Premiere: Rational Youth – Future Past Tense

Rational Youth are legendary figures to Canadian synth-pop heads. Their debut LP Cold War Night Life released in 1986 is one of the finest examples of the strength of Canada’s new wave scene in the 80s. Now, after a few line-up changes, we at Silent Shout are thrilled the present the premiere of their first EP since 1999. Future Past Tense lives up to their stellar reputation and sounds simultaneously retro and modern at the same time. All the core things we loved about Rational Youth remains in tact: the analog synths, hook-laden choruses, synth solos galore and more!

The band is now an Ottawa-based husband/wife duo featuring Gaenor and Tracey Howe (also the former guitarist for Men Without Hats), but the record is chock-a-block with amazing sounds despite the sparse line-up. Every track is a throwback in the best possible way. EP opener “This Side of the Border” sounds like something straight from the 80s, and the poppy angst of “Here It Comes Again” showcases some fine early goth sentiments while maintaining a joie-de-vivre synth-pop line.

Future Past Tense is available on 10″ vinyl in June via their Bandcamp and Artoffact Records, with 200 limited-edition copies on clear vinyl.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

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!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

#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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

#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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

MP3: Valois – Ça Sera


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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter