This is a perfect example of how less can be more. Toronto’s Bénédicte has been releasing a trickle of singles over the past few months, and this one really shines with its haunting minimalism and atmospheric tension. She uses a melody with plenty of silent spaces as a backbone, and mixes in blurred incantations and the occasional percussion step. We’re interested to see what she gets up to next!
Vancouver’s Chandra Melting Tallow has been perhaps better known for her performance art and multi-media work, but she’s been secretly at work for the last five years crafting a unique and experimental take on electronic pop as Mourning Coup. All that work has culminated in a wonderful debut record, Baby Blue, which came out a couple of weeks ago. There’s a lot of breadth to the album, ranging from the plaintive synth ballad “Saturn Sakura” to epic noisy drone odyssey “Somnium,” but if we had to pick a favourite, it’s the uptempo nearly-album-closer “Burn One for the Saints,” which seems to capture Mourning Coup at her poppiest while simultaneously incorporating the noise elements and experimental textures found throughout the record.
To recap: Baby Blue is a remarkable album, from one of the most talented experimental pop talents in Western Canada. It’s available digitally or on vinyl from Mourning Coup’s Bandcamp, and you should really look into it.
Ominar is the solo electronic pop project of Halifax’s Tawnie Lucas, and she’s been making excellent gloomy bedroom pop under the name for about a year. Back in June, she released her debut album Transition Roads, a short but impressive record that skews melancholy, ambient, and dramatic. Our favourite track, “Candles,” features sparse instrumentation, beautifully subtle harmonies, and some very moody synths. Seems like Ominar is off to a seriously great start!
You can grab Transition Roads directly from Ominar on Bandcamp.
It’s been too long since we’ve heard from How Sad. The Montreal super-pop group was a go-to constant favourite of ours, playing a few Silent Shout shows over the years, and making it on numerous year-end lists. “Cloud Nine” is a welcomed treat with most of the usual tropes we’ve loved from the band — falsetto chorus, a build-up to a emotional freak-out, and just pure pop perfection.
This is the first single from their new album Everything Happens available on September 25th. We didn’t realize how much we missed them, and are super pleased to have them back.
Ben Gunning is quickly raising in the ranks to become one of our favourite projects since he dramatically changed his style in his latest few songs. We were blown away with “Massive Love,” and the next single “Live in Love” (detecting a theme here) is no different.
Featuring a groove that is simply spectacular, and an amazing saxophone part played by Diana’s Joseph Shabason, “Live in Love” is most certainly a treat of a listen. We already talked at length about his stellar lists of collaborators, but it bears repeating once again: Kieran from Diana, Thom Gill (whose influence can CERTAINLY be heard throughout the song), Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen. Holy cow!
Now, we just need to hear this on an album. No word on that yet, but let’s assume, hope and dream that it’s coming soon.