Lal – Find Safety

Every new song released in the lead-up to Find SafetyLal’s first full-length record in eight years–raised expectations and anticipation dramatically. “Tiny Mirrors” released last year set the stage, but it was a bit of a fake-out; while the song is spectacular, it is the most down-tempo song on the record. The rest is more in tune with the pure electro radness of subsequent singles “Close,” or “Stand in my Way.” Make no mistake–this is a pop record with most of the songs being phenomenal dance-floor packing bangers.

Singer Rosina Kazi’s soaring and unique vocals lead us on a journey of self-discovery and awareness. Paired with Nicholas Murray’s ridiculously infectious beats and impeccable sense of rhythmic flow, we have a hit record on our hands.

It’s impossible to speak about Lal and not mention their commitment to causes like Black Lives Matter T.O. and their safe space Unit 2, an alternative to major Toronto venues with a focus on queer and BIPOC shows and dance parties that honestly should be more the norm in a city as diverse as Toronto. This activism colours the entirety of Find Safety, as emphasized by the title track which closes out the record and others like “Rules Were Meant to be Broken.”

The album is available now via Lal’s Bandcamp and through Coax Records. The band is spending much of May touring the country, so check out their website to see if they’re heading your way soon. We were at their album release in Toronto and trust us–this is not a show you want to miss.

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Video: LAL – Close

We couldn’t be more excited for the new LAL album this Friday, and as it gets nearer, we have “Close” on repeat. In this woodsy video, produced and directed by Jaek Eastcott, the musicians are first to appear: Rosina Kazi in front of the Scarborough Bluffs and Nicholas Murray surrounded by woodsy brush. The rest of the video captures a range of outdoor locations, with different people standing still as the camera zooms out.

And let’s talk about how great the accompanying song is! The synths are minimally and masterfully applied, Kazi’s voice is as beautiful as ever, and the punctuating sample (“warmth”) propels the song forward.

If you’re in Toronto, you can join them to celebrate the release of Find Safety on Friday, and they’re playing shows across Canada in the months to come.

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Black Lives Matter Toronto – Black City Mixtape

Early last week, Black Lives Matter Toronto began a protest/occupation in front of police headquarters in Toronto in response to the lack of charges against the officer who shot Andrew Loku in July 2015. They intend to remain there until their demands are met. To help raise funds for the ongoing protest, they’ve released a mixtape composed of Toronto hip-hop and R&B artists, including choice cuts from some of our favourites in the city: Witch Prophet (of Above Top Secret) LAL, Lido Pimienta, and pHoenix Pagliacci (whose new record Ars Amatoria was our Album of the Week last week).

The compilation is available from Bandcamp, and all proceeds go to Black Lives Matter Toronto. We highly recommend it both musically and politically – and if you’re in Toronto, be sure to voice your opinions to public officials and Chief of Police Mark Saunders, and follow Black Lives Matter on Twitter to keep informed about how you can help.

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