CMW 2011: Young Galaxy @ Lee's Palace by Adam Bunch

THURSDAY - There have been a lot of changes for Young Galaxy recently. Their new album — appropriately called Shapeshifting — is a bit of a new direction for the band, produced by Swedish electro duo Studio. And judging from the crowd who came to see them at CMW, it has clearly pushed them up at least a step or two in the ranks of Canadian indie popularity. Two years ago they were still playing tiny clubs in their hometown of Montreal. Now, they're easily able to pack Lee's Palace wall to wall on a Thursday night. Drunken fan girls pushed their way up to the front row so they could scream at vocalist Catherine McCandless about how she sexy looked with her own new addition: a pregnant belly. And as if new album with a new sound, a new baby and newfound popularity weren't enough, they were debuting a new drummer and a new guitarist/keyboardist. Frontman Stephen Ramsay joked that the audience would go home so disoriented they wouldn't even be able to brush their own teeth anymore.

But to be honest, standing in the audience, it seemed that the most important things hadn't changed at all.  Young Galaxy did what they've been doing for years: delivering their sweeping, dark epics with a driving force. The new band members didn't miss a beat and McCandless had the same spiritual, almost trance-like energy as she did before her stomach stretched out beneath her peacock print.  It's just that now, more people than ever were paying attention.

Photos: Adam Bunch

Adam Bunch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. He's been on the Polaris Prize jury, lectured at Trampoline Hall and written for PopMatters, Crawdaddy!, 24 Hours and a whole bunch of other places. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


Post a Comment