Kiwi jr.: Leslie

Kiwi jr. - "Leslie" (Mint Records). This Toronto band of former East Coasters is the newest signing to West Coast indie label Mint Records, one of this scribe's favourite imprints.

A debut album, Football Money, is being readied for release on March 29, preceded by this delightful tease of a first single. The group's sound is termed garage-pop, and a label source cites the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Robin Hitchcock, and Thrush Hermit as reference points. To these ears, this track evokes '80s English band The Wonder Stuff. It is catchy and fun, and is well-served by a video clip that is both inventive and entertaining in its parody of French noir films. At 2.19, the track sure leaves you wanting more (the album's 10 songs take up just 27 minutes).

The four members of Kiwi Jr. all live in Toronto, though they originally hail from Charlottetown, PEI, separately finding their ways to the big city over various points in the past decade. “It’s very much a Toronto record,” says singer-guitarist Jeremy Gaudet in a label bio. “Even though we’re East Coasters, there’s no nostalgia or romanticizing small towns. This album is about the neighbourhoods we live in and our lives here.”

“Instead of being introspective, these songs are looking outward,” Gaudet explains. "This album is about the people we meet and things that happen to make up our days and weeks. It’s less about trying to express ourselves — it’s more interpreting the outside world.”

Of note: Guitarist Brian Murphy also plays in Alvvays, and Football Money was produced by Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano, City and Colour).

Kiwi jr. will launch the album with a hometown show at The Baby G on March 28.

Publicity: Ryan Dyck,

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