It’s no secret: we really, really dig new-on-the-scene Toronto dark synthpop trio Secret Sign. So far, we’ve been blown away by their two debut singles/demos “Cat + Mouse” and “Sullenprod.” Today, we’ve received another harbinger of their impending greatness, a killer new electronic pop track on a bit of a psychedelic tip called “O.M.S.R.” The new single is accompanied by their first music video, a trippy collection of manipulated images with singer Kaila Moon superimposed on top of them, and it suits the band’s mysterious image and aesthetic well:
We’ll be, as ever, awaiting more of the good stuff from Secret Sign, and apparently we can expect a new EP in the near future. For now, you can grab their old EP from January from their Bandcamp page.
Oh, amazing, new music from Memorex! This minimalist post-punk electronic pop crew is one of our favourite bands in Toronto these days. You might recall, we loved their debut EP, even put it at #4 on our best-of-the-year list last December. “Taiwan Airliner” is their first single since then, and it’s a frantic, paranoid jam that reminds us of a darker, more high-strung Stereolab. We love it!
It’s not often that we hear about artists making electronic music north of the more major Ontario cities, so we’re super pleased to make the acquaintance of Racquel Hardy, aka Sages, who calls Orangeville home. She’s got a remarkable ear for experimental pop composition, and her latest single “Recollection” is a lullabye suitable for deep space travel, a good tune to put on when entering cryostasis. It features some very lovely vocals floating atop chiming synths, and the bass line bubbling underneath it all is absolutely killer. Reminds us a bit of Quinn Read-Baxter‘s earlier work, which is of course an excellent thing.
Check out Sages’ Soundcloud page for more ethereal dark pop gems. A very promising new talent!
We will never, ever get tired of listening to Light Fires‘ pop masterpiece FACE, which still feels just as fresh now as when it was our #8 album of 2013. This week, we’re invited to revisit “Last of His Kind,” an elegiac (yet still very danceable) synthpop track that pays tribute to the late Will Munro and his crucial importance to the LGBTQ scene in Toronto. Light Fires has released a new video for the song, directed by David Kraft, and it’s a bit of a throwback to classic pop videos, with carefully chosen superimpositions and lighting that emphasize the sad subject matter yet still maintain an uptempo disco feel. It was shot at Lee’s Palace, the site of Munro’s Vazaleen parties.
FACE is still available from Bandcamp, and it’s still incredible. Do yourself a favour.
No doubt about it: Healing Power Records is one of Toronto’s finest experimental labels, having released some killer new Bile Sister music this year, and with a highly-anticipated Tasseomancy album on the way. But probably the most interesting thing they’ve put out so far is the debut full-length album from New Chance, aka Victoria Cheong, aka one half of the Healing Power braintrust. Ear Rationelle is an inventive, psychedelic, sometimes-grooving, sometimes-floating record, and one to get lost in thought to. Mind-expanding stuff. Featuring a collaboration with Petra Glynt and Jaclyn and Allie from Doomsquad, too!
Highly recommended. You can grab it on cassette or digitally from Healing Power.
We know we can count on Jamaican Queens for both excellent tunes and great videos, always, and “Love is Impossible” delivers both yet again. What starts as a lilting guitar over spare electronic drums quickly explodes into a signature bombastic Jamqueens chorus with expertly placed 8-bit synths bubbling just under the mix. The video, directed by Izaak Schlossman, is a delirious amalgam of infidelity, pig masks, a mime, and naturally, gay cop S&M.
“Love is Impossible” will be on a new Jamaician Queens album called Downers, out June 6 on their own label Freakish Pleasures. Cannot wait! Also, the Detroit trio is playing every single day this week in Toronto, consult Facebook for all the details.
1. New Zebra Kid – NZK Theme
2. E1sbar – Du Jour
3. ANAMAI – Lucia (Beta Frontiers Remix)
4. Clairmont the Second – Queen
5. Pat Jordache – Anonymous Woman
6. U.S. Girls – Damn That Valley
7. Marriage – Boy-M
8. Doomsquad – Two-Way Mirror
9. Les Incendiaires – Pink Vénus
10. Scattered Clouds – Enchanteresse
11. Over – Gone are the Days
12. Etiquette – Attention Seeker
13. The Number Line – New Crown
14. Cyclist – Heartbeat Speed (Feat. Jocelyn Alice)
15. West Nile – WHAAAT I CAN GETT
16. Halcyon – Your Love, My Heart
17. Island Eyes – Idle Shore
Tarantula X is no more! The much-beloved-of-this-blog Toronto producer, who specializes in making the most evil beats we can fathom, has officially started creating under a new name, Kane Vale. Actually it’s a retroactively applied name change, so now even classics like his Trust remix and Prince Innocence remix now bear the new moniker.
And the rebrand begins with a bang: his first-ever full-length release, Oleander, a collection of mostly hard-hitting dark electro, with a couple of softer jams included to give you a moment to breathe. First track “Phantom” is perhaps the highlight, striking that perfect balance between creepy and dancefloorworthy. That bass!
Oleander is available now from iTunes.
Prince Innocence‘s “I Don’t Care” sounded incredible back when it came out in December, perhaps even better when they teamed up with Kilo Kish for the remix, and now we get to share this killer single once more now that it has a video to match. Directed by Chris Levett, it’s a trippy kaleidoscopic vision of MANY MANY Princes Innocence swaying and getting down to their ode to apathy.
Their much-anticipated Easy Life EP is coming out this summer, and Prince Innocence’s track record is basically perfect…. we predict good things.
This has been quite the year for Toronto producer Harrison, it seems like he’s practically a household name now. The release of his debut EP Colors seems to have gotten him all the attention he’s been deserving for so long. Featuring frequent collaborator Maddee (she sings on several songs on the EP), single “How Can It Be” is the most straight-up pop track yet from the prolific psychedelic electronic producer and we can’t get enough of it. Hopefully the first of several releases from Harrison this year!
Colors is out now on Last Gang, available on vinyl and digitally.