We don’t know much about mysterious Montreal newcomer Kid Aristides – in fact we know next to nothing except that his name is Nicolas Boisvert and he has a penchant for classic video game visuals and soundtracks. His debut EP Screwed By the Man came out back in August but only recently reached our ears, and it’s a remarkably original creation, a synthesis of many different electronic motifs. Often hypnotic, at times playful, and always grooving, his inventive production remains always anchored by seriously excellent songwriting and catchy melodies. Yup, these songs will stick in your head even though the EP’s decidedly electromurky, like playing video games in a swamp.
“Drunken Master” may be our fave, but the whole EP is a must-listen. Grab it for free from his Bandcamp page, which we’ll be watching closely for more music in 2015.
Yes, Chuck Blazevic writes for this blog. And as you may already know, he’s one of the members of the consistently incredible ambient pop duo You’ll Never Get to Heaven, whose Adorn EP we adored and just yesterday scored #35 album-of-the-year honours from our friends at Gorilla vs. Bear. But what you might not know: he also has an equally impressive solo project called Dreamsploitation.
Dreamsploitation has been quiet since 2012’s Jupiter Flight, but two weeks ago he released The In-Between Years: 1959-1963, an ambient deconstruction of recordings of “teen music” that existed in between the two major cultural explosions of rock music in its early decades. The classic songs are manipulated beyond recognition but at the same time feel intimately familiar and nostalgic, with the gossamer turned up to 11. It’s a beautiful and engrossing listen, and despite our indisputable pro-Chuck bias it is well worth your time.
Prince Innocence are absolute masters of their craft, and it very much shows on brand new single “I Don’t Care,” a slinky, slow electro jam that rivals the incredible single they put out in the summer, “Cold”. And big news arrives with this single: the Toronto/Montreal duo will be self-releasing a new EP, Easy Life, in February. We loved their debut EP Lapse and this last round of singles have been EVEN better, so Easy Life is virtually guaranteed to be incredible. We’re kinda sorta welcoming February with open arms now.
Premiered by our Austin friends Gorilla vs. Bear.
Wolf Saga, one of London’s best underground producers, teamed up with Toronto electropop artist Lyon for this wonderful wonderful electro take on the Strokes’ LP3 single “You Only Live Once.” It keeps pretty level and contemplative, Mr. Saga he was explicitly going for an autumnal feel on this one, and the steadily chugging electro-bass keeping our heads bobbing until the explosion of synths at the end. Killer version!
We’ve already mentioned our excitement about Vancouver synthy power pop project Rec Centre‘s second album Monster of the Week, and we totally loved the X-files themed video he released a couple of months ago for lead single “Like I Care.” Well the follow-up to last-year’s excellent Times a Billion came out last week, and it’s full of brilliant gems like the standout “Celebrity Deaths,” a sweet bit of downtempo synthpop featuring the band’s signature harmonies.
You can buy Monster of the Week direct from Rec Centre’s Bandcamp on cassette or digitally.
The piano chords at the beginning prepare you for the epic journey you’re about to go on, but it’s not until the huge throbbing bass arpeggiator comes in that you really understand what Vancouver’s Sur Une Plage are up to. Having released one of the finest songs of the year in “Restaurant”, this song is the slow brooding cousin to that frantic synthpop gem. This duo composed of Joshua Wells (of Black Mountain and Lightning Dust) and Colin McKill is one of our favourite new bands we’ve discovered this year, and all their tracks are free on Bandcamp. Go bask in their glory!
Dean Jones Armada (of “High as a Cat” fame) hath become Astro Screamer, and this new project is quite a bit darker and more intense. An evil soundscape worthy of John Carpenter becomes a huge dancefloor track, a dystopic disco anthem. Toronto’s loss is Windsor’s gain!
There’s a few more Astro Screamer songs on his Soundcloud, well worth checking out. Can’t wait to hear more from this new project!
One of the best underground concert series in Toronto, Nite Comfort specializes in dark electronic music that skews towards the ambient and experimental. Last month, they celebrated their first anniversary with a compilation featuring many of the artists that have graced their stage, and it’s a wonderful cross-section of the city’s avant-garde synth explorers, including new tunes from Silent Shout faves Chanteclair, Sarin, Processor, and Zachary Gray. If we had to pick out a couple of highlights though, we’ll go with Dirty Inputs‘ majestic new synth epic “The Light of Day for Everyone” and Chobo‘s expansive exercise in sonic contrasts “Tingkle Away.” But really, check out the whole compilation on Bandcamp.
Dirty Inputs and Chobo both perform in Toronto this Thursday along with another Silent Shout darling, Zoo Owl, at the Silver Dollar. Recommended!
We’ve long been a fan of Montreal dark pop persona Low Factor, but it seems like she’s entering a whole new era with her latest single, “Icicle”. Her previous work was characterized by lo-fi recording values and experimentalism, which was wonderfully chaotic, but she’s tightened up her approach and gone full-on pop. Well, full-on pop in an alternate universe.
The video, directed by Kaspar’89 and Rubin, captures Low Factor in her natural alien habitat, a dark, strange place, with an amazing set, costume, and video effects reminiscent of Geneva Jacuzzi’s wonderful clips. Inspiring stuff! Her album Leçon de Tonnerre: Comment Créer un Orage is coming soon, but not soon enough.
My goodness. I’m not sure how Petra Glynt can call a single like this a DEMO, but we’ll accept that there’s a potential universe where “Propaganda” gets even bigger and shinier and more polished. But it sounds pretty perfect as it stands, Petra’s signature deep, pulsing beats and insistent pummelling vocals remaining shockingly original. Her militaristic anti-militarism is a sound destined for huge things, and considering she just came off a tour opening for Austra, it seems like people are finally beginning to pay some serious attention to this incredible Toronto talent. “Propaganda” is off of the new Healing Power records compilation which is just full of wonderful treats, and you can also buy the song separately directly from Petra’s Bandcamp.
Petra Glynt plays Toronto this Saturday at Wavelength, together with Silent Shout faves Jooj on a phenomenal bill.