Northern Exposure is a weekly feature where I (Mark) present you with something from the underground of Canadian music.
It’s always pleasing when an album or EP comes at you right out of the gate and sets the tone for all songs that follow. I mention that of course because it’s exactly what the new EP, titled No Relation, from Montreal foursome Trade Secrets does. The opener “On The Road” feels a lot like the title suggests with its trudging and grimy lo-fi sound. Even though the sound on No Relation is lo-fi, it is quite full and thick throughout the entire EP. The second track “Saturday” starts out with some nice bright guitar chords that carry through the entire song. Trade Secrets keep this upbeat lo-fi sounds going until the fifth track, “Nocturnal”. “Nocturnal” starts off with a bass line that you might expect to hear opening a Pixies song before jumping into the rough, tumble and sometimes anguished sounding meat of the track. But Trade Secrets get back to their sunny, Strokes-esque ways on the final track “Last Spring”. Overall, this collection of 6 tracks is a really fun listen. It’s littered with influences from various garage and alternative rock bands like The Strokes and even Weezer at points. However, just when I want to pigeonhole them as a soundalike to one of those bands they switch things up just enough to throw me off the scent. So either stream No Relation down below or head over to Trade Secrets’ bandcamp page to download No Relation as a pay what you want. Rock these tracks at a party and I’m sure they’ll fit right in.