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MP3 The Torrent - Leonora Moreno

Electronically influenced avant-rock with electric guitar wrestling melodic violin, driving beats, dramatic vocals and swelling synth.

12 MP3 Songs in this album (36:20) !
Related styles: ROCK: Experimental Rock, ROCK: Post-Rock/Experimental

People who are interested in The Jesus and Mary Chain The Magnetic Fields Beat Happening should consider this download.


The Torrent is not named after a download protocol. Mike Barry plays guitar and sings, and Cameron Groves sings, plays violin and deals with the machines. In April 09 The Torrent releases two new singles for the Building Blocks Digital Singles Club, to be featured later on a vinyl compilation LP. The same month, a 12-song CD, Leonora Moreno, came out on the Tetrapod Music label.


Mike and Cameron met at a film festival in 2005 and bonded over a talk about Amy Lockhart’s cult classic Miss Edmonton Teenburger 1983. Mike moved in with Cameron a week or two later.

One afternoon that summer, Mike was about to head off on tour with the Hidden Cameras, and Cameron was rocking a miniature Casio. “There’s music in you that wants to get out,” said Mike. At that moment The Torrent was born.

They started jamming on violin and electric guitar. They wrote songs; Catherine Deneuve was inspired by a photo stuck to the fridge door. “She looks like a cat,” Cameron said. Mike wrote the riff.

They named the band after a 1926 Garbo film. Their first gig was at 2am at the Drake Underground during Canadian Music Week, filling in at the last minute. They played to about half a dozen enthusiastic Danish indie rockers, who sang along to “Hey Stranger.” One of them jumped up and down and yelled, “It’s a hit!”

Then they played a show in Peterborough, where the only people in the audience were the other band and the restaurant staff.

After The Torrent had been around for about a year, Tara Azzopardi joined, playing keys, mainly. As a trio they played shows at Toronto clubs like Lee''s Palace, Sneaky Dee’s and El Mocambo. They opened for acts including Electrelane and Vampire Weekend. They got compared to all sorts of bands: Alien Sex Fiend, Young Marble Giants, Beat Happening, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, The Smiths, Magnetic Fields, Morphine, Joy Division.

When The Torrent headlined Wavelength in 2008, a reviewer for Now wrote that “Watching The Torrent is like looking through an old View-Master; around the edges there may be a faded punk nostalgia, but this only works to bring into sharp focus their bright and innovative centre.”

Around the same time Mike moved out, and The Torrent started recording in Cameron’s makeshift home studio. He mixed together five songs as a kind of experiment, and called the collection ep07. It spent a few weeks in the Canadian campus radio Top 50. Exclaim reviewed the EP: “Twitchy art school dance floor rock is the name of the game for The Torrent, and it’s a game they play rather well.”

In summer and fall 2008, The Torrent released videos for their songs Musik Machine (featuring Keith Cole naked on light-up guitar) and Catherine Deneuve (featuring Tara’s drawings of the actress and assorted cats). The band also became a duo again, when Tara left to focus on other stuff. They began collaborating with animator Philippe Blanchard, who creates trippy interactive projections for their shows.

In 2009, Blocks Recording Club asked The Torrent to record two new songs to release as free downloads, the first instalment in Building Blocks Digital Singles Club. Blocks will release a vinyl compilation LP in the fall, including songs from five more bands. People can get the downloads through the Blocks Facebook group.

The Torrent’s first LP, Leonora Moreno, came out in April 2009.

The Band

Michael Barry: electric guitar
Mike e.b. was in the Hidden Cameras for many years, and now plays with psych-noise band LSDoubleDCup. He also starred as Bart the security guard in the 2004 cult classic Dawn of the Dead. He plays a skinhead in Atom Egoyan’s Adoration.

Cameron Groves: violin/vox/machines
Cameron sings, plays violin, and makes short films that have screened at festivals all over. In 2008 he put together the videos for Musik Machine and Catherine Deneuve, using vintage film footage, pulsing white boxes and flying cat heads.

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