Any follower of the underground Canadian pop scene can tell you that Toronto duo Phèdre pretty much reign supreme. We heavily dug “Zastroszy” when it came out back in February, and now the dancefloor stormer has a killer video to accompany it. Director Mina Sewell Mancuso has create an extremely colourful nighttime piece set at the CNE, and the flashing lights and carnival attractions match the dizzying song extremely well. Featuring an entourage made of interpretive dance group HATAW, who provide some fantastic and original choreography, the whole thing is nothing short of a visual feast.

“Zastroszy” is yet another in a fine lineage of Phèdre vids – refresh your memory by checking out the classics for “Tivoli” and “Sunday Someday”. And they’ve got a bunch of Canadian tour dates lined up for this summer, check them out if they’re coming your way!

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Premiere: High Jinx – Human

Toronto electropop duo Ranny Lee and Moby Holman aka High Jinx have been wowing us consistently over the past couple of years, but just hit some exciting new heights with their latest single “Human”. We’re very excited to premiere the video for the new single here today.

Directed by Sean L.T. Cartwright, it’s a futuristically-lit, Blade Runner-evoking video featuring the band alternately performing and constructing a robot. It’s an excellent use of clever props and visual effects to create a science fiction feel on a low budget. The song itself is an ode to the human imperfections in relationships and the unrealistic expectations we often bring to them, but it’s still a fun, playful track that’s endlessly replayable. We’ve commented before about how these two have a knack for earworm pop that will not leave your head, and “Human” is no exception to the rule.

You can catch up with all things High Jinx and hear more of their tunes on their official website.

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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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Premiere: Tend & See – Migrations

A few months ago, we found ourselves utterly captivated by Vancouver duo Tend & See‘s mesmerizing soft electronic pop debut Migrations, an EP that still stands up as one of the best of the year. And today, we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to debut the video for the title track.

A time-lapse travelogue that shifts from a car dashboard traveling from city streets to plains to planes, beaches to tundra, it’s a beautiful accompaniment to the delicate, immersive “Migrations”. The sped-up pace of the imagery contrasts excellently with the meditative but propulsive song. A massive amount of footage must have been required to pull this one off, and there’s some especially remarkable shots capturing two polar bears sparring. Glad the director kept their distance!

Tend & See are on the verge of releasing a remix EP, which we’re very excited to hear. It’s out June 1 on Abandon Building Records and is available now for pre-order from Bandcamp.

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