This is our first time posting about Pipahauntas, the electronic pop solo project of Sam Pippa, a member of Ottawa bands Blue Angel and Organ Eyes. But we’ve been missing out! Her Soundcloud is full of wonderful hazy lo-fi bedroom pop, and is definitely worth exploring. A week ago, she teamed up with Ottawa-born, Montreal-based DJ/producer High Fantasy (aka Caleb Latreille) on a new single. “Callin’ In” is a crisp, airy track that’s quite short but excellent, featuring spare guitar over a big clap, with Pippa’s beautiful vocals and harmonies soaring atop the mix. It’s a wonderful indie R&B jam from two very promising talents, and we hope they collaborate again!

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#43: Scary Bear Soundtrack – Victoria Island

“Victoria Island” is one of the standout songs from Ovayok Road from Cambridge Bay/Ottawa synthpop project Scary Bear Soundtrack, an album released earlier this year. The track is a super-hooky and propulsive synth-pop number with endless replay value and we couldn’t be more impressed.

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#13: Violence – Le théâtre

It’s a pleasant surprise to hear a band like Violence manage to stay equally fantastic while trying out different sounds on each of their records. Le théâtre, the band’s third official release, isn’t a huge departure in style–they still make darkness-infused synth-pop–but they have gone in more instrumental direction, with smatterings of distant, almost whispered vocals. The EP is defined by quick forward motion, call-and-response between different synth tones and some seriously infectious melodies.

Le théâtre is out now physically on Visage Musique or from the band’s Bandcamp.

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MP3: Valois – Ça Sera

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We’ve found ourselves to be consistent fans of the work of Charles Valois, but we haven’t heard much from the wonderfully melodramatic pop songwriter since 2013. So we’re very excited to learn that he’s relocated to Ottawa and has been working on a follow up to his 2012 debut album Girls, and has assembled a band and taken a more collaborative approach, even renaming the project to Valois. His second record Love Dies But You Won’t is a lovely short album that delves even further into electronic music, and as you’d expect, we’re down with that. Standout single “Ça Sera” is a heartfelt weird synthpop number that’s super-catchy. Every section is very hooky and you’ll probably humming this one all day. Our favourite song from this talented songwriter yet!

You can listen to or buy Love Dies But You Won’t from Valois on Bandcamp.

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Mika Posen is a name we’re excited to be seeing pop up again, what with her stellar past work playing strings with Timber Timbre and Forest City Lovers. She’s started a new project called Merganzer, and is poised to release her first album under that name on November 24. For now, we’ve got the title track, “Mirror Maze,” a beautiful atmospheric ballad featuring a simple, well-crafted melody over a minimal beat and shimmering strings. Some tremendous harmonies too! Can’t wait to hear the whole record!

Be sure to catch one of Merganzer’s album release shows if you can:

Nov 26 – Toronto – Burdock
Dec 9 – Montreal – Casa del Popolo
Dec 12 – Ottawa – House of Common

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