We have expressed our love for Ben Gunning with his string of amazing singles, but now we have an entire album to sink our teeth into. The long-time Toronto mainstay has really found a unique groove with Massive Love, which is a–for lack of a better word–MASSIVE record that is filled to brim with interesting instrumentation and arrangements.
Taking on an almost prog-funk style, the album introduces itself with the infectiously groovy “Reverence,” moves into the mega hit “Massive Love” and continues on the journey from there. We go from slow R&B (“High Road”), to electro-pop banger (“Live in Love”), to Bowie/Prince-inspired jazzy weirdness (“Mouth to Hell”).
Produced by Kieran Adams, a superstar in his own right, so there’s no doubt that the record is infused with a level of precision and professionalism that puts it in the pantheon of must-listens for 2015. Not to mention the other collaborators, which we’ve spoken about at length, but it bears repeating: DIANA’s Kieran Adams and Joseph Shabason, Bonjay’s Alanna Stuart, OG Melody/general wunderkind Thom Gill and that’s just the tip of iceberg! There is so much amazing talent on this record!
Massive Love is available for purchase via Ben Gunning’s Bandcamp. You can also catch him on Friday, December 4th when he plays our 5th Anniversary Party at the Smiling Buddha with Lydia Ainsworth, Lockbox and Hush Pup. Advance tickets are available for Day 1, Day 2, or the festival as a whole.
Foxtrott has been firing on all cylinders for the better part of 2015. Her record A Taller Us, released last week on One Little Indian, is a supremely satisfying listen, harkening back to pre-Austra Katie Stelmanis levels of experimental almost-operatic electro-pop.
But as good as that record is, I gotta say that I am absolutely floored by her latest video. Weird dancing in a seemingly never-ending quarry? Really fucking cool. Was there a helicopter involved in this shoot? Regardless, the sheer spectacle of the video fits the sense of doom and unease that permeates throughout “Shaky Hands.” The video is the perfect companion piece to the similarly beautiful “Driven,” which also features some weird dancing on rocks.
A Taller Us is out now in North American, December 4 elsewhere and has been on repeat in our offices since it was released. Get it now on One Little Indian.
Montreal’s Lesley Ann Foster has developed quite the reputation over the years as a DJ and backup singer for Karneef and Mozart’s Sister, but is now stepping into the limelight as L.A. Foster. At the same time, she’s leaving town – so her debut EP Saudade also serves as a goodbye letter to Montreal. Produced by Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy, it’s an incredibly strong beginning, featuring some deeply grooving minimal electro-R&B tracks. Killer melodies, and a killer voice. We’re instant fans!
Not sure where she’s headed next, probably L.A.? Saudade is available via a free mailed postcard (!) if you attend the release party this Saturday in Montreal. It also features the incredible Scott Hardware (formerly known as Ken Park), so don’t miss it!
What an incredible end-of-year surprise! An absolutely stunning new single from Toronto’s resident intergalactic electro-soul visionary, Maylee Todd. Although her work has always had a strong electronic undercurrent, like on the now classic “Baby’s Got It”, her psychedelic funk/soul vibe usually dominated. Perhaps it was her work with Dan Werb in their incredible electronic pop duo Ark Analog that presaged this transition, or maybe this is a one-time-only thing, but brand new single “Lonely” is Maylee gone fully electronic, and we love it beyond measure. A kicking four-on-the-floor beat juxtaposed against soft vocals and warm synth sounds, it’s a perfect melancholy dance track which asks repeatedly, “When will I not be lonely?”
The video was directed by Fred Yurichuk, Jason Lutz, and Maylee herself, the same team behind the magnificent “Hieroglyphics” video last year. Featuring a mesmerizing mirrored dance performance from Minae Omi and shot from a very unusual perspective, it’s a most excellent companion to the track.