There’s a shrowd of mystery surrounding Toronto’s LA Timpa. We can’t exactly make out what he’s saying, the song is a deliciously minimalist mess of pitches and sounds, but we definitely like what we hear. Affiliated with a group called A.C.C. Studios, LA Timpa just kinda burst into the scene with this statement. It’s quite the statement too, and if the forthcoming Animal EP is as good as “UU UU Animal,” we can see it climbing to the top of our personal charts quite quickly.
When we last checked in with Meg Remy’s recently 4AD’d U.S. Girls, she was shaking her fist at the White House and cursing a landform. Now, she’s announced her next LP, Half Free and released the second single along with a self-directed video, a psychedelic and nightmarish procession of women with third eyes. As with “Damn That Valley,” “Woman’s Work” was produced by Toronto beats-genius Onakabazien and is easily the most Silent Shout-y single we’ve ever heard from U.S. Girls. Featuring a driving arpeggiated synth and a huge-but-slow backbeat, and even a vocoder, it’s everything we could have hoped for. Predictions: Half Free will make U.S. Girls an indie underground star (which she’s long deserved). Also, she somehow ends up president, with Bernie as her veep. You heard it here first.
We cannot wait to hear this record. Half Free is out September 25, which is tantalizingly far away.
Toronto wunderkind Clairmont the Second has been seriously impressive lately, especially given it’s still so early in his career. Back in April we wrote about “Queen,” an amazing chilled-out electronic hip-hop single that left us wanting more. If “Queen” was a little on the dark and mysterious side, “Pretty” is definitely much more lighthearted and playful. An ode to egotism, it’s a very slow, minimal production, with a killer bassline and gloriously start-stop beats. We’re into it. The stark, carefully composed video was directed by a team: Javier Lovera, Devon Little, and Ben Cook (aka Young Guv/Yacht Club).
“Pretty” is from 2014’s Project II, available as a free download from Clairmont’s Soundcloud.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you, Hush Pup! Yesterday, we posted the phenomenal Mystic Triangle track from a split single between the two bands, out soon on Reel Cod Records. Now we present the other half. Now, clearly we love all things Hush Pup and “Hisyo’s Jungle” is no different. I mean, it’s an obvious and overused word to describe the band, but this is dreaminess at its absolute best. Little snippets like this make us salivate at the though of more to come, that and their recent live shows in Toronto.
Speaking of, those NXNEing in Toronto have two opportunities to catch Hush Pup, both tomorrow (Saturday), both early at the Garrison and The Silver Dollar back patio. Also, Hush Pup and Mystic Triangle are about to embark on a mega-tour together, check Facebook for the details.
Mystic Triangle is a definite favourite of ours, and “Snake Eyes Wins” remains one of the best things we’ve heard all year. Well, the Torontonian who’s perhaps better-known as 1/3 of Mimico is back again with a pulsing, dark groove of a track, the slightly sinister “Menses.” The single will be released by Reel Cod Records on a split picture disc with dream pop heroes Hush Pup, so watch out for that soon. In the meantime, enjoy the digital version above.
And if you’re in Toronto for NXNE, catch Mystic Triangle playing the Pleasence Records/Wavelength showcase tonight, with Sexy Merlin, Tenderness, Man Made Hill, Zones, and our very own ARP 2600 DJing.
Toronto psychedelic electronic trailblazers Doomsquad went down to New Mexico for some inspiration and to work on a new record, and we trust that anything they do will be very very relevant to our interests. Last week, they put out a video for “Two-Way Mirror,” a standout single we adored from their freshly-released Pageantry Suite EP. Directed by Chris Boni, the beautifully shot video follows a man encountering strange characters and phenomena as he explores Roswell, and the band appears only briefly as mysterious figures dressed in white. A wonderfully postmodern UFO story.
Pageantry Suite is available now from Hand Drawn Dracula and Bella Union.
From the utterly demented universe created by the brain of Hamilton’s Nick Persons, in collaboration with Silent Shout’s favourite bodily fluid-named sibling, Bile Sister, we’re pleased (and somewhat frightened) to present the premiere of “Fries Without A Dog.” The electro-pop and hip-hop deconstructor has put together a wonderfully imploded hip-hop jam that alternates between syrupy-slow synth-heavy grooves and stretches of beatless ooze. There are definitely similarities to Hamilton hometown hero Motem, but instead of smooth and uplifting, Persons keeps things shifting and unsettling. But it’s the kind of chaos we love!
Formerly known as Abstract Random, Above Top Secret took a year off after the departure of one of their members and restarted things as a trio this spring. But what a return! Check out “Ghost,” one of the hardest hitting electronic hip-hop singles we’ve heard this year. Super dark stuff, with a killer hook. The video, directed by Fro, features some excellent masks and a lot of smoking of inspirational substances.
“Ghost” is on a forthcoming album, no release date yet, but we can’t wait to hear it. Until then, there’s always hitting repeat.
We’re adoring fans of brand-new minimalist electronic pop duo JOOJ, and beyond the brilliance of their incredible self-titled debut, they’re also prone to releasing killer videos. Whether it was the Brandon Cronenberg-directed creepy/churchy “Shoulders & Whispers” or Yuula Benivolski’s contemplative hidden-camera-gym reverie for “Ghost of Love,” this crew knows from video. Their latest is directed by Sook-Yin Lee, lovable celeb extraordinaire and one half of the band. It’s a carefully composed, and suitably minimalist production, featuring dancers Mairi Greig and Charlie McGettigan transforming from monochromes matching the stark background into colourful contrasts in the second half.
As previously noted, Jooj’s debut album is essential listening, and it’s available now from Last Gang.
Tasseomancy resurfaces with Palm Wine Revisited on Healing Power Records, and it’s their most refined work yet. The album is grounded in a considered and focused eclecticism that makes for an exciting yet cogent listen. Its instrumentals, namely the Palm interludes and “Black Milk Instrumental”, conjure the indescribably captivating elements of vintage minimal/new age/ambient private pearls; a remarkable achievement in itself, and one of the greatest aspects of this release. Equally impressive is the slew of well-crafted and timbrally rich vocal tracks; “Reality”, “The Grass Harp”, and “Braid. Wind is Coming” showcase the group’s deft approach to infusing classic pop & folk idioms with detailed arrangements, leftfield embellishments and classical elegance. Palm Wine Revisited expertly interfaces with exciting past and present music contexts with skill, imagination, and grace, making this a top contender for Album of the Year.