Marie Davidson is one of the singularly most talented people making music in Canada today. Whether it’s with Essaie Pas, DKMD, or her own solo project, a new release from the Montreal synth maestro will stop our presses every time.
This is underground synth-pop at its absolute finest: spoken word over an italo disco beat, throbbing in hypnotic repetition, and while we loved Perte D’Identité, Marie’s sombre release from last year, we’re glad to see her once again embracing the uptempo.
“Balade Aux USA” is the first single from Un Autre Voyage, a new full-length due out on April 14th on Holodeck Records. The video takes a Tron/Homer-3D direction, and is directed by Kaspar’89.
We’ve been anticipating James Irwin‘s second album ever since we discovered the Montreal artist back in July. “Everything Passed Me By” and “Face Value” impressed us with their smooth, relaxed melodies and subtle electro hints, so it’s great to learn that there’s another excellent laid-back pop single to complete the trio.
Introducing “Sahra,” a beautifully produced break-up song, and the premiere of a video to match. It was directed by Hannah Fleet and features Irwin swaying as black and white projections of people wash over him. At one point, he plays a banana as an instrument, and you don’t want to miss that!
Speaking of things you don’t want to miss, Irwin has some upcoming shows that you should know about: in Montreal at Bar le Ritz PDB tomorrow (Thursday) and in Toronto at Wavelength‘s pop-up venue on Friday.
You can stream Unreal on Soundcloud.
We have been waiting with bated breath for some new Castle If since pretty much forever. Her collaborations with Cell Memory are what put her on our radar, and her debut krautrock EP from 2012 made us stick around. The long-form electro-prog seems rooted in many of the same influences as Silent Shout favourite Femminielli, and the talent is just as evident, but with the exception of many phenomenal live performances, we hadn’t heard a true statement from the project. Finally, we have two new songs that are worthy of the building anticipation that exceed all previous expectations.
Castle If was commissioned to make a performance video by The Mendel in Saskatoon for the art gallery’s 50th anniversary. Taking a few liberties, she collaborated with video artist Lisa Folkerson (who directed Ken Park’s phenomenal “He Says I’m an Island” video last year), and produced what she refers to as “more of a cable-access-style television performance than a music video.”
“Sector 03″—the title track of a forth-coming sci-fi concept record— features a snarling monster of a bass-line that creates the backdrop for vocoded tales of woe and sadness. Meanwhile, “The Surge” goes in different direction: a perfectly contained nugget of a pop-song that wouldn’t sound out of place on an alternate universe Ladytron record. Behind it all are Folkerson’s projections, which create the perfect space for Castle If to do her thing, and allows the immaculately produced songs to speak for themselves.
Sector 03 has officially become the most anticipated album here at our office, and while we know that good things come to those that wait, we need to hear this ASAP. In the meantime, those in Toronto can catch Castle If this Thursday at the Gladstone’s Come Up To My Room at a showcase curated by Ottawa’s Debaser and Weird Canada.
Le Couleur are back!!! As you might recall, this is the Montreal electronic pop group that made our #1 video of 2013 for the absolutely remarkable “Voyage Amoureux”. “Concerto Rock” is another brilliant single from the trio, possibly their best yet, a grooving piano-laden adventure that reminds us of some of the best of last year’s Todd Terje record. Big disco bass, soaring synths, we could listen to this all day.
The video, directed by Le Saboteur, is a trippy vintage analogue workout that suits the song very well. Le Couleur will be releasing their latest EP Dolce Desir February 17 on Lisbon Lux, can’t wait! And Toronto people: mark down February 26 in your calendar, as they’ll be playing an EP release show with Beat Market at the Piston.
A holiday-season oddity from the mind of Drugs in Japan‘s Aaron Bickle, “Goth Christmas” won our hearts with its yearnings for a darker, broodier Yuletide. One where everyone drinks wed wine, receives leather pants, and is visited by Mindfreak instead of Santa Claus. And as the lyrics self-referentially inform us, even Morrisey, The Cure and Hüsker Dü sing along. A new Christmastime classic!
This blogger had a hand in the video’s creation, so I shouldn’t say much more, but it was directed by Ozo Vision, and may or may not strike your fancy. You can purchase “Goth Christmas” from Bandcamp.
Country is a Montreal duo that has impressed us in the past with their sleazy brand of synthpop, and their debut album Failure, released last fall, is an underrated gem of a record and we’ve been anxiously awaiting their next move. They’ve just released their first music video for album highlight “White Colors,” and it’s a delirious animated suburban nightmare created by Vienna Pitts, and well, you’d better just watch this madness.
Country is playing a couple of shows in Toronto this weekend, tonight at the Heretical Objects showcase at the Gladstone, and tomorrow at the Silver Dollar with Votiiv and Brave Shores. Buy Failure digitally from Bandcamp or on cassette from Summer Cool.
Vancouer ex-pat/neu-Berliner Lief Hall, trippy video artist and one-half of the now on-hiatus noise-pop duo, MYTHS, has just released Transform, a dystopic trio of unexpectedly catchy dark electro cuts featuring black-as-hell trap beats paired with glistening pads, sleazy synths and her signature choral vocal layering.
She just dropped the first music video in her new solo-outing that suitably sees Lief invoking the gods of Windows 95 while staring into a glowing neon vortex of black mirrors with back-up dancers in the hypnotizing form of morphing, undulating hands that beckon the viewer to surrender to the luminously layered cosmos of “Glass Machine”.
Pick up Transform on Lief’s Bandcamp.
We always knew that Fruit Loops aren’t the healthiest breakfast choice, but in the universe of Syngja‘s fantastic new video, they’re downright dangerous. The video, directed by band member Aleks Schürmer and Brazilian artist João Gabriel de Quieroz, tells the story of an evil spirit (taking the physical form of sugary cereal, as well as a clown) and its interactions with a group of innocent children. It’s creepy, but also downright visually beautiful with colours and projections.
And then there’s the fact that the song itself is one of Syngja’s best, expertly weaving in their signature cello and Tyr Jami’s ethereal voice with electronic production.
Given the extent to which Bile Sister soundtracked our 2014 (Faucet being our #9 album of last year), we’ve been eagerly awaiting the next move by the Julie Reich-fronted Toronto experimental pop group. And the answer is: frantic, frantic brilliance, in the form of new single “Haagen Baadz,” a tempo-shifting giddy nightmare that whips from idea to idea at a furious pace.
It’s another step forward for Bile Sister, most assuredly. But there’s more! The accompanying video, directed by Heather Rappard, assisted by an uber-talented team of Toronto visual artists, is a visual cacophony of strobes, animated eyeballs, and mindbending effects.
“Haagen Baadz” was released together with another new jam, “Went To Walk The Shot”, last week at Long Winter on a split 7″ with Nick Storring. But good luck finding a copy at this point. You can grab a digital copy at Bile Sister’s Bandcamp.
Montreal’s Cocobeurre has been wowing us with her psychedelic dream-pop for quite some time. Now, with her newest track, she continues in a more rock & roll trajectory with absolute aplomb.
The self-directed video, which features one of the most amazing capes that we have ever seen, has Coco prancing around the (presumably) Canadian wilderness in an inappropriate-for-the-elements outfit (including said amazing cape).
Seriously though, that cape. What a cape!