While Toronto‘s Castle If usually fires up her analog synths to launch the listener into far-off galaxies, this beautifully realized collection of songs turns earthward to capture the essence of a family of house plants. It’s a cross between the pop- and drone-focused sides of her output, a series of seven melodic instrumental experiments, many named for the Latin moniker of the plant that inspired it.
Plants aren’t something we often ascribe personalities to (remember how hard it was to play a flower or a tree in your kindergarten play?), but each one here is its own individual, expressed through deep vibratos, purring middle tones or dancing upper voices. It’s easy to imagine something green growing, waving and dancing to each composition. We recommend forgoing headphones for this one–your plants just might like it, too.
Plant Material is available on Bandcamp.
All hail New Chance! We’re always thrilled to hear new sounds from electronic adventurer Victoria Cheong, and this time we’re blessed with news of a brand new mixtape, featuring remixes, instrumental experiments and collaborations with some names familiar to the astute music fan. (Romy Lightman! Jonathan Adjemian! Evan Cartwright!)
For now, dip into the welcoming world of “Luck be a Lady,” a floating ambient warble that could be the sound of a descending, welcoming spaceship. It’s paired with a video by Zoe Solomon, a mix of footage of Cheong and translucent anime, fading in and out with the static. Otherworldy indeed!
If you’re in Toronto on Sunday (May 7), you should absolutely spend your afternoon at her tape release show, a joint venture with Doom Tickler.
Never before have we met a song so appropriately named. The ending of Stefana Fratila‘s new song is given away before you even press play: it’s going to be time to dance. Of course, she’s retained everything that made us fall for her back in 2015: breathy layers of vocals; varied production that keeps your ears guessing; an experimental approach to pop. Plus big, rhythmic beats. The previously-Vancouver-based artist obviously packed her drum machine when she moved to Toronto.
You can even order a physical copy (on VHS!), with an accompanying video, with proceeds going to Intersessions, a series of workshops for female, non-binary and queer folk who want to learn to DJ.