Bands Spotted: February Edition

In the second edition of Bands Spotted, the list of local talent continues to impress. These five bands and singers showcase Toronto’s versatility in the music industry. From jazz to some Nashville influence to piano-pop and even 90s grunge, it’s guaranteed that there’s something that will please all ears. Here are Novella’s top five bands for February.

Tear Away Tusa

Tear Away Tusa: Photo by Austin Gibson

It’s always about bringing something different to the music scene, especially when trying to grab a lasting impression as an up-and-comer. Tear Away Tusa brings a dynamic essence blending jazz, funk, soul and even hip-hop elements to their pop songs. The indie-soul band from Guelph, Ontario consists of Erin Tusa (vocals), Shane Rodak (rhythm guitar), Sam Schwartzbein (guitar), Adam Kurgatnikov (bass), Ely Weisbrot (drums) and Danny Berezowski. Erin’s vocals are soulfully powerful and execute a wide range. The song that’s a personal favourite is We Fall that adds an incredible jazz tune with backup vocals that perfectly compliment Erin’s. They will be playing with another one of Novella’s favourite bands, Ivory Hours, at the Horseshoe Tavern on March 7th. Listen to their EP Into The Digital Age.

Luke Austin Band

Luke Austin Band

After listening to their single Long Road Home, we can’t wait to hear more from Luke Austin Band. The Toronto-based band adds a touch of Nashville in our vibrant city. Lead vocalist and guitar player Luke Austin wrote the single during a country train tour via Rail Canada, where he performed for train passengers during their trip. The rest of the band members include Kennedy Pollard (Lead Guitar), Bryan Swartz (Bass Guitar) and Mike Ferguson (Drums). Luke’s raspy vocals and the hard-hitting guitar melodies are the true epitome of rock and roll. Stay tuned for their album that’s underway.

Mike Evin

mike evin photo by Emma-Lee
Mike Evin: Photo by Emma-Lee

Mike Evin has recently released his new single Have I Ever Loved from his fifth upcoming full-length album called Life As A Lover. The new single by the singer and songwriter is just a taste of how amazingly uplifting and soulful his music is. His lively vocals combined with the wistful piano add an upbeat element to the heartfelt lyrics. Life As A Lover was produced by JUNO-nominated Howie Beck (Fiest, Walk Off The Earth) and will release later this year. Though he’s from Montreal, he’s now settled in Toronto where he will be playing upcoming shows including one at the Supermarket on February 12th.


KASHKA: Photo by Jason Gordon

Toronto singer/songwriter Kat Burns plays under the name KASHKA. Her last full-length album Bound was released back in 2013 receiving rave reviews and also released an acoustic EP Bones a year later. Burn’s sweet and soft vocals are a pleasure to listen to. She kind of reminds me of a modern take on the popular Irish indie-rock band The Cranberries. Her music blends pop, electronic and folk giving each track from Bound a magnetic energy from start to finish. She will be playing at the Cameron House on February 11th.

Heavy Hearts

Heavy Hearts: Photo by Courtney Michaud

Heavy Hearts released their EP Somewhere A While Ago yesterday. The grunge rock band from Niagara, reminds you of the good old 90s when bands played in their parents’ garage blasting the guitars, drums and powerful vocals. The EP features a glimpse into the band’s small town life with the feeling of “watching those you know move away and grow as individuals while you feel stuck in one place.” Listen to their EP for a good grunge throwback.