Otsyuda – “Drift”

Otsyuda – “Drift”

Rabbit holes are funny things.

A couple days ago, conscious of the fact that I was spending a lot of time digging up worthy new shoegazey-and-adjacent bands from around the world, I was possibly/probably ignoring new talent closer to home. So leveraging the crack researching skills I developed over a decade plus of music blogging, I went and Googled “Toronto shoegaze”.

From there, it was over to Reddit and specifically the /r/TorontoMusic subReddit, where someone asked a few months ago,

“Does Toronto have a Shoegaze scene?” @ /r/TorontoMusic

Which introduced some names – some familiar, some not – for future reference and research. Digging further into the sub, I found this thread which caught my attention because of Pavlovian responses ingrained into me from 20 years ago:

Looking for band to join as a guitarist (shoegaze/noise/emo/post-black) @ /r/TorontoMusic

In and of itself, it’s not that notable – and five years old – but the poster citing his tenure in St. Petersburg’s Blankenberge – well, THAT was notable. I love Blankenberge. There were no replies on the thread, a some creeping of the user didn’t produce any hints of success in the band-forming front, so I just filed that under strange coincidences and liked the idea that part of a great Russian shoegaze band was now – or was, at least – residing in my town.

And then yesterday, after nearly a year of radio silence, Blankenberge’s Instagram came active. News of a new record, which they’d been working on since last Spring in Serbia? Nope – a call to check out their former guitarist Daian Aiziatov’s new band, based in Toronto, who’d just released their first single. How about that?

The band is Otsyuda, which as they state on their IG means “From Here” in Russian, and while they hail from all corners of the globe, are now proudly based in Toronto, Canada.

The song is “Drift”, which is an impressive introduction, with chiming guitars that build into a maelstrom of a chorus, then ebbs and tides before an abrupt ending that, if it was meant to leave the listener wanting more and having to hit repeat, absolutely succeeds.

The band just played their first gig last weekend, and hopefully will have more music – live and recorded – to share. And the answer to that initial question – “Does Toronto have a shoegaze scene?” = the answer is yes, Otsyuda is a bright new part of it, and I look forward to reporting on it some more.

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