On the final leg of their recent North American tour, Noh-Wave craze and progressive rock/rock opera/something-or-other heartthrobs Yamantaka // Sonic Titan dropped by Toronto this weekend and ended up playing three shows (the Garrison, Sonic Boom and Sneaky Dee’s), the latter two of which I had the opportunity to check out. Both shows were amazing, and I got to hear their upcoming single “Lamia” twice, which to me felt a bit more traditionally rock-ish for the band, yet fit in well with their other material. Ruby Kato Attwood’s vocals in particular felt more like a direct emotional appeal to the listener, as opposed to some other compositions in which the band effectively draws in the audience through repetition and gradually intensifying rhythms.

It was interesting to see the band play at Toronto record store Sonic Boom in part just because I’ve never seen them perform during the day before. I think the band would agree that they are ultimately creatures of the night, however they were surrounded on stage in this case both by mirrors and daylight and they survived so it seems at least plausible that they are in fact not vampires. Next time I’ll be sure to toss some garlic at them from the audience just to be sure.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan performs at Toronto’s Sonic Boom

The show that night at Sneaky Dee’s was also pretty amazing; I thought their rendition of “Counting Track” in particular resonated intensely, while on the whole they focused a bit more on their heavier material.

In other news, it was recently announced that the band’s self-titled album has made it to the Polaris long list for album of the year (wow, that’s incredible… best of luck guys!).

For a while I’ve also been meaning to post the video they released for their song “Hoshi Neko” (probably my YT//ST favorite). In a previous post, I related Ruby’s story of how the song represents the adventures she imagined that her cat Hoshi must have been having in outer space after he ran away from her home back in Montreal. Indeed, the phrase appearing in the song, Hoshi Noe Koe, translates from Japanese as “voice from a distant star.”

I think the video is really creative; it’s playful, with a somber touch at the end, and fits with the theme of the song perfectly. Check it out below:

Finally, check out the link here for some really great pictures of the band, and here for an almost ridiculously detailed interview with Ruby Kato Attwood.

Oh, and, I admit it: I have crushes on like, at least 50% of the band by this point ❤