Detroit indie rock group Toughie drops dreamy debut EP

Plus: Bonny Doon’s third studio album ‘Let There Be Music’ is out June 16

Mar 7, 2023 at 8:00 am
click to enlarge The members of Toughie enjoy a slice at Sgt. Pepperoni’s. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
The members of Toughie enjoy a slice at Sgt. Pepperoni’s.

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Toughie keeps it dreamy: Detroit indie rock group Toughie has been on a roll as of late. Through several name changes, the band has continued to create thoughtful and emotive indie pop music that resonates with fans and has landed some notable gigs with Audiotree Presents, among others. Its debut EP Mirror Room just dropped last Friday, and it feels like a long time coming for members Carrie Pitzer (vocals, guitar) and Tim Barrett (guitar), as they’ve been collaborating for over a decade. The band considers the self-released EP a testament to the musical partnership, as it was entirely written, produced, and engineered by the two at Barrett’s home studio. Carrie says of their creative process, I make the outlines and Tim colors them in.” She continues, “This EP is about the clunky and overwhelming journey into adulthood – especially through my lens as a late bloomer. When I finally put myself out there to experience benchmark moments in life, I was essentially a functioning adult feeling that crazy intensity for the first time.” The band also released a video last week for the song “Tender Tension,” which is pretty great. —Broccoli

Comfort Cure is here to ruffle some feathers: Who says that everything we write about has to be brand new? Cheers to the ones that you might have missed! In January of this year, Detroit EBM artist Comfort Cure released Not My Taste, a two-song heater that gives a clear and concise window into a world of dark, driving beats and eerie, verbed-out vocals. (My auto-correct suggested “beasts” in that last sentence. Coincidence?) “Love in the Worst Way” is a powerful, slow build of a song perfect for soundtracking a fogged out room of dastardly creatures, and the bass lines banging against themselves in “Consume It” are enough to disorient even the bravest travelers of the shadow realm. Check it out via Bandcamp, and look out for live dates on the horizon. —Broccoli

Music is a natural high: Local “natural music ensemble” Bonny Doon has announced its new album release date, accompanied by a new single and music video. The song “Naturally” features the band's signature laconic, folksy pop sound, with a bit of country tinge mixed in. The video is a light-hearted wink to the song title, featuring four imposter Bonny Doon stand-ins playing along to the track, as the camera pulls back to reveal the real band members in the director chairs. Each Bonny Dooner gets a lesson in how to properly depict the band, how to act naturally, on a set accented by fake, neon palm trees. Some may recognize the location of the video, the P.L.A.V. Post 10 on Joseph Campau Avenue, which has hosted many Hamtramck Music Fest performances. Bonny Doon’s third studio album Let There Be Music is out June 16 on ANTI- Records, available to pre-order now. —Joe

Experimental hip-hop knows no bounds: Regular readers of this column (we have those, right?) have seen us cover hyper-energetic and forward-thinking crew HiTech before. They already had a big year in 2022, with their debut self-titled LP on Omar S’s FXHE Records (one of our faves), and are poised to blast off even more in 2023. Next Tuesday, March 14, the trio are playing on an unreal bill at The Sanctuary, opening for the current king of underground hip-hop MIKE. The New York rapper takes a more sample-based approach to music, a heavy nod to his MF Doom influence, but with a lo-fi soulful production style that compliments his free-form rhyming beautifully. MIKE was just in town recently as a guest at Bruiser Thanksgiving, and has also shared local bills with Black Noi$e and Bruiser Wolf, so clearly there’s come special Motor City sauce he keeps coming back for. HiTech’s rapid ghettotech indebted music definitely represents the next wave, and experiencing them live on The Sanctuary’s sound system is not to be missed. Tickets available via the venue’s website. —Joe

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