Alligator Baby closed out the Southern Ontario leg of their album launch tour with a show at Hamilton venue The Pearl Company. The Montreal-based band recently released The Cool Side of the Pillow, their debut full-length album, and have been promoting it locally as well as on the road.

The band played well received shows in Toronto at the Cameron House and the Tranzac prior to traveling to Hamilton, bringing their pop-melody infused rock sound to the GTA. Playing alongside local bands such as The Fox and the Moon, Erika Werry and the Alphabet, Blood of the Fallen, The Real, Whiskey Epiphany and Amber, Alligator Baby entertained audiences with their catchy tunes like Sweet n’ Sour Slant, my personal favourite off the record.


Lead singer and songwriter/guitarist Olivia Balanga-Santos has a vocal range and quality that allows her to sing softly and gracefully in songs like Jon and the Mysterious Cloud and also turn up the voltage and belt out melodies in songs like Calling Confidence. The strong vocal lines and song structures are backed by Gary Sifoni, Joe Lamantia and Marc Vachon on drums.

They are currently filming a new music video. Until its completion, check out Sweet n’ Sour Slant and listen to the groovy ska vibe in the middle:

Alligator Baby are an unabashedly brazen foursome whose debut album The Cool Side of the Pillow has several notable traits that combine to make an interesting collage of sounds and ideas. In some ways it harkens back to retro days while also offering a refreshingly modern flare.

The album features sparse musical textures reminiscent of Led Zeppelin or the Who back in the 70s, yet the vocal melodies have a modern power-pop quality to them that gives the songs great energy.The group often sticks to the basic band set-up: vocals, guitars, bass and drums, but some tracks like Invitation to Treat feature auxiliary instruments like the glockenspiel and triangle which add a lovely flare to the album as a whole.

Singer/songwriter Olivia is a master of enunciation, which seems like a simple thing but I’ve heard very few singers who pronounce their words as clearly as Olivia. This is really important in storytelling songs like Jon & the Mysterious Cloud where there are a lot of words in a little time. You’ve never left guessing what she’s saying, and that’s nice.

My personal favourite is Sweet n Sour Slant which breaks into a jumpin’ ska section in the middle of the song which features a great saxophone part (is this the sour in the sweet n sour?  For me it’s the sweet!).  What’s your favourite track?

Alligator Baby is made up of Olivia Balanga-Santos (vocals, guitar), Joe Lamantia (guitar), Gary Sifoni (bass) and Marc Vachon (drums).

Alligator Baby will be performing in Toronto Thursday July 11th at The Cameron House (408 Queen Street) at 6pm and Friday at The Tranzac Bar (292 Brunswick Ave) at 8pm and as part of the Hamilton Jamboree on Saturday July 13th at 8pm (for more info). 

You can stream the Thursday and Saturday shows live @