As Toronto indepedent labels go, Art Drug is a relative newcomer to the fray. But it shouldn’t be long before they establish themselves among the city’s upper echelon—especially if they build off the strength of their newest compilation. Winter Sampler—apparently, Art Drug doesn’t get cute on the titling front—just dropped today, and we’re stoked to premiere it.
Don’t be fooled by the sampler’s frill-free moniker. Even if it’s meant to tide us over the winter months, this comp could easily be the soundtrack to our July park bevvies. Mostly, it digs around the shadowier corners of Toronto’s music scene: Expect to hear windows-down pop-punk (Pkew Pkew Pkew, Careers in Science), gang vocal-inducing post-hardcore (Peace Be Still, Gutterbird), bratty power pop (Pink Wine, First Base), and orgcore emo (Stuck Out Here). Of course, Art Drug doesn’t only stay within city limits—there’s also strong contributions from Halifax’s Outtacontroller and Abbotsford, B.C. charmers Open Letters.
Writ large, the comp foreshadows what the label has planned for 2014—they’re gearing up for a Peace Be Still 7-inch release later this month and a Stuck Out Here 12-inch release in February. In the coming months, the label has promised releases by King Creep, First Base, and a split between Pink Wine and Outtacontroller. To tide us over, though, we have this comp—start with King Creep’s Gary Glitter-indebted intro and work your way through.