Amazing transformation alert! It’s been five years since Ottawa folk band The Acorn released their last album, but some of the band’s members have spent the years in between proving their electronic excellence. Silkken Laumann, featuring 2/5 of The Acorn, made our second favourite album and fourth favourite song last year – basically, they’re pretty fantastic.
So we’re super excited that The Acorn has re-emerged with an electronic single! It’s subtle at the beginning – mixed with acoustic guitar and analog percussion – but by a minute and a half in, a full-out steady synth groove develops. Rolf Klausener’s vocals sound as calm and focused as ever, their softness mixing well with the electronic backbone. We’re officially excited for their next album in May!
Hey! We remember this song! “The Line” was one of Silent Shout’s top songs in 2010 when it was released under members of Seoul’s former project Cherry Chapstick (RIP). The song gets a huge professional makeover here, and comes with the announcement of the band’s debut record. I Become A Shade is due out June 9 on Last Gang and Grand Jury. All in all, we’re pretty happy with this news as it’s been a while since we’d heard anything from the band.
This is the first time we’ve come across Toronto’s Machinefiend, and we’ve quickly snatched this track up and framed it in our office for all to admire. The chorus is built around repetition (“divider” and “deeper than deep space” endlessly resonating) and it, in combination with the jumping synth notes, is practically hypnotic. It’s available as a free song here.
Anthony David Martens was raised in ice-covered Greenland, though he was born in Canada and now lives in Kelowna, B.C. An interesting background for sure, and he claims that this project is an articulation of all of those past adventures. “Paper Suns” is the second single he has released as Icelandia, and it’s wonderful. A light-hearted euphoria built of airy vocals and shiny synths. The lyrics of the chorus could be said right back to him: “everything’s better when you’re around.” Can’t wait for the debut EP!
We weren’t familiar with the work of Vancouver disco/house producer Neighbour until now, but damned if we aren’t wearing down the virtual grooves of this new single featuring vocalist (and Silent Shout uber-fave) Piper Davis. It’s a very understated affair, with killer synths restrained to maintain a subtle, relaxed electro-disco vibe. We sincerely hope this isn’t the first collaboration in their future.
You can purchase the track, and the rest of the Light Breaker EP via Homebreakin Records.
We don’t know very much about Gravity’s Rainbow, except that one of the two members is prolific Canadian electronic composer Peter McNestry, and that it’s a transatlantic collaboration with Jason Brown in the UK. They released their first EP Yesterday’s Horizon about a month ago, and the standout single “Take Me on the Otherside” is a lovely post-punk ballad carried by a memorable melody and a beautiful deep vocal. A simple beat and basic strummed guitar feature throughout, with a melancholy synth outro taking us home. Or to the Otherside.
You can check out Yesterday’s Horizon on Bandcamp and download it on a PWYW basis.
Toronto’s TV Sets make dark bedroom pop that’s also indebted to classic post-punk, and that’s a thing that we like. The menacing “Cartoons” is one of the highlights from their very inventive new EP Gen Pop. The record as a whole is a huge step up production-wise from their debut Rat Tar Art which remains an excellent listen. Totally sold on these guys. Can’t wait to see what they do next!
Gen Pop is available from Bandcamp.
It’s crazy that it took us a week to post this. Prince Innocence have been laying down unquestionably the best sleek, dark, and slow synthpop for years now, and every single is a hit with these two. Their latest is a uptempo remix of “I Don’t Care,” that track that seemed to make everyone stop and pay attention back in December. Featuring Kilo Kish!!
Blush Beat Red first came on our radar with their excellent pure-pop debut EP two years ago. And then…nothing. We hadn’t heard much from the band with the exception of a few live shows here and there. But now with “Falling Apart,” another in a long line of immaculate pop songs from the band, we finally have something worthwhile to sink our teeth into. Hopefully this means more to come from the Toronto duo in the near future.
Just when we think we’re catching up with New York-via-Montreal underground pop wiz Zoë Kiefl, she’s still keeping two steps ahead of us. It turns out her stellar debut album Young Mom was only Chapter One in what’s shaping up to be a busy 2015. It’s our profound pleasure to premiere the first singles from a brand new project of hers, a transatlantic collaboration with Venice’s Nicola Donà (aka Horrible Present) called Dizzyride. Here’s their first release, a two-track EP entitled Ocean Age:
The two songs reveal quite different aspects of the duo’s music, but both seem to inhabit an ideal amalgam of indie pop, minimal Italo, and psychedelic rock. “Sneaking Kisses” is a lighthearted mid-tempo electropop track, with gently rolling drum machines and warmly blipping synths throughout, but a certain heaviness still seems to pervade, especially in the shoegazey chorus. “Sweet Thing” is darker, slower, and decidedly more melancholic, featuring Nicola’s sinister whisper and organs bathed in beautiful delay. Remarkably, both recordings are the result of a live jam captured by Gary Olson of the Ladybug Transistor. Now we want to hear any b-sides that might have resulted too!
We highly recommend you grab Ocean Age from Bandcamp, and follow everything Dizzyride does in the future.