Undergoing a pretty massive change in style, Toronto’s Ben Gunning (originally of the legendary Local Rabbits) has taken his experimental singer-songwriter approach to a very electropop place with his newest single “Massive Love”. Aided no doubt by his ridiculously talented new band (Kieran and Joseph from Diana, Thom Gill of OG Melody, Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen), it’s a total summer jam. Such an amazing instrumental refrain! So much groove! Can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!
Two amazing musician buds making tunes together, giving it a hilarious but still appropriate name and jamming out on some sweet synth vibes: is there anything cuter than that? Sean Paul is Sean Dunal (Sexy Merlin) and Paul Erlichman (Elrichman, Gay, Germaphobes), two consummate musicians who have honed their skills through thousands of hours with their various projects. The results show here with “Always Be True,” which is a weird, breezily funky slow-jam to waste away the summer hours to. This is the first we’ve heard recorded from the project, but more in the future would certainly be welcomed!
Ready to meet your new favourite summer song? Vancouver’s Cafe Lanai say that there minds are stuck in Hawaii, and you can definitely hear it on this song from their debut EP. The vibe is upbeat and sexy, the synths are sunny and the vocal melody is quite catchy. It even ends with a small, shy laugh. We like you, Cafe Lanai!
Jordan Pearson and Brian Schirk explore the wonder, joy, and sadness of classic pop music in their new project, L’esprit. “Nature”, their first single, is situated between the uplifting elements of 80s new wave and its darker, more refined undercurrents: the poignant, Sakamoto-esque piano solo at the midpoint and the midi-harp counter melody near the end, for example, give “Nature” a subtle, distinguished touch, while the duo’s deft songwriting evokes the immediacy and infectiousness of the pop music traditions that inform their aesthetic.
Parallels‘ latest EP Civilization is yet another very solid release from the Toronto synthpop trio. We had the distinct pleasure of premiering the title track a month back, but we can’t restrict ourselves to posting just that jam. Because deep cut “The Kids Will Save Detroit” is a fantastic classic-sounding synthpop track, and one of their hookiest songs to date. It’s optimistic, full of wonderful harmonies, and of course, killer synths throughout.
The Civilization EP is out now, and you pick it up direct from the band on Bandcamp.
Aw man, usually when we write a post, it starts with some semi-hyperbolic excitement that “[BAND] IS BACK!!!” Well, while we are super excited that Ladyfrnd are back, it comes with undertones of sadness because this is the last we’ll hear from the band. The Humans side-project between Yuki Holland and Peter Ricq will be no more after the release of the appropriately titledFarewell, their latest EP, coming out July 10. Sad emoji.
“Geist” is a gem of a song, more bombastic than we’ve heard from the band before, but still carrying an almost mystical sparseness and minimalism. Holland’s vocals soar to new ethereally heights, and the production is just as reigned in as it needs to be to allow that to be the main showcase.
We fell in love with Ladyfrnd with the release of “Un Petit Message” back in 2013, and it’s sad to see them go, but all things must pass, and we still have two solid releases from the project to go back to. Farewell is available as of tomorrow digitally as a free download on their Bandcamp.
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.