Category: New Release
Tasseomancy resurfaces with Palm Wine Revisited on Healing Power Records, and it’s their most refined work yet. The album is grounded in a considered and focused eclecticism that makes for an exciting yet cogent listen. Its instrumentals, namely the Palm interludes and “Black Milk Instrumental”, conjure the indescribably captivating elements of vintage minimal/new age/ambient private pearls; a remarkable achievement in itself, and one of the greatest aspects of this release. Equally impressive is the slew of well-crafted and timbrally rich vocal tracks; “Reality”, “The Grass Harp”, and “Braid. Wind is Coming” showcase the group’s deft approach to infusing classic pop & folk idioms with detailed arrangements, leftfield embellishments and classical elegance. Palm Wine Revisited expertly interfaces with exciting past and present music contexts with skill, imagination, and grace, making this a top contender for Album of the Year.
We’re longtime fans of Brendan Philip, whether it’s his work as one half of Crowns back in the day, or his guest vocal on Keita Juma’s masterful “Come Over”. So that’s why it’s so exciting that his debut EP got picked up by Dine Alone and released in May. “Shadow Ceremony” was one of our favourite songs of last year, and it’s only one of many highlights on this terrific dark electro-r&b record, which balances experimentalism and pop perfectly. The aggressive synth-bass on downtempo tracks like “For You” and “Warning” is so expertly pulled off. We imagine this EP to be only the beginning of a brilliant career. More soon, please.
Check out the video, directed by Yannick Anton & Kevin Dempster, and be sure to grab a copy of the record from Dine Alone.
We have been following the trajectory of Most People since the release of their self-titled debut record in 2012. We’ve said it before, but the band is one of the most talented in the city in terms of pure musicality, and now, we have a triumphant return with their latest EP Violet Spaces.
Co-produced by our very own Digits, there’s a decidedly more electronic feel to this EP and a darkness that we had never really heard from the band before. Sure, there’s still the beautiful vocal harmonies, shredding guitar lines and drums accenting just the right parts, but just try and listen to “Release” and NOT want to fuck shit up. Add in the synth bass in “I Just Might,” and the “boom, bap, boom-bim-bap” drum line of “Telephone,” and you’ve got a completely new style from the Toronto-duo. Something that we always love is following a band from their nascent stage, developing and honing their style and willing to try new things. This experimentation pays off in spades on the new EP and makes us excited for everything new the project does.
Not to mention the four remixes that close out the album, done by Silent Shout faves Zoo Owl, Eytan Tobin, Slowpitchsound and, of course Digits. Those in Toronto can catch Most People at least twice this summer. Their record release is in Toronto this Saturday with Silent Shout mainstays Petra Glynt and Hush Pup. They are also presenting a new piece of awesomeness at this year’s SummerWorks Music Series (which, full disclosure, was curated by me and Wavelength’s Adam Bradley).
No doubt about it: Healing Power Records is one of Toronto’s finest experimental labels, having released some killer new Bile Sister music this year, and with a highly-anticipated Tasseomancy album on the way. But probably the most interesting thing they’ve put out so far is the debut full-length album from New Chance, aka Victoria Cheong, aka one half of the Healing Power braintrust. Ear Rationelle is an inventive, psychedelic, sometimes-grooving, sometimes-floating record, and one to get lost in thought to. Mind-expanding stuff. Featuring a collaboration with Petra Glynt and Jaclyn and Allie from Doomsquad, too!
Highly recommended. You can grab it on cassette or digitally from Healing Power.
iansucks is an amusingly self-deprecating moniker which refers to one-half of this Winnipeg duo, comprised of Ian Ellis (of Winnipeg pop-rock trio Animal Teeth, who apparently sucks) and Emma Mayer (who we must assume, does not suck).
Their first outing, boring stuff go away, is composed of ten sad songs of somnambulistic organ-pop that is very reminiscent to the similarly self-deprecating and sad Castiotone for the Painfully Alone, by the way of distorted casio drumloops, spooky synths, restrained guitar strumming and blasé vocal delivery.
The LP drifts in and out of lofi bedroom casio-rock ballads to minimal atmospheric segues that coast through sleepy, woeful ambiance, until the next track detonates and we are jarred from the gentle lulling atmosphere to more sad rock songs. The entire experience of this ten-track album reminds me of secretly making out with your high school crush only to be violently interrupted by your lame parents.
boring stuff go away is great for kissing to at your parents’ cabin, so grab a copy from iansucks’ Bandcamp and get making out.
Tarantula X is no more! The much-beloved-of-this-blog Toronto producer, who specializes in making the most evil beats we can fathom, has officially started creating under a new name, Kane Vale. Actually it’s a retroactively applied name change, so now even classics like his Trust remix and Prince Innocence remix now bear the new moniker.
And the rebrand begins with a bang: his first-ever full-length release, Oleander, a collection of mostly hard-hitting dark electro, with a couple of softer jams included to give you a moment to breathe. First track “Phantom” is perhaps the highlight, striking that perfect balance between creepy and dancefloorworthy. That bass!
Oleander is available now from iTunes.
At this point, you know what you’re going to get with Halcyon, the Toronto-via-London synthwaver. That’s not a bad thing at all, he takes complete ownership over his style, harkening back to a bygone era of New Wave showmanship and British angst.
“Your Love, In My Heart” is more in keeping with his previous outings, with the heart-on-his sleeve tenor vocals, washy synth lead and immaculate pop stylings. B-side “Less Than Human” has shades of Warm Leatherette, with a baritone semi-spoken-word vocal line, and a propulsive motorik Factory Floor style bassline.
This single is a reaffirmation of our love for all things Halcyon, and we look forward to growing and listening to more from the project for years to come.
It turns out that a dark bird and a tiny horse make a wonderful combination. Vancouver’s Terror Bird (a long-running favourite of ours here at Silent Shout) has teamed up with France’s Micro Cheval to release a split LP. The Terror Bird side features a dreamy, soft-filtered take on wanderlust, wilted flowers as a metaphor for regretful nostalgia, strings for dramatic effect, and an admission that it’s hard to say goodbye. She uses prominent drums to prop up the tempo along with her usual synths and distinct enunciation, and we’re quite taken with the end result.
Seven years after their first outing, Montreal’s Les Incendiaires have recently released an EP titled Pink Vénus – where the five piece band continues its reexamination of 80s synth pop tenets, with an Indochine inspired franco-touch.
“Pink Vénus”, the EP’s title track revisits a very familiar drum pattern, rehashed into a modern pop song that ends up reaches anthemic levels. “Siam”, on the other hand, exhibits the band’s softer side by placing singer Rudy Berhnard’s vocals front and center – in true french pop tradition. Meanwhile, the EP closes with two more excellent pieces – the melodic “L’anormal” and the fast paced “Sonatine”.
All in all, the ideas expressed in this EP offers evidence of a band showing signs of a maturing pop songwriting pedigree. It is with great delight that we anxiously anticipate more music from Les Incendiaires, beyond the excellent four tracks of the Pink Vénus EP.
The EP is available on the band’s bandcamp as of April 10th for the amazing price of, well, name your own price.
Touch of Jupiter is the latest release from Vancouver’s Jean Brazeau, aka Friendly Chemist. Employing an amalgam of ambient and vintage house idioms, Brazeau excels at pairing poignant harmonic sequences with sustained and blunted timbres. The work, as a result, possesses a highly resonant affective dimension, which reveals itself quickly and lures you in for repeated listens.
Stream the tracks above and pick up a digital copy from 1080p. You’ll have to add the limited cassette edition to your wantlist as it’s, not surprisingly, sold out at the source.