Review: Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

Apologies for this belated review, it was actually quite interesting to write as I had two separate opinions – one about the band (fantastic!) and one about the event/concert venue (not so good). It’s not the first time that I’ve had a split opinion but it was disappointing nonetheless. But let’s start with the good news first. I was lucky enough to catch the Korean Indie band, Love X Stereo when they performed in Toronto at Indie Week Canada this year at The Peacok (365 King Street West).

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

Love X Stereo rocked!

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

I was super excited to see Love X Stereo perform in Toronto, and to meet the lovely Annie Ko (their lead singer) whom I chatted online with beforehand. I already liked their music so the chance to see them live was something I wasn’t going to pass up. Nor was I going to miss the chance to chat in person – and interview – with them. (more on this shortly)

Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

They didn’t disappoint. Lots of energy, a fun vibe, friendly and approachable band. What’s not to like? Honestly, the only part of their set that was disappointing was that it was so short. They looked like they were enjoying the performance, stayed calm & cool during the technical difficulties and once everything was up and running, performed a fun set with some great music. I love the combination of Annie’s breathy, sweet sounding vocals with the alt-rock guitar and drums layered with synth-pop, electro beats. Sweet!

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

However, to be fair, I have to report on the rest of the night. This venue was super small and really not the best for live music – no stage (which meant anyone behind the front row wouldn’t be able to see much), awkward set-up (one had to walk past the band performing to get to the bar), and to top matters off, they had technical problems. I won’t even mention the bad lighting because that really only affected people like me taking pictures (notice the pink tinge to all of them).

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

But the most disappointing thing was the crowd, or lack thereof. I really, really wish more people came out to hear this great band because they were fun to watch, had a fabulous & unique sound, plus I ended up with a nice little interview afterwards. If you have a chance to see Love X Stereo live, do so! You won’t regret it.

Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

Glow Review

Not long before Love X Stereo arrived in Toronto, they released a new EP entitled Glow. I have to say that the EP just made me like them more. There’s not a bad song among the bunch. Their sound is a kinda like electronic, alternative, dance and guitar-driven rock were all stirred together, along with some sweet female vocals. The final sound is interesting, eclectic and often more danceable than most alternative/indie bands.

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

1. Lose to Win – This song is a fabulous showcase of Annie’s powerful vocals. Soulful and full of emotion, this is one song that will speak to you.

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

2. Fly Over – A fun, fast-paced song that just makes me want to hit the dance floor.

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

3. Secrets – Love the instrumentals in this song! Secrets is my favourite of the bunch.

Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Annie Ko, lead singer of Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

4. Crossing Rivers – My least favourite song but nonetheless, an interesting mix of guitar and softer vocals.

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

5. Soul City (John Gaska Remix) – This was one of the songs that helped me fall in love with this band. The combination of Annie’s vocals with the synth-rock of this song is powerful and danceable. I dare you to sit still!

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

6. Soul City (J-Path Remix) – In this remix of the same song, you get a more 80s Brit Pop feel (early New Order anyone).

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

7. Chain Reaction (J-Path Remix) – This song has the most electro-dance sound of all the songs in the EP. Listening to it, I can picture myself swaying in the club to it.

Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013
Love X Stereo at Indie Week Canada 2013

Bonus Review – MK Card

Since I was listening to the music I just reviewed on a different format than I’m used to, I thought I’d say a few words about the format as well. You see, after seeing them perform their short set live, Annie Ko gave me a copy of the EP on a F5goods MK Card.

Pros: This is a fabulously light and portable way to give out your music – it’s a credit card sized card with a QR code that unlocks the music on either your computer or smartphone. I love Korean technology (but that’s an entirely different story). Portable and good quality.

Neutral: You need an internet connection to listen to the music as it’s streamed. This could be either a pro or a con so I’m listing it as ‘neutral’.

Cons: I had to listen to it by pressing play for each separate song, which meant I pressed play more than 20 times just to write the review because I always listen to each song at least 3 times before writing about it. Plus it doesn’t seem to allow users to download the music so I can’t add it to a playlist and listen to the songs with my other music, which means I’m going to listen to it all less than I would otherwise. Too bad!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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