Oct. 27th, 2017
I once read a quote that went something along the lines of “In the 70’s there were one hundred bands selling a million records. Now there’s a million bands selling one hundred records” (I’ve never been able to trace the original source).
That seems to perfectly sum up the saturated state of the modern music industry, where in most cases, the music put forth by the millions of bands in the market these days tends to be bland and mediocre.
And then there’s Luna Li.
Luna Li is both an individual and a group. Luna Li is Hallie Switzer, Braden Sauder and Charise Aragoza, but Luna is front woman Hannah Bussiere. Their debut EP, Opal Angel, was released on October 10 with support from (local label and arts collective) Fried Records, and is an absolute brilliant first release. Its four-song track list is a sign of the group’s perfectionism; each song is expertly arranged to one of be four indie rock gems that stand out just as strong on their own.
Oct. 24th, 2017
Luna Li, known as Toronto’s garage rock princess (Mick Magazine) released her new 4-track EP Opal Angel last week, celebrating with a release show at the Smiling Buddha. The Opal Angel release show featured Toronto band HEX as well as Montreal’s ggpeach.
The night as a whole served as a reflection of Luna Li herself: beautiful, mesmerizing; at one moment dark and dreamy, and the next a full colour celebration of music and female energy. Luna Li began her set with the audience seated as she performed a duo set with her drummer as she looped guitar and violin, playing songs including the EP title track Opal Angel. The affecting beauty of Luna’s voice coupled with her sublime violin playing was a wonderful and distinct way to begin. After her last violin song, Luna turned and walked off stage as a dancer ascended to the plexiglass platform lit from below. Luna’s voice echoed though the venue in a voiceover speaking of a dreamland, as the dancer embodied the poem though movement. As the poem and dance came to an end, Luna returned to the stage in a full silver sequin dress, followed by the rest of her band, as the audience stood and cheered.
Oct. 14th, 2017
One of the single worst human feelings is waking from an excellent dream, yet not remembering any of it. You think all day of what it could have been only because the memory of its beauty lingers in your brain. Was it living your wildest fantasy? Dancing with a lost love? Or simply a blissful morning in which the dew was as fresh as ever? You’ll never remember, but the happiness of the dream you forgot remains. But there are those dreams in which we are awake, that we truly experience and never forget. Those moments may be viewing a movie you love, others may be roaming a foreign city and some are blissful concerts that ring in our ears until the next morning. It was recently that one of these moments existed, rare as they are; hosted in the cozy Smiling Buddha deep in downtown Toronto was the world’s most inclusive, dreamy and concert, ran and performed at by the ever fantastic Luna Li. (cont.)
Sept. 26th, 2017
Toronto's dreamy rock princess Luna Li performed in Montreal during Slut Island Festival's opening night back in July. We went to sit in a park near by to chat about her latest single (at the time) Star Stuff, new music on the way and everything about being women in music!
Inside the Artists' Shanty - Podcast Interview
Sept. 13th, 2017
Hannah Bussiere, stage name Luna Li, is a bright new star rising on the Canadian Independent Music scene. Starting to play piano at 5 years of age, and violin at 7, she has over 14 years of classical music training, but is now sometimes referred to as the Garage Rock Princess. She attended the Classical Music Conservatory in Toronto, and one semester in McGill Conservatory in Montreal where she started writing her own songs. In 2015 she released her debut album Moon Garden, under the name, Veins. It amassed over 30,000+ online streams and received attention from The Deli Magazine, CBC Radio, Women in Music and Art, and Revibe TO. The Deli has called her music a “dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics.”
In 2016 she finished an Independent Musical Production program at Seneca. In 2017 Luna Li was born and they have recently released 2 videos Opal Angel; and Star Stuff, for which Hannah received the SOCAN Music Award for Young Singer Songwriters. Noisey.Vice.Com said Star Stuff, “sincerely exhibits a sense of optimism and innocence amid Bussiere’s huskier vocals.”
August 31st, 2017
Luna Li was one of the recipients of the SOCAN Foundation Award for Young Canadian Songwriters for her single Star Stuff.
August 25th, 2017
Luna Li is a dreamy, jangle pop garage princess from Toronto. Her 14+ years of classical piano and violin lessons brings a undefinable musical perception to the rock genre ear, as she plays both distorted guitar lines and violin through a looping pedal. Her independence and being herself has drawn a lot of attention and inspiration to the Toronto music scene.
The band is a part of Fried Records, a DIY label that is also home to Goodbye Honolulu, another Toronto-based group with whom they recently played a mini Eastern Canadian tour. This year she has been in the studio experimenting with her sound.
As you listen to the scheming and foxy guitar play, you get a sense of independence and vulnerability as she mulls over her memories. The smooth chill beat will truly make you give yourself time to self-reflect. Luna Li’s 4-track EP also titled “Opal Angel” will be released this fall!
Photos by the lovely Jacqueline Ashton. The video was an all-female collaboration from a group of filmmakers in NYC.
August 23rd, 2017
Opal Angel is a garage-rock daydream, a romp through the celestial weightlessness of the natural world and an escape from the clutter of the man-made environments we live and work in. The song was written and produced by Luna Li, and the single marks her first release since "Star Stuff", which premiered on Noisey in May.
The team behind this project is a group of female filmmakers with a DIY attitude whose aim is to put women in front of the camera with honesty, and behind the camera with confidence.
Luna Li (f.k.a. VEINS) released her debut album Moon Garden in 2015, and the album has amassed over 30,000+ online streams and received attention from The Deli Magazine, CBC Radio, Women in Music and Art, Revibe TO and numerous other sites. The band is a part of Fried Records, a DIY label that is also home to Goodbye Honolulu, the Toronto-based band with whom she recently played a mini Eastern Canadian tour.
Pond Magazine: "Opal Angel" Luna Li Music Video Premiere
August 22nd, 2017
Luna Li's Opal Angel is a garage-rock daydream, a romp through the celestial weightlessness of the natural world and an escape from the clutter of the man-made environments we live and work in. The Toronto based artist, formally known under the moniker VEINS, infused the song's story into the video, working with an all female team. The group of filmmakers includes director Holly Pruner, cinematographer Katelyn Rebelo, producer Annalee Walton, production designer Leticia Bianco and lighting designer Joyce Zhao. Celebrating a DIY attitude, their aim is to put women in front of the camera with honesty and behind it with confidence.
May 29th, 2017
Luna Li's Hannah Bussiere has a low, entrancing voice, not unlike Nancy Sinatra's. Her vocals are commanding over sharp guitar licks and swirling synths in the Toronto-based pop-rock outfit. While Luna Li has a sound and presence we've been privy to before, Bussiere, along with bandmates Charise Aragosa, Hallie Switzer, and Braden Sauder, are fairly fresh in the scene. That freshness and easy sense of freedom—a naivete that is not blissfully ignorant but more a state of being and a mindset—is apparent in the video for their song "Star Stuff."
Perhaps uncoincidentally an homage to Feist's "1234", "Star Stuff" features Bussiere in a cobalt blue jumpsuit dancing with several other women. Unlike "1234", the dancers stay in one spot with glitter thrown about under colourful lights that change with the beat. Band member Charise Aragosa who choreographed the moves in the video has also danced for local legend and favourite Maylee Todd. The video was directed by band member Hallie Switzer.
What makes the song and video so consuming is that it sincerely exhibits a sense of optimism and innocence amid Bussiere's huskier vocals. Speaking about the track's meaning to Noisey, Bussiere says, "The lyrics were kind of birthed out of a negative experience, but they started to take a more positive turn as the song became more about being confident and taking pride in who I am. The 'we're all made of star stuff" part at the end speaks to the fact [that] regardless of any factor like skin colour, we are all beautiful and not that different."
March 31st, 2017
After packing a Honda Civic with as many instruments and healthy snacks as they could, the four-piece band Luna Li hit the road for their first ever tour.
The Toronto-based band has been playing shows in the GTA for a while now, but decided it was time to take a trip to a few of Ontario’s music-loving cities. The tour brought them to Montreal and Kingston, with a chilly show at Avant Garde in Ottawa sandwiched between.
-Keegan Hughes, the DTS
RUNAWAY GIRL FEATURED ON CBC's METRO MORNING
Jan. 6th, 2017
LIVE 55 CJRU - VEINS
Oct. 7th, 2016
On Friday, October 7th, Hannah went on CJRU radio to chat & play a few songs!
June 23rd, 2016
"Veins' goddess-powered pulsations of heartsong and guitar wound the crowd up in vortexes of silk and sulphur."
June 27th, 2016
"Another band under the Fried umbrella to watch for is Veins. Take the energy and power-pop hooks of Goodbye Honolulu and then plunge them underneath ten feet of tropical ocean water and you have Veins. The angelic floating stage-presence of frontgal Hannah Bussierie coupled with the harmonies of her swaying backup singers suit the music perfectly. Their album Moon Garden (Spotify // Bandcamp) is a true-to-form Fried triumph."
Feb. 9th, 2016
"Hannah Bussière is a Toronto based artist and the lead singer of the band VEINS. Her passion for music is reflected in the dreamy euphoria that effortlessly flows from her mouth in a plethora of good vibes and jazzy tunes. With such a vast range of skills it is no shock as to how exceptionally charming she is. Within the past year Hannah has played several venues, notably an event to end rape culture and victim blaming called No Skirting Around. She recently released her first album with the band called Moon Garden which can be streamed or bought on their Bandcamp page."
Sept. 25th, 2015
"Sometimes, music can be heavy, emotional, energetic or raw. But sometimes, music is just incredibly cute. Baby, the new single by Canadian artist VEINS, is a perfect example. The track is sweet, but not too sweet. It's the perfect soundtrack for if all hope seems lost on a Monday like today.
It's your first time listening to VEINS? How nice, it's ours as well! It doesn't take long, however, to get used to the voice of Hannah Bussière. She has a lovely, subtle voice with a comforting ring to it."
Aug. 27th, 2015
Lounge-rock, or, a haunting, roomy version of pop, with plenty of groove and emotion is what Veins is pumping out. With the Moon Garden LP, this offshoot from blues rock is a dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics. Lead singer Hannah has soul to spare, and the whole band ebbs and flows with the emotion from the songs encased within.
The garage-pop of Diggin' In My Grave turns into a stripped down 50's ballad, complete with falsetto back ups and a tambourine. The first band-included song, Runaway Girl, brings a late night dancer with some real mean lead lines and a heavy groove. Chops aplenty from every band member. The disc is chock-full of great songs, including Nightmare Gone To Waste, one of the heavier tunes included in the mix, with a great brooding, ambient melody guitar, and an even spookier sounding lead guitar plucking and scraping away at the notes. The album winds down to close with a sparse, solo piano performance, with an orchestrated string accompaniment, sounding like it was torn right from a Lynch-ish or Tarantino-esque climax.
All in all, the dream-pop of Veins Moon Garden is a great piece of art, keep up-to-date with their facebook for shows in your area.
- Cody Wright