Troubadour-for-our-troubled-times Sean Nicholas Savage has quietly been releasing incredible album after incredible album, and May 13 will bring us what will undoubtedly be another masterpiece: Bermuda Waterfall. A couple of months back we heard the first single, “Naturally” and were entranced. Now we get another taste: “Heartless” is a heartbreaking soft pop jam that simultaneously soothes and sears. Oh man, can’t wait for this album!
Pre-order Bermuda Waterfall from Arbutus Records now.
Gavin Noir is the latest entrant in London, Ontario’s evergrowing DIY pop music community. Eschewing social media entirely, G. Noir quietly published a remarkable Italo-inspired gem entitled “Not Gonna Dance”. Everything we love about dark electronic pop music is present here: Haunting atmosphere, soft focus synth leads, poignant lyrics, vintage drum machine tones, and impeccable pop songcraft. We’re looking forward to hearing more from this enigmatic producer.
Download “Not Gonna Dance” here.
Blonde Elvis have quietly been one of the best bands in Toronto for a while now, which probably shouldn’t be surprising given the presence of Carlyn Bezic, of Silent Shout favorites, Ice Cream and front man Jesse James Laderoute of the sorely missed no wave skronkers, Young Mother. The band put out a free EP last year that displayed moments of fantastic ambition blended with an acute pop sensibility, and that sensibility arrives undiminished on Fit For Her, the first track from their forthcoming LP. Immediately reminiscent of Modern Life Is Rubbish era Blur, but with a vocal performance far more Bryan Ferry than Damon Albarn, and liberally decorated with synthesizers, the track moves at a stately trot before tumbling into a wonderfully anarchic break down before the triumphant final chorus. It’s pop music as deftly realized as it is imaginatively conceived, and that is a rare thing indeed.
Daphni is back!! Dan Snaith aka Caribou Commander’s more experimental alter-ego has returned and he’s teamed up with no less than Owen-freaking-Pallett on his new single/b-side “Julia/Tiberius”. Very minimal, and a very deep groove, with Owen’s violins stabbing through the darkness. Seems like a natural combination, these two!
The “Julia/Tiberius” single will be available digitally and on vinyl on Daphni’s Jiaolong label in the next week or so. For now you can stream them both on Soundcloud. And let’s not forget, there are full-lengths from both Caribou and Owen expected this year.
Crazy! The new Tune-Yards single is an all-out synthy R&B ballad. Very little trace of her characteristic franticness on this one, which is a bit missed, but also it’s super cool to see her pushing the boundaries of her sound with such smoothness. The syncopated backup vocals still make this very recognizably Tune-Yardy. Will she eventually make an arpeggiator-rich pop single to rank with Robyn?
Energetic electro-rockers Holy Fuck are back with a dark new song called “Sabbatics.” Possibly referencing their four-year sabbatical in the song title, the track has all the classic overdriven synths, vocal yelps and crunchy beats we’ve come to love from their previous releases.
The big difference with “Sabbatics” is in the bass department. Holy Fuck have put their own spin on the wobbling dub step synth-bass and somehow managed to keep the track under the 3:30 mark. “Sabbatics” is mischievous and entrancing – we can’t wait to hear what else Holy Fuck release with Mistletone this year.
We remain completely obsessed with Montreal’s Mathias Mental. “Les Mensonges, Les Mensonges” was our #7 song of last year, and goodness if new single “Chantale” doesn’t live up to the high bar set by that piece of pop perfection. This one is equally a slow-burner, a precise exercise in buttery-voiced soft electropop. Swoon!
Grab this brilliant new track for free from their Bandcamp.
It feels like a bazillion years since we last heard from Coco Khan aka Cocobeurre, but she’s been very busy while we’ve been asleep at the wheel. “Waterfall” feels like a much much more refined variation of the sound she was working on with “Is This How”, and leaves more overtly psychedelic textures aside in favour of True Ambient Pop. There’s a 7″ on the way in March, so keep your eyeballs scanning the horizon.
Drug Train delivers the goods yet again with “Your Home”, a brand new single on the fabulous beko imprint. This captivating mid-tempo track sets gorgeously hushed multi-tracked vocals against layers of overdriven guitar, spare percussion, and moody synthesizer to stunning effect. Pick it up!
EDIT: The band has also released an awesome video for the track!