Over the course of the past few years, Toronto has lost many live performance venues and recording studios to gentrification and skyrocketing real estate prices (from Friar’s to The Silver Dollar Room to the Cadillac Lounge). The underground music scene is currently being tested, and some have even called it the death of live music in the city.

However, bands are fighting back by continuing to perform and release music even under dire circumstances and in some cases using that angst to inspire even greater work!

There are many incredible live rock bands performing around Toronto, including (but not limited to) Monowhales, Pretox, Another Crush and MBG, and everyone in the underground music scene here is buzzing about Tomacco’s new EP, “Vagabond”. The album has been in the works for months. Crafted through feedback from live performances, it certainly captures the energy of a live event. 



Produced by analog music guru, Jon Mychal, “Vagabond” is a funk rock EP immune to the passage of time. Riddled with saxophone solos, crunchy guitars, sexy beats, classic backup vocals and virtuosic keys, Tomacco seems to jump from decade to decade, sometimes celebrating a 70’s feel and other times sounding distinctly more modern. Part of the live feel comes from the fact that they’ve recorded without a metronome. Subtle alterations in tempo can be found in most, (if not all) classic rock songs, and ditching the click track is an often-overlooked (but totally essential) part of nailing that sound. But beyond capturing that classic rock energy, what is the story of “Vagabond”? When asked what the EP is actually about, bandleader Denny Copf had this to say: 

The EP is a ball of thoughts and emotions that have been going through my head for the past year. Mister Twister is about cutting loose and having fun in spite of all the bullshit we are inundated with all the time. Heartbreak is about seeing and experiencing things in real life that are just plain awful. While I Fall is about seeing others succeed while I felt like I was failing and no one was reaching out to help me or even noticed. Shady nasty is calling out and making fun of sketchy people at bars and club. You’re So Sweet is the spot of sunlight on the EP, about meeting Cassie [Bachner, recent Tomacco band member] for the first time. How sweet she is and that amazing feeling I had from meeting her.”


“Vagabond” is a highly entertaining glimpse into the underground music scene in Toronto, but the best way to support emerging artists and experience the sound is to go see them live! Tomacco and similar bands can be found just about all the time at indestructible bars and clubs in the city. So go out this weekend wherever you are to support local artists, and create some unforgettable experiences!

Visit the band’s website at www.tomacco.ca


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