Hear me out: what you should be listening to this month

October is a scary month. Not because we will have to live through another Friday the 13th, or as a result of any Halloween-related activities. It goes deeper than that. We are now one month into our school programs and everyday we inch closer to 2018. Remember when we said that 2017 was going to be our year and we were going to accomplish everything we’ve been putting on the back burner? Me too. Are we there yet? Not quite.

But alas, it’s going to be OK. Many artists are releasing their sophomore albums this month and we’re here to give you a reminder of who you should be checking out.

St. Vincent —  MASSEDUCTION (Oct. 13th 2017)

The queen has returned. If you haven’t heard about Annie Clark, you aren’t in the right circles. After the breakout success of her first album, Annie is  back with her sophomore album, this time with a pop flair.

DVSN — Morning After (Oct. 13th 2017)

Get ready to cry. This OVO artist is back with his second album just in time for the weather change. With this artist’s sultry voice and sexy lyrics, the album will keep you feeling them feelings about love lost.

Wu-Tang Clan — Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues (Oct. 13th 2017)

Following their reunion album in 2014, the Wu-Tang follows up with another saga. Not only are we graced with another album, the New York collective is heading out on a tour of the U.S..

Beck — Colors (Oct. 13th 2017)

As a follow-up to his last album, Morning Phase, which secured him three grammies, Beck is back with Colors. Beck is a chameleon. He carefully masters multiple instruments and brings forward a pop album that is due to climb the charts.

King Krule — The Ooz (Oct. 13th 2017)

Archy Marshall is back. The Ooz follows his last release in 2013 and focuses on the subconscious mind. With musical collaborations with names like Earl Sweatshirt, this album is certainly one to keep an eye out for.

Jessie Ware — GlassHouse (Oct. 20th 2017)

Jessie Ware has masterfully pieced together the perfect team of writers and producers for her upcoming album GlassHouseThe album is credited with Julia Michaels, Francis and the Lights, and Cashmere Cat.

Majid Jordan — The Space Between (Oct. 27th 2017)

Majid’s sophomore album will have 13 tracks and feature artists such as Partynextdoor and DVSN. This duo from Toronto will be taking October by a storm and proving that it’s truly OVO season.

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Play Review: The Space Between

The Space Between is a love story set against the cruelty of apartheid South Africa. Written and performed by Simeon Taole, it’s a dramatic work that combines monologue, video projection and musical accompaniment. Inspired by a true story, The Space Between spans across a global range of feeling.

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“I have vividly imagined our reunion countless times, shifting myself into infinite forms that would not only exceed her expectations, but bridge the cold reality of time apart.”

Winston (Simeon Taole) is a young man from the former Bophuthatswana, South Africa. At least, that’s his preferred name for simplicity’s sake. (As he so poignantly puts it, Winston’s much easier to for us arrogant Westerners to pronounce than his real name.) From the beginning of the play, Winston finds himself caught up in a discourse of identity – a discourse that, for better or worse, carries on without regard for consent. We don’t choose our mother land or mother tongue. Likewise, it seems Winston’s identity is largely confounded by circumstance: situations that, for a 9 year old, seem totally unfair. And understandably, so.

“We met in the morning of my youth when the world was still a place of firsts.”  Celeste. Like a synecdoche for the whole of her tenderness, the name alone is enough for Winston to conjure fond memories and dreams of a shared future. Winston met Celeste on a trip to America and they quickly grew attached, skipping the crush phase for something a lot like love. On his return to South Africa, the two remained close by exchanging letters. Yet circumstance finds a way in, driving them apart.

“The nature of ‘the space’ between us all is that it is far-reaching and still very much relevant today. Ultimately, the play asks us a single question: Is love enough to bridge that distance?”

Circumstantially, Winston and Celeste live worlds apart. Celeste’s American family isn’t even sure where Bophuthatswana is. Winston’s parents are skeptical about Celeste’s tolerance: will her acceptance fade with time? And during apartheid, international love isn’t exactly the more immediate issue to face. Throughout the play, Winston has visions of raids and the death of his parents. He’s harassed and beaten at school. But still, his thoughts remain focused, hopefully fixed on Celeste. As Taole explains: “The story takes place against the historical backdrop of apartheid, but it is not a story about racial division or political unrest; rather, it is one of unrelenting hope and the innocence of young love.” As a playwright, Taole reveals the connection between physical and emotional closeness: they’re not totally correlative. Moreover, Winston and Celeste’s reunion speaks to the power of emotion over the seemingly deterministic weight of the physical space between them.

Overall, The Space Between is a vibrant, enthusiastic performance, tapping into the youthful exhilaration of love stories and songs alike.

The Space Between recently played at Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum February 25th – March 6th. Additionally, the show is set to play March 17th and 18th at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. For more information and to buy tickets, visit thespacebetweenproject.com.