1. West Nile – LOTTA PPL
2. Rolemodel – Teen Idol
3. Ladyfrnd – Geist
4. Stefana Fratila – Heartland
5. LA Timpa – UU UU Animal
6. U.S. Girls – Woman’s Work
7. VIRE – Swing Shift (Nash the Slash cover)
8. RAMZI – Princess of Cups
9. L’esprit – Nature
10. Ben Gunning – Massive Love
11. Dream Safari – Hotline
12. Camp David – Nova Heart (Spoons cover)
13. Sean Paul – Always Be True
14. Bataille Solaire – Hom dans la Ville
15. Gavin Noir – Someone Like You
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.
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!
Our bloggy brethren Quick Before it Melts are becoming well-known for their annual Canada day Cancon covers compilation Dominionated, and this year’s edition featured a ton of artists we love, including Kashka and Matt LeGroulx (of Galaxius Mons). But our two very favourite covers were Toronto’s VIRE taking on Nash the Slash’s stone-cold classic “Swing Shift” and Winnipeg bedroom pop maestro Camp David‘s version of another synth-pop-pantheon cut, Spoons’ “Nova Heart”.
Download the compilation for free from Quick Before it Melts. Canadian music! What can we say, we like it!
As y’all might know, we’re well into both Montreal experimental electronic pop trio Saxsyndrum as well as Toronto synthpop stars-in-waiting For Esmé. So, remember For Esmé’s smash from back in the winter? Well, Saxsyndrum have thoroughly deconstructed the catchy brilliance of “You” and reimagined the pop song as an expansive, psychedelic electronic jam somewhat in the vein of classic Caribou. It’s at times meticulously sparse, other times wonderfully dense, and an overall fascinating trip, definitely one of the best things we’ve yet heard from the Montreal experimenters.
The two bands play several shows together in the coming weeks, which you should catch if it’s an option for you, geographically: July 16 at Casa del Popolo in Montreal, and July 23 at the WayHome festival in Oro-Medonte. Saxsyndrum’s excellent SXD_EP from last year is still available from their Bandcamp, and For Esmé’s awesome singles are available from theirs.
Parallels‘ latest EP Civilization is yet another very solid release from the Toronto synthpop trio. We had the distinct pleasure of premiering the title track a month back, but we can’t restrict ourselves to posting just that jam. Because deep cut “The Kids Will Save Detroit” is a fantastic classic-sounding synthpop track, and one of their hookiest songs to date. It’s optimistic, full of wonderful harmonies, and of course, killer synths throughout.
The Civilization EP is out now, and you pick it up direct from the band on Bandcamp.
We’ve been very much into Brendan Philip’s debut EP lately, and the sleek, dark, and experimental electro-R&B sound within. This week, he released a video for the EP’s closer “Wild Side,” a late night drive punctuated by don’t-try-this-at-home fireworks firing. Directed by Kevin Dempster, it’s a lovely visual affair that perfectly matches the track’s minimal groove.
Brendan Philip’s EP is available now from Dine Alone Records.
Vesuvio Solo‘s uber-catchy psychedelic stoner-pop anthem still makes us swoon after all this time. And now we’ve got some killer visuals to go along with it, with a new video directed and edited by the band themselves and Pat Gregoire. It makes sense that this band lives in a perpetual VHS haze, subtly rocking out in a bare green room.
Their most excellent album Favors is available now from Banko Gotiti and Atelier Ciseaux. Do yourself a favour.
When we last checked in with Meg Remy’s recently 4AD’d U.S. Girls, she was shaking her fist at the White House and cursing a landform. Now, she’s announced her next LP, Half Free and released the second single along with a self-directed video, a psychedelic and nightmarish procession of women with third eyes. As with “Damn That Valley,” “Woman’s Work” was produced by Toronto beats-genius Onakabazien and is easily the most Silent Shout-y single we’ve ever heard from U.S. Girls. Featuring a driving arpeggiated synth and a huge-but-slow backbeat, and even a vocoder, it’s everything we could have hoped for. Predictions: Half Free will make U.S. Girls an indie underground star (which she’s long deserved). Also, she somehow ends up president, with Bernie as her veep. You heard it here first.
We cannot wait to hear this record. Half Free is out September 25, which is tantalizingly far away.