Toronto

Snowblink – Feel Like a Man

So, this is cool. If you have a virtual reality headset, dig it out and get ready to participate in a visually and aurally beautiful seance with Toronto/L.A. duo Snowblink. It still works on your phone or computer–just make sure to move the device around or click the arrows in the upper left corner to take in the whole scene. Despite the title, the participants are 13 women, dressed in¬†glittery finery, moving and dancing and transforming to the humming beat.

The song come from their fall release,¬†Returning Current, which pushes their soft folk sound more firmly into a synthy realm. It pulses and wavers beneath the quiet confidence of the vocal melody, and by the end we’re definitely spellbound.

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Austra – Future Politics

We all know and love this one already right? Austra‘s Future Politics may have been released on an inauspicious day, but far from settling into a third-record torpor, Katie Stelmanis has taken her project to the ionosphere (that’s well above the stratosphere) with a magnificent collection of beautiful, utopian/dystopian darkly electronic pop songs, almost any of which could stand alone as singles.

The lead singles sound even better in the context of the full-album arc, with the defiant “Future Politics” and the better-world longing of “Utopia” merely the opening statements in an album full of intelligent, minimal pop songs with banging beats. The production is crisper, rawer, and more direct than ever before, and perhaps that’s because this time Stelmanis mixed the record herself (collaborating with bandmate Maya Postepski on production as usual and live engineer Alice Wilder on mixing). A work of genius without a dull moment, Future Politics is Austra’s best album yet in an already-storied career.

Available now from Bandcamp.

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Nailbiter – Smeared

Nailbiter–the solo side-project of Josh Korody of Beliefs and Candle Recording–makes sludgy experimental electro with shades of industrial and a pinch of gothiness. Naturally, with qualifiers like that, this is the type of music that is exactly in our wheelhouse. “Smeared” is a short song with a sense of impending doom, and though the sounds are cacophonous, it is still melodious and beat-driven.

The song is the first single from Waveshaper, his third album under this name and first to be mastered with David Psutka (Egyptrixx) and Jeremy Greenspan. The album is out tomorrow (March 3rd) on Hand Drawn Dracula, with a release party that same day in Toronto at The Smiling Buddha.

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