Toronto

Beta Frontiers – If I Stayed

And just like that, Toronto underground electronic pop producer Michael Butler aka Beta Frontiers is back with possibly the most monstrous jam of his career. Another inspired collaboration with guest vocalist Carmen Elle of Diana (who also sang on BF’s now-classic “So Cold”), “If I Stayed” is an unabashed in-your-face pop song that’s worthy of all of the world’s airwaves.

“If I Stayed” has us hotly anticipating his Heights EP, out May 5 on Buzz Records. Available now for pre-order.

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Lydia Ainsworth – Darling of the Afterglow

We’ve had Lydia Ainsworth’s second full-length on heavy rotation since it came out on March 31st, and for good reason! From start to finish, the record sees Lydia breaking apart pop motifs and reconfiguring them in delightfully weird ways, exploring a wide range of sonic palettes but always tying everything back together with her signature vocal layering. Every tone on this album feels staunchly deliberate, and with so many elements to dive into, repeat listens find us discovering something new every time. Darling of the Afterglow strikes a perfect balance between busier tracks — like your future summer anthem “What Is It?” — with delicately sparse compositions the likes of “Afterglow” and a devastatingly beautiful cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. We already want more!

Darling of the Afterglow is available now on vinyl and digitally from Arbutus Records and Lydia’s Bandcamp. She’s currently on tour, with performances in Toronto and Montreal next week. Details on her Bandcamp page.

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SlowPitchSound – THK SKN

We’ve long been fans of Toronto‘s Cheldon Paterson aka SlowPitchSound, celebrated sci-fi turntablist and outer solar system sonic explorer. Over the years he’s certainly shown us many wonders, but on his fifth full-length album THK SKN, he takes us on a voyage through realms uncharted.

A score for an imaginary film, THK SKN is full of subtly crafted soundscapes that create a mood rather than jump out at you, flipping nonchalantly from idea to idea with ease, and never neglecting the flow. It even includes one absolutely transcendent pop/R&B single, appearing in the middle of side one and featuring an incredible vocal turn by Shikha Sehgal. But to discover every nook and cranny of this record, you’ll need to listen many times. THK SKN is an imaginary film well worth returning to, over and over.

THK SKN is available now from Bandcamp.

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