Halifax’s Grace Stratton might best be known as one of the members of Willie Stratton and the Boarding Party, but she also makes incredible experimental pop as a self-produced solo artist under the royal moniker Electric Princess. Today, we’re treated to the first single off her debut EP, and “Future is Now” is a mixture of guitar drum machines, and reverby swooshes that is very much our thing. Looking forward to hearing the EP! It’ll be relesed on cassette in August by the good people at the Cerealbowl Collective.
Back in March, we were introduced to the wonderfully lush underground pop stylings of Philadelphia’s Dream Safari (aka Chris Coulton) with the release of uber-catchy single “Starzone”. Today, we’re pleased to get to premiere his latest jam, the sax-heavy “Hotline,” a bouncy and tightly arranged pop tune that fits in very well with his self-described “jungle disco” aesthetic. Reminding a bit of Miracle Fortress, Jens Lekman, the Russian Futurists and others on the uptempo bedroom pop tip, Dream Safari offers a fully realized vision as accomplished as these veterans of the scene. We predict big things!
We’ll be eagerly awaiting the next pop nugget from this Philadelphia phenom, and hopefully a full-length album won’t be too far behind. For now, check the oeuvre (you’ll like it so far) on Soundcloud.
After a bursting onto the scene and earning the sixth spot on our Top Songs of 2014, Gavin Noir’s singular synthpop has returned in the form of the Lovelife EP. The London, Ontario based “enigmatic producer” offers us a return to 80s synthpop pastiche, drenched in pastel tones, innocuous tape hiss and dissonant vocals. Standout track “Someone Like You” is a slow dance ballad that has all the right elements to become a smooth disco-ball anthem in the world of – let’s say – Netflix’s upcoming Wet Hot American Summer TV series?
We’ve been waiting for an official release from Gavin for a long while, and are super excited to finally have something. The Lovelife EP is out now on his Bandcamp and is available digitally for the price of $3.
Rhythm of Cruelty, the mysterious Edmonton duo of Ian Rowley and Brandi Strauss, released their follow up to last year’s Dysphoria with Saturated, a bleak as hell 7-track banger with catchy post-punk tunes for the post-apocalypse.
The LP opens with the eerie audio-collage “Knowing Your Future,” that sounds like a cut from an ’80s neo-futurist soundtrack to a film full of punk mutants hiding out from the sun’s radiation in decayed cities waking from a nuclear winter. Sweeping LFOs, guitar feedback and creepy squeals of a sax open the LP until the militaristic industrial rapping of the drum machine kicks in high-gear on “Day In, Day Out” and continues to pound out over the next six tracks.
There is a sinister union of man vs. machine going on here, with the crashing punk howl of Rowley’s guitar, Strauss’ high-played Peter Hookesque basslines, and her dejected vocals caught between the dripping cave echo and the glossy wool of reverb – all in time to an up-tempo distorted machine march.
Undergoing a pretty massive change in style, Toronto’s Ben Gunning (originally of the legendary Local Rabbits) has taken his experimental singer-songwriter approach to a very electropop place with his newest single “Massive Love”. Aided no doubt by his ridiculously talented new band (Kieran and Joseph from Diana, Thom Gill of OG Melody, Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen), it’s a total summer jam. Such an amazing instrumental refrain! So much groove! Can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!