Category: New Release
Doldrums Island Nursery is the performance name of Calgary’s Elaine Boyling, and we don’t know much about her besides that she quietly released her second album The New Shell back in September. She’s making low-fidelity bedroom electronic pop that thwarts expectations, with lots of twists and turns and inventive production techniques. Also, the complex layered vocals with oodles of melodic sense will surely reel you in. Available now from Bandcamp, pay-what-you-want download!
Montreal’s Lesley Ann Foster has developed quite the reputation over the years as a DJ and backup singer for Karneef and Mozart’s Sister, but is now stepping into the limelight as L.A. Foster. At the same time, she’s leaving town – so her debut EP Saudade also serves as a goodbye letter to Montreal. Produced by Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy, it’s an incredibly strong beginning, featuring some deeply grooving minimal electro-R&B tracks. Killer melodies, and a killer voice. We’re instant fans!
Not sure where she’s headed next, probably L.A.? Saudade is available via a free mailed postcard (!) if you attend the release party this Saturday in Montreal. It also features the incredible Scott Hardware (formerly known as Ken Park), so don’t miss it!
We’ve been fans of the Vancouver-born, now Brooklyn-based Ancient Babes for quite some time now. Last year’s Futuristic Demon was phenomenal and #5 on our top EPs list for 2014. Thankfully, we have another spectacular addition to their oeuvre this year with the amazingly titled My Cool Music. Building from where lead single “R.I.P. Maury Garner” leaves off with slow chillwave almost-rock ballads, the EP also features some immaculately dense arrangements and note-perfect instrumentation.
My Cool Music is certainly another great notch on Ancient Babes’ belt, and they’ll always be on our radar as long as they keep pumping out stuff like this.
Progress is the latest album from Princess Century, aka multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Maya Postepski. From the Minimalist-inflected intro in “Bro vs. UFOs” to the lush, melancholic electro of album closer “Metro”, Postepski grounds deft craft in a myriad of seamlessly integrated musical languages throughout, moving beyond the minimal synth/darkwave terrain of Loseless and into adjacent zones with the welcomed inclusion of polyrhythmic/percussive (“Tokyo Hands”, “Sheughnessy”) and meditative (“Fata Morgana”) passages. With its on-point amenity album sleeve and sublime sound design, Progress captures style and substance in perfect harmony.
Available now from Paper Bag Records. Stream the album below…
…and check out the stellar video for “Sunrise 101/Last Disco”, written and directed by Mark Sommerfeld.
We’re longtime fans of Ian Jarvis’s Chairs project. Although not quite as electronic as Galaxius Mons, his mostly-synths duo with Matt LeGroulx, Chairs still has plenty of digital textures for us to sink our synth-hungry teeth into. A couple of weeks ago, he released his third full-length album, Drawn into Mazes, and it definitely lives up to the high bar the Montrealer has set for himself. We already have gushed about lead single “Bird Calls”, which came out way back in January, and it’s great to see it here among ten other wonderful psych-pop compositions, about half of which are on an electronic tip, so, even further in that direction than 2013’s excellent The Droning of an Insect Wing. It’s hard to pick out favourites from the bunch, but the hypnotic “Constellation Eyes”, the minimal funk of “Mazes”, and the explosive pop of “Cargo Ship” are all highlights from a record that really deserves front-to-back listening and rewards careful attention.
Yet another strong release from one of Canada’s best psychedelic pop minds! Don’t sleep on it! Drawn Into Mazes is available now from Kinnta Records.
We stand by our previous statements that Montreal’s How Sad are indie pop saviours of the highest order. I mean, come on, “Indian Summer”? Still holds up. So does the entire Indian Summer EP from back in ’13. So it’s with tremendous excitement that we hit play on their debut full-length Everything Happens, a record that’s filled with rambunctious anthemic fist-pumpers (well-remembered from their thunderous live shows) like “Check it Out” and “Hold On” as well as darker, more melancholy numbers. The bright synths and earworm melodies are always present – but there’s a bit of gravity to bring you down as well. How Sad indeed.
It has been a busy year for Keita Juma, the Mississauga-based electro hip-hop superstar. With an album under his belt already along with some of the year’s best videos and spectacular collaborations, we NOW have a brand new EP to add to the pile.
Nights in Space picks up where February’s Chaos Theory leaves off but with seemingly more low-key introspection. Throughout is the strain of awesome electro-pop production that made us fall in love with the project in the first place, with weirdo synth lines that could have come from the most underground house parties, and constantly thumping beats.
Whereas Chaos Theory was the party, Nights in Space is the morning after. Not to say there aren’t bangers on the record. “Freely” is a ready-made pop hit, and the instrumental “73 Sweets” is positively bumping. The rest of the record consists mostly of the aforementioned introspection with tracks like openers “So to Space,” and “Pyro,” to the paranoid twitchy darkness of the single “Holy.”
It’s tough to say that we prefer either style over the other. Both releases have their strengths and prove the versatility of Keita Juma, who has certainly solidified himself as one of the most promising up-and-comers in the country. 2015 was full of blockbusters for him, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next year.
Since the moment TIO crept into our inbox, we knew that we had something special on our hands. The densely layered electro-pop project, shrouded in mystery, features some of most intense production we have heard from a virtually unknown band in quite some time. Single after single of immaculate artistry came out, and now we have them all together on their debut EP.
Starting off with Austra-esque (minus the operatic vocals) “New Belief” sets us off to a gothy dance party in style. The record goes from the trance-like minimalism of “Seeing It Go,” to Cut Copy style electro-bangers like “Day Fort.” Each track is different from the one that comes before, but they’re all bonafide pop hits worthy of repeated listens.
The debut TIO EP is available now via their Bandcamp.
Technical Kidman have made quite the name for themselves these past few years. Their music has consistently been excellent since the very beginning, but nevertheless their tunes keep getting more impressive. We’d been finding the Montreal trio hitting new heights with their most recent singles, including the ominous “Without Fear.” And it’s all been culminating to this moment: the release of their debut second album Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon.
Hitting hard from the get-go with aggressive post-punk freak-out “Try”, the record has a powerful intensity that doesn’t let up, even in its quieter moments, like on “Our Way.” Naturally, we’re especially drawn to the most electronic moments here, like the incredible arpeggiated synths on power ballad “Fractions.” Would love to hear what would result if this band became a dystopic synthpop project. But regardless of what’s in store, we’ll be with them every step of the way. Can’t wait for LP2!
Technical Kidman is on tour in November, and the band is a force live, so check them out if you can:
11/05 Montreal, QC – La Vitrola
11/06 Ottawa, ON – Debaser presents
11/07 Toronto, ON – Invocation @ May
11/10 Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
11/12 Saskatoon, SK – Vangellis Room
11/13 Calgary, AB – Broken City
11/14 Lethbridge, AB – Electric Eye Mansion
11/15 Edmonton, AB – Endless Bummer Festival
12/02 Saint-John, NB – Taco Pica
12/03 Halifax, NS – Home Bass @ Reflections
12/04 Fredericton, NB – Capital Complex
12/05 Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
At the beginning of this year we were treated to two magnificent releases from Montrealer-in-NYC Zoë Kiefl, her solo record Young Mom and a double A-side called Ocean Age by her other project Dizzyride, a collaboration with Venice’s Nicola Donà (aka Horrible Present). What we neglected to tell you about is the tremendously good EP that duo put out in the summer, called Parade. It includes both songs that were on Ocean Age, plus another five brilliant electronic pop jams with strikingly different feels: there’s the 1960s-pop mining “Tie Die Brooklyn Sky,” the darkly futuristic Ariel Pink-ish synthpop of “Mob Dance,” and even a Tarheel Slim & Little Ann cover to close out the record. An endlessly replayable release, Dizzyride are onto something very special here – and it’s only a matter of time before the world takes notice.