Excellent news, everyone, RAMZi is back! The former Montreal, now Vancouver-based artist was once one the more prolific that we featured on the blog, but then recently her output went a bit dark. Well, there’s a perfectly good explanation: the move, but also the recording of her latest album Houti Kush out July 21 on 1080pCollection.
“Princess of Cups,” the first single from the album, sounds a lot like the RAMZi of before, but more streamlined. It’s weird, twitchy and awesome, with the track seemingly taking a page from the freakier moments of Radiohead’s back catalogue (the “Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors” “Gloaming” type songs). Glad to hear that she’s still as awesome as ever, and can’t wait to hear the album.
There’s a shrowd of mystery surrounding Toronto’s LA Timpa. We can’t exactly make out what he’s saying, the song is a deliciously minimalist mess of pitches and sounds, but we definitely like what we hear. Affiliated with a group called A.C.C. Studios, LA Timpa just kinda burst into the scene with this statement. It’s quite the statement too, and if the forthcoming Animal EP is as good as “UU UU Animal,” we can see it climbing to the top of our personal charts quite quickly.
All we know about this Canadian/French duo is that they released a pair of stellar singles in the past week. But we don’t need to know any more: we’re already obsessed. “Suenara” swells and shrinks around a steady 4/4 pulse, with alto vocals and a hazy, suave quality in the production. It switches between sections perfect for disjointed dancing or haunted wandering, managing to be both catchy and darkly mysterious.
We were already nuts about London’s West Nile, and then she did this. Her last single “WHAAAT I CAN GETT” remains in heavy rotation around here, but nothing could have prepared us for “#1FNDR”. At three minutes, the song is an absolute journey from one sonic realm to another, from bombastic pop ballad to sleek uptempo minimal synthpop, and ending in mellotronic glory. Killer hook, too.
We really hope these singles are leading to an album, because that album would be the best album. Until then, check out all the singles on Bandcamp.
Quebec City’s Fjord are new to our ears, but they’ve got a very accomplished sound for having released only two singles so far. “Irrational” is a meditative, longing, downtempo electropop track, and their production practically glistens with carefully sequenced delayed synths drifting atop the mix. We dig. Looking forward to their next move!
There’s something so strange, and wonderfully special about Hamilton’s Motëm. We’ve been covering this project for a long time, and the lyrics of “Pioneer” make sense since he HAS created a new style unintentionally and we DON’T know what to do with him. He’s a complete original and that will always draw our fingers back to the play button with each new song.
We first discovered Quebec City’s Ghostly Kisses with the sensual “Never Know,” and here they are again with another great single. “One” is slow and mournful until the steady beat of the chorus kicks in, and Margaux Sauvé’s vocals are dreamily perfect throughout.
Clearly, there’s some pretty great things going on in Quebec City right now: the other member of the band, Dragos Chiriac, plays with Silent Shout-favourite Men I Trust, who also released a single earlier this month.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you, Hush Pup! Yesterday, we posted the phenomenal Mystic Triangle track from a split single between the two bands, out soon on Reel Cod Records. Now we present the other half. Now, clearly we love all things Hush Pup and “Hisyo’s Jungle” is no different. I mean, it’s an obvious and overused word to describe the band, but this is dreaminess at its absolute best. Little snippets like this make us salivate at the though of more to come, that and their recent live shows in Toronto.
Speaking of, those NXNEing in Toronto have two opportunities to catch Hush Pup, both tomorrow (Saturday), both early at the Garrison and The Silver Dollar back patio. Also, Hush Pup and Mystic Triangle are about to embark on a mega-tour together, check Facebook for the details.
Mystic Triangle is a definite favourite of ours, and “Snake Eyes Wins” remains one of the best things we’ve heard all year. Well, the Torontonian who’s perhaps better-known as 1/3 of Mimico is back again with a pulsing, dark groove of a track, the slightly sinister “Menses.” The single will be released by Reel Cod Records on a split picture disc with dream pop heroes Hush Pup, so watch out for that soon. In the meantime, enjoy the digital version above.
And if you’re in Toronto for NXNE, catch Mystic Triangle playing the Pleasence Records/Wavelength showcase tonight, with Sexy Merlin, Tenderness, Man Made Hill, Zones, and our very own ARP 2600 DJing.
Nothing is more exciting to us than a new killer synthpop band on the block. The band in question today is Dove, and the block is Vancouver, where they might have just released the best song this side of Sur Une Plage. “Set Us Free” is the lead single off their very promising debut EP Least in Heaven, and it’s anchored by a fantastic arpeggiated bass, with beautifully airy synths soaring in the choruses. We could listen to this all day, and we just might.
Least in Heaven is available now from Bandcamp.