Special Costello – Strange Beauty

Halifax‘s Special Costello, who we last heard from on 2015 EP SOFT/TRON, which featured the brilliant long-form crooner “Losing Ground”, is back with a new EP, and it’s yet another step up for the solo melancholy electronic popster.

Starting with the uptempo but not upbeat “September Rain”, the song quickly establishes that the Strange Beauty EP will be Jeremy Costello’s poppiest release to date. But the title track is a direct contrast to the opener, a dark ballad whose direct lyrics and delivery make for one of the year’s most beautiful slow jams. After “Collateral”, a stellar frantic electro-post-punk track, the record takes an experimental turn, closing with a lovely ten-minute ambient piece, “Staycation”.

It’s on of the finest EPs you’ll hear this year, and we’re eagerly awaiting whatever Special Costello has next in store for us. Strange Beauty is available now from Bandcamp.

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Premiere: Latest Cry – Signs

Tremendously exciting news today from Toronto, as For Esmé frontwoman Martha Meredith is teaming up with producer James Bunton (whose brilliant discography is endless, recently including Vivek Shraya, Light Fires, Kashka and of course, For Esmé). So before we even hit play on “Signs”, the debut track from their new duo Latest Cry, we knew the song was going to be a guaranteed winner.

A concise electronic pop epic, its contemplative, echoing intro soon explodes into one of the biggest, catchiest choruses you’ll hear all year. Featuring some heavy guitar and synths, with Meredith’s voice towering and forceful above it all, the song is about the pressure that exists on women “to suppress honesty for the sake of softness” and being transparent without fear. The video, directed by Spencer Cathcart, is a psychedelic feast, colourful and full of superimposition tricks. All in all, a very powerful first statement from a band we can’t wait to hear more from!

Luckily there’s not long to wait. Latest Cry’s debut EP is out June 3. In the meantime, “Signs” is available now from Bandcamp.

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Sean Nicholas Savage – Romeo

Full disclosure: we love all things Sean Nicholas Savage. I don’t think there is any artist we’ve covered for as long or as much as him. Last year’s Other Death, a companion piece to 2014’s Other Life, is a wondrous album, and the fact that another single has been released from it proves how full of killer material it is. The video for “Romeo” is the opening credits for the weirdest TV show you’ve ever seen. Directed by Abba Lucas, and featuring footage from 1977’s Cosmos: The War of the Planets, the video showcases Sean’s pained expressions and amazing presence in a mesmerizing way.

Other Death is available via Sean’s Bandcamp, and is still a great addition to his ever increasing oeuvre.

Silent Shout is co-presenting a benefit concert in Toronto with Sean Nicholas Savage and Arubutus Records. Cadence Weapon, Calvin Love and Petra Glynt are also on the bill. All proceeds go to No Borders Open Kitchen, which provides food to Syrian Refugees making their way through Greece.

Join us at the Garrison on Friday, July 1st for a night of awesome music and an extended last call dance party, all for a good cause. Tickets are available online and at the door.

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Premiere: Lesionread – Listen To Me

Reminiscent of early Zero 7 and some of Bibio’s best, today’s premiere comes to us via Lesionread, a Canadian in exile, currently living less than a kilometre from the Canadian border, in Buffalo.

Sometimes music videos strive to achieve too much, either through contrived narrative elements or by simply missing the mark. However, in the case of today’s premiere, it is quite the opposite. The music video set to Lesionread’s “Listen To Me” perfectly mirrors the music’s psychedelic-pop essence – with the help of oscillating kaleidoscopic visions and, well, every color imaginable. Meanwhile, the music is deeply layered, complete with grandiose sweeping filter effects – etching a rich backdrop for Lesionread’s coy vocals. Trippy, man!

As we await Lesionread’s promised return to Canadian soil, make sure to check out his upcoming split cassette mixtape with Niagara Falls’ singer Space Cubs, out June 3rd. We surely will! In the meantime, there’s plenty of back catalogue on Bandcamp to explore.

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Premiere: Rational Youth – Future Past Tense

Rational Youth are legendary figures to Canadian synth-pop heads. Their debut LP Cold War Night Life released in 1986 is one of the finest examples of the strength of Canada’s new wave scene in the 80s. Now, after a few line-up changes, we at Silent Shout are thrilled the present the premiere of their first EP since 1999. Future Past Tense lives up to their stellar reputation and sounds simultaneously retro and modern at the same time. All the core things we loved about Rational Youth remains in tact: the analog synths, hook-laden choruses, synth solos galore and more!

The band is now an Ottawa-based husband/wife duo featuring Gaenor and Tracey Howe (also the former guitarist for Men Without Hats), but the record is chock-a-block with amazing sounds despite the sparse line-up. Every track is a throwback in the best possible way. EP opener “This Side of the Border” sounds like something straight from the 80s, and the poppy angst of “Here It Comes Again” showcases some fine early goth sentiments while maintaining a joie-de-vivre synth-pop line.

Future Past Tense is available on 10″ vinyl in June via their Bandcamp and Artoffact Records, with 200 limited-edition copies on clear vinyl.

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