Pop Music shop’s Valentine’s Day listening party welcomes couples and singles

Fans enjoyed a night of exclusive access to Idles' latest album

People stand among the record stacks at Pop Music record shop
Attendees and Pop Music owner Derek Antonio listen to the new Idles album at the listening event on Feb. 14, 2024. (Zaira Roxas/Toronto Observer) 

A local record store in East York hosted a Valentine’s Day event for lovers … of music.

Pop Music was the only record store in Toronto chosen by the British rock band Idles to feature a listening party for their news studio album, Tangk.

The shop on Broadview Avenue near Gerrard Street East held an exclusive preview on Feb. 14.

“Love is the fing,” Antonio, founder and owner of Pop Music, told the Observer before the event, in a nod to the band’s tagline for the album release and the Valentine’s Day theme. He said the band sees love as a central theme in their new album. 

We’re creating a fan moment, even though the band can’t be here in person,” Antonio said. “It’s an opportunity for fans to get together and to hear the new album first before it gets released.”

Tangk was released on Feb. 16, making the Pop Music listening party an opportunity for fans to experience the music firsthand. 

Idles formed in 2009 in Bristol, U.K.. Their music is often associated with punk rock and post-punk genres. They have released five albums: Brutalism (2017), Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), which followed by their first UK Number One album Ultra Mono (2020), Crawler (2021), and their latest album, Tangk (2024).

Attendee Ari Robinson praised the album’s production and described it as a perfect mix of calm and hardcore elements.

“I thought it was probably their best album,” he said. 

A vinyl record collector is browsing through the records at Pop Music.
A vinyl record collector is browsing through the records at Pop Music. (Zaira Roxas/Toronto Observer)

Pop Music opened in November 2017 and offers a wide selection of records and premium licensed tees and merch.

With the vinyl community known for its tight-knit culture, the event offered more than just music appreciation on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a way for [Idles] fans to meet each other, as well and kind of create friendships and bonds because the vinyl community is very close-knit. It’s a very small world and fans are very passionate,” Antonio said.

The ambiance of the event was intimate and relaxed, with about 30 attendees chatting and swaying to the album playing on the turntable.

The store was decorated with a disco ball, adding some sparkle to the evening. Couples and solo music lovers took in the 11 tracks from the album, some quietly nodding along while others danced and laughed.

Attendees had the exclusive opportunity to win signed art prints by the band, posters, and an exclusive edition of the album only available at the event. Everyone also received unique Idles Valentine’s Day cards.

Among the attendees, Justin Maradin, an Idles fan accompanied by his partner, said he was glad for the opportunity to listen to the album early at a local record store. “It’s nice if you have someone that likes Idles as well,” he added.

Idles’ upcoming 2024 tour will be hitting major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. 

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Posted: Feb 17 2024 5:00 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Entertainment Music News Spotlight On Small Biz Things to do