Toronto

We’ve gone just a bit too long without a track from soulful electro-R&B Toronto duo The Precious Lo’s, who just got darker and more mysterious with their contemplative, and very appropriately-titled new single “Thinking”. Subtlety is the name of the game here, as softly crooning vocals float above a deep bass, and the whole track is wrapped in a wonderfully synthy gauze.

No word on any upcoming releases for the Lo’s, but you can grab “Thinking” from Bandcamp, PWYW.

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At this point longtime readers should be quite familiar with our on-going affection for Toronto’s Pick a Piper. So much so, that I don’t think we even need to mention the connection Brad Weber has to Caribou as their regular collaborator/drummer anymore. That said, comparisons are hard to avoid with “Nikko” an arpeggiated synth-laden beauty of a track that is quite reminiscent of Dan Snaith’s early work as Manitoba, or his more recent instrumental noodling with Daphni. The track really takes off when the clicky drums come in around the halfway mark, but we’ll always be suckers for the sort of synth lines that Weber starts the song off with.

“Nikko” is the second single off Distance, out February 24 on Abandon Building and March 3 on Tin Angel Records.

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Austra – Future Politics

Canadian electronic pop legend-in-process Austra‘s much-anticipated third album Future Politics is coming out January 20, the precise day that a certain President-Elect becomes Actual President, and although it couldn’t have been planned that way, Katie Stelmanis’s latest vision seems utterly perfect for the times. Perhaps that’s because she’s always stayed true to a certain technologically-minded electro-capitalist critique which has long pervaded her music, since even before she took on the Austra mantle. This album was produced and mixed entirely by Stelmanis herself, so it’s possibly as direct a musical statement as one can get on the times – a single artist, trying to grapple with the global economic, informational, and cultural flows that shape our lives unseen.

2016? We’re never going back there. There’s only one way: future politics.

You can pre-order Future Politics now from Austra’s Bandcamp. It’s probably gonna be amazing if this and previous single “Utopia” are any indication.

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