!

Want to practice your dance moves before the show? Check out the video for Stella Ella Ola's "Too Pretty" to get some inspiration.


Want to make sure you don't miss any Make Some Noise programs? Be sure to "Like" the Make Some Noise Facebook page!

Live Band in the Stacks: Language Arts

October 14, 2014 | Thomas | Comments (0)

Toronto balladeers Language Arts are coming to Parkdale Branch for a free, all ages show in November, and you could be there! 

Language arts


Continue reading "Live Band in the Stacks: Language Arts" »

The City's in Flame: Short films on the Roots of Toronto's Gay Punk Art Scene

June 10, 2014 | TPL Local Music | Comments (0)

The City's in Flame

This exciting program of archival gems and rarely seen work explores a mix of music and queer themes, drawing some kind of through-line that began in the gay roots of art/punk rock and burst outward from there.  

Curated by musician/photographer Don Pyle, The City’s In Flame will bring together footage so obscenely scarce that the censors are going to be up in arms. The Dishes! The Government! Latino hardcore! Viletones! Fifth Column! GB Jones! Will Munro! And 10CC?! - all will gather to present a vision of utopia passed and future possibility.

All of the filmmakers will be in attendance to speak briefly with Pyle about the work shown. 

Fort-york-01The City's In Flame
Fort York Branch (190 Fort York Blvd)
June 25, 7 PM
Free, All-Ages

June's Recommended Recordings: Basia Bulat, Doug Tielli & Grand Analog

June 4, 2014 | TPL Local Music | Comments (0)

Basia Bulat tall tall shadowTall Tall Shadow
Basia Bulat (2013)

Etobicoke-born autoharpist Basia Bulat's obvious talent has built her a solid fanbase here in Canada and has led her to joining the tours of internationally-recognised artists like the Arcade Fire, tUnE-yArDs and St. Vincent. On her latest album Tall Tall Shadow, Bulat's Tracy Chapmanesque vocals pair beautifully with richly instrumented accompaniments to create a memorable and incredibly listenable folk rock recording.

Tall Tall Shadow is available to stream on Hoopla!

Grand Analog Modern ThunderModern Thunder
Grand Analog (2013)

Toronto's Grand Analog produce what is often described as hip hop. Their genre bending arrangements bely easy genre discriptions however, and in many ways, Modern Thunder is as much a rock or a reggae or a ska record as a rap one. Catchy as all get out, Modern Thunder is a great mix of upbeat party-starting jams and soulful old school rhymes. As a special treat to classic T-Dot hip hop fans, Saukrates makes an appearance on the second track Rap Sheet (This Day On).


Doug Tielli KeresleyKeresley
Doug Tielli (2013)

A prolific and respected contributor to Toronto's experimental music scene, Doug Tielli is a regular feature on the stages and in the liner notes of the country's popular music avant garde. On Keresley, Tielli seamlessly combines folk guitar, warbling vocals, African percussion, and bluesy jazz to create challenging and evocative sonic landscapes.


Want more great music? Click on the yellow "Local Music" button on the right of this page.

  • Borrow CDs by local and Canadian artists.
  • See live concerts in the library stacks.
  • All for free.
local music collection

Make More Noise

  • About
  • Upcoming Events
  • Past Events
  • Latest Recommended CDs