Avant Kool has been making some waves in Toronto for his Depeche Mode-indebted electro goth for a little over a year now. The weirdo pop project is on full display in “Efficient Composition,” with reverbed out and distant vocals, and a slow build to an eventually massive arpeggiated bassline and a completely out there synth-solo.
Avant Kool is often releasing snippets like these on his Soundcloud, and is turning into one of Toronto’s more prolific artists. It’s worthwhile listen to the other pieces and following the project’s development. No word on an official release as of yet, but there’s at least an album’s worth of material out there.
We officially have a new favourite pump-up song at the Silent Shout office. Need to get excited for your day? Listen to Bossie! This third single is every bit as big and sweet as the cotton candy the art reminds us of, and it will even leave you with energy instead of a sugar crash. We stand by our previous statement that Anne Douris’ project could be a pop sensation.
Progress is the latest album from Princess Century, aka multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Maya Postepski. From the Minimalist-inflected intro in “Bro vs. UFOs” to the lush, melancholic electro of album closer “Metro”, Postepski grounds deft craft in a myriad of seamlessly integrated musical languages throughout, moving beyond the minimal synth/darkwave terrain of Loseless and into adjacent zones with the welcomed inclusion of polyrhythmic/percussive (“Tokyo Hands”, “Sheughnessy”) and meditative (“Fata Morgana”) passages. With its on-point amenity album sleeve and sublime sound design, Progress captures style and substance in perfect harmony.
Available now from Paper Bag Records. Stream the album below…
…and check out the stellar video for “Sunrise 101/Last Disco”, written and directed by Mark Sommerfeld.
Above Top Secret, our favourite Toronto electro-hip-hop duo, is back once more with a video for their late-summer smash “WTF?!” Directed by Shadow The Great (aka Loafmusik), it features Ayo Leilani and SunSun chilling in and around an abandoned building with a few dancers on a warm summer day. Clearly this a track that’s good for any season though: that huge, dark and cold beat will be on repeat in our tapedeck all winter long.
The liner notes suggest that there’s going to be an Above Top Secret album of some kind coming in 2016. Cannot wait for that! In the meantime, grab “WTF?!” as a free download from Soundcloud, and be sure to check out their previous single “Ghost”.
We fell for Bénédicte‘s minimal synths back in September, and the Toronto-based artist is proving to be a master at paring songs down to their simplest, most haunting forms. “Dido” falls back on a groups of four notes that climb behind echo-y lyrics sung with a tone of regret. Aching for more? She’s been posting new singles on her Soundcloud at a rate of about one every month.
Synth-rock masters Paradise Animals return with a bombastically huge track “Monday Morning.” Starting off somber and Magnetic Fieldsesque, the track builds and builds into something frantically energetic and maybe even life affirming. The excellent video, directed by Edward Fawcett Sharpe and Joel Barnes is a pastiche of a slice of life featuring folks loving summer and hanging out.
“Monday Morning” is the last single to be released before they drop their debut album Day Bed tomorrow. Those in Toronto can catch them at their release party this Saturday at Handlebar.
Coarse Language make off-the-wall industrial electro, courtesy of Teenanger/Wrong Hole’s Jon Schouten. A spiritual successor to Silent Shout favourite Kontravoid (appropriate because Cam Findlay–Kontravoid himself–did the mix and some percussion work on the song), this is made for dark, fog machined basements at 3 AM. “Better Days” doesn’t let up from the first arpeggiated synth line and the constant refrain of “I’ve seen better days.”
This is the first single from Worried Man, an EP due out winter 2016 on Artificial Sounds.
Since the moment TIO crept into our inbox, we knew that we had something special on our hands. The densely layered electro-pop project, shrouded in mystery, features some of most intense production we have heard from a virtually unknown band in quite some time. Single after single of immaculate artistry came out, and now we have them all together on their debut EP.
Starting off with Austra-esque (minus the operatic vocals) “New Belief” sets us off to a gothy dance party in style. The record goes from the trance-like minimalism of “Seeing It Go,” to Cut Copy style electro-bangers like “Day Fort.” Each track is different from the one that comes before, but they’re all bonafide pop hits worthy of repeated listens.
The debut TIO EP is available now via their Bandcamp.
Toronto’s Animalia is a powerhouse of a performer. Not only her voice, which is huge and emotionally impactful as evidenced by her latest single “Little Earth,” but in her movements themselves, which are showcased nicely in the video directed by Brandon Cronenberg. The video is minimal in its approach and allows for Animalia’s personality to shine throughout.
No word on whether there is an album on the way from Animalia, but we’re hoping and waiting for more. “Little Earth” is available as a single November 13th on Culvert Music.
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?