Too Attached, the Toronto/Vancouver sibling duo whose debut EP Bronze basically blew our minds are back again with a deeply grooving electro-hip-hop single called “Getalife”. A bonus track from Bronze, it riffs on samples from Nita Shahzad and is easily the equal of the any songs from the actual EP. So impressed!
Sadly we’ve been unaware of Vancouver electronic pop artist Jeff Cancade aka Devours, who’s been putting out records since 2012, but are we ever glad we didn’t miss out on this year’s release: second full-length album Late Bloomer. Nine tracks of brilliant gothy synthpop, frequently featuring monstrous arpeggiated bass synths, it was tough to pick just one song to share. The title track is probably Cancade at his lightest and poppiest, a crisp track featuring some genius sample use and a vocoded chorus.
But you’ve got to hear the whole album, really. Late Bloomer is available now, PWYW, from Bandcamp.
Her debut EP is built with lots of layers: spacey high-pitched notes, quickly articulated bass, percussive pops and shakes, and any sound a laptop could possibly make, all combined into a form of pixelated, pastel and grand bedroom pop. The vocals are straightforward, mostly delivered with a flat affect. A laid-back everywoman against production with varied textures and endorphin-releasing melodies.
The subject matter is well-suited to the EP’s name, as you’ll come away feeling like you identify strongly with the lyrical narrator’s experiences. You’ve probably left unhealthy friendships behind in the past or stayed hopeful through betrayal, but if not, “2 Leave U Behind” and “Sanguinity” will take you there.
It seems like it actually does pay off to do your homework! We hope Salloum-Hedgecock got an A on that assignment. You can get Empathy on Bandcamp.
We’ve long been fans of Vancouver duo Mesa Luna, especially last fall’s “Don’t Let Go”, but the band is on a bit of a break for the moment. Not a problem, as Alex Cooper, one half of the duo, has got a new project called Pavel, and we’re quite excited to premiere his second single, the potentially Zen-referencing “Beginner’s Mind”.
“Beginner’s Mind” is quite a lot more chilled-out than his debut single “Alright” but is no less inventive in its use of distortion and lo-fi recording techniques. A slow and steady beat full of percussive elements and a laid-back organ anchor the track, as synths enter and exit to extremely cool effect. We can expect to hear a cassette from Pavel sometime soon, a debut album entitled [sic]. Definitely can’t wait to hear it!
Tend and See are a brand-new duo featuring Familiar Wild, and their first release Migrations is a stunningly accomplished debut EP. With no filler whatsoever in its five tracks, and covering a wide breadth of moods and motifs, it’s soft electronic pop at its finest.
Making use of musique concrete techniques, as well as drawing from shoegaze, the Vancouver twosome often bring to mind some of Blue Hawaii’s best ambient and folk moments. But Tend and See have an original sensibility that can’t be tied down to any influences or contemporaries. The tense beauty of “Set on Sand”, the stunning cascading vocal harmonies on “War”, the carefully constructed arrangement of title track “Migrations” all indicate the level of talent we are dealing with here. Only the first statement from a band well worth watching.
Migrations is available now from Bandcamp.