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.
Mika Posen is a name we’re excited 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
Talk about a wonderful combination! This started as a quiet and beautiful song from The Acorn, but the ever-excellent Phèdre have distorted the vocals (pitch shifting them down and fading them out into the wispy distance) and completely changed the spine of the song: goodbye acoustic guitar, hello synth fuzz.
And in case you haven’t heard the good news yet: we’re so thrilled to have Phèdre headline the second day of our first-ever festival in Toronto this December! See you there?
Ottawa’s Pony Girl are six-piece collective that have been quietly making a name for themselves in the capital and on the East Coast, and we’re really loving this subtle jam that feels a bit like the XX gone acoustic, with some beautiful carefully placed delayed-out synth lines in the mix. “Candy” is a lush, laid-back groover with positively dreamy unison vocals between the two lead singers. What a great sound! Their second album Foreign Life is out next month on So Sorry Records, and we’ll be watching for it.
Do you remember when you first learned that you’re made of stardust? That we’re all made of elements that have existed since the beginning of time, being reused forever? Ottawa’s Isaac Vallentin has captured that quiet wonder in a single (complete with lyrics explicitly about elements and stardust). It starts small and grows, adding in soft stutters of bass and slight percussion as the song reaches its peak.
You can grab “Stewardess” and the album it comes from on his Bandcamp.
We’ve got a thing for Ottawa’s Scattered Clouds, it’s documented. They’re one of the best in the country at creating dense, moody and evocative music that feels cinematic in that it’s hard NOT to imagine a Lynchian scene playing out as their guitars thunder. Their latest, “Enchanteresse,” is a wonderful addition to their catalogue, a bit reminiscent of Timber Timbre, which is of course a very good thing. They’ve released an awesome found-footage video for the track, edited by Hiltrons’ Mike Dubue, it’s more-than-appropriately surreal and features some wonderful superimposed line animations.
“Enchanteresse” will be on Scattered Clouds’ much-anticipated debut album The First Empire, which comes out next week on E-Tron Records. They’re on tour in Ontario and Montreal this spring, check their Bandcamp page for tour dates.
It’s been over a year since Violence’s wonderful debut LP Erlebnis, and new news from the Ottawa minimal synthpop duo is always greeted with excitement and dour dancing round these parts. We’ve got a new EP to look forward to! Le Théâtre is coming out soon on Montreal’s ever-amazing Visage Musique, and this first single is a solid indication that it’ll be excellent. Sublime yet restrained electronic pop with a throbbing bass, creepy synth lines, and reverbed-out vocal melodies, we’re swooning.
Amazing transformation alert! It’s been five years since Ottawa folk band The Acorn released their last album, but some of the band’s members have spent the years in between proving their electronic excellence. Silkken Laumann, featuring 2/5 of The Acorn, made our second favourite album and fourth favourite song last year – basically, they’re pretty fantastic.
So we’re super excited that The Acorn has re-emerged with an electronic single! It’s subtle at the beginning – mixed with acoustic guitar and analog percussion – but by a minute and a half in, a full-out steady synth groove develops. Rolf Klausener’s vocals sound as calm and focused as ever, their softness mixing well with the electronic backbone. We’re officially excited for their next album in May!
Ottawa’s Boyhood (Caylie Runciman) continues her trajectory into stoned-out electro space. While the core experimentation is still in tact, gone are the garage-pop sounds of days past in favour for the drum machines, keyboard and samplers you know we love. In the eyes of many, Ottawa label Bruised Tongue can do no wrong, and you can consider us among those acolytes, especially with an exciting project like Boyhood on the roster.
Oooooh, awesome new band alert! Los Echo are two different people in two different places: Kaitlin Thatcher in Toronto and Connor MacFadyen in Ottawa. They’ve just released their debut EP Bold Fire, and we have our bloggy brethren Quick Before It Melts to thank for bringing it to our attention. We’re utterly captivated by the title track, super-catchy melodic electropop with a slow ambling groove.
We’ve got on our eyes on these two. Buy Bold Fire directly from them at Bandcamp.