Spotlight on Toronto from musician, artist, Scout & badass, Jeremy MacFarlane:
Part of the magical Hookline potion is that we have talented Scouts all over the world unearthing eclectic and territory-specific genres. Lately, Hookline has been drooling over the magnificent soundwaves rolling in from Toronto. So, we asked our Toronto Scout, Jeremy Macfarlane, to divulge what it’s like to be inspiring and inspired amidst so much musical talent and energy. We think it would be outright naughty not to share a little bit from Jeremy’s intel:
Jeremy Clifton MacFarlane. “But you can call me J”
Toronto. Where he’s recreating a dirty, dark burned out house into something liveable for his family. “Should be done in 2026”
Toronto based Production Designer & Musician
A bit of Jeremy history:
Jeremy blames his passion for music mostly on his father introducing him to an emotional performance by Supertramp Babaji. Jeremy was only five, and he was sold. At seven, Jeremy recorded his first song on his neighbour’s 2 track, reel to reel. [Insert 20 some years.] Jeremy studied Jazz performance piano for three years at York University and left to pursue a band he put together. Jeremy fell into the film/advertising world shortly after that. It enabled him and his wife, Jennifer, (then girlfriend) to eat a little more often and provided him with a sought after cube-van which was ideal to stuff gear and friends into for transport to various gigs. Jeremy ended up drawing and designing after working under a few different production designers in town. He’s been doing *all of that* for almost 20 years. Music never stopped for Jeremy and his latest project is a three piece band called, The Sleepovers.
Jeremy on the interwebs:
- Jeremy’s commercial reel
- The Sleepovers on Facebook
- The Sleepovers on Soundcloud
- The Sleepovers on Instagram
Jeremy, can you give us four, Toronto-based artists that should be on our playlists *right now*?
Right, none of these artists have anything to do with each other, nevertheless, they’re some of my favourites.
To me, this is the perfect mix of synth/pop and dance rock. The vocals are smooth and relaxed, the harmonic structures are interesting – rhythmically you just want to move. I’ve had “Bones” in constant rotation since I found him completely by accident as one of the co-contestants for the CBC searchlight2015. I was browsing around Soundcloud and noticed he started following us. I like his engineering chops and the way he experiments with song structure. The piano breakdown in “Bones” had me in seconds. Sometimes songs just hit you that way. I should also mention that he’s a pretty killer remix artist.
AAAAAAAAAH, I saw these guys do a quick show a year or so ago in a small club in Toronto called Cherry Cola’s. I was in awe instantly. They’re no holds barred. The lead vocalist and bassist Nick Sewell throws his long hair around like a sweaty piece of rope, and he has a legitimate rock voice gruff – something you’re only born with. The whole band quite simply rocks. So I guess my first impression was a live one, but at their show I bought their 10” EP. I remember Nick saying, “You’re going to actually listen to this right?” I assured him I would. And I did. I love the production, great mix of psychedelic and garage rock. There’s also definite notes of Sabbath all over their songs.
More here: https://nowtoronto.com/music/concert-reviews/biblical-and-panic-at-the-horseshoe/
My daughter belongs to a kids choir in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. What this means is we usually have to hang out and have dinner while she’s singing because driving back and forth to our house takes too long. While my wife Jen and our son Barrett were hanging out after dinner at a coffee shop they began chatting with this lovely guy named Byram. My son bought his record having no idea who he actually was. I met him shortly after that. It was refreshing being able to chat about mixing consoles and drum recording techniques, (stuff that my family or friends shutter when I bring up in a conversation). I got that record for my birthday as result of that introduction and although I don’t listen to a ton of soul music I was totally blown away. It represents all the best parts of soul and hip hop having a low, calm and simmering vibe to it – not unlike Diggable Planets or Q-Tip. Slakah The Beatchild is easily the highest profile guy on my little list here, having produced for Drake and Nelly Furtado but to me he feels like a real local part of what we have here in the soul music genre.
I just discovered these guys. The Angelene is strangely catchy and inventive. There said to be innovative live and high energy, unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to see them yet.
Big thanks to Jeremy MacFarlane for sharing his wizardry. Next time we’re in Toronto, we’re hunting you down.