Artist: DIY HIFI
Song: “Half Hearted”
Album/EP: DIY HIFI
Sunshiney indie labelled as electronic but playing more like a breezy alt rock bop, “Half Hearted” is a strong release from debut Vancouverites DIY HIFI (maybe the least-Googleable band name out there). Stringy, high register synths frolic atop loose drums, grooving bass, and a subtle-yet-critical bongo-like feature that adds to the tune’s casual, refreshing vibe.
Song: “Breaking Your Silence”
Album/EP: Reader As Detective
Exuberant and busy choruses wrapped within low-key, walking-pace verses built squarely upon filling hooks makes for an interesting exciting/chill back and forth on “Breaking Your Silence”. Frantic drum fills especially add to the excitement as the tune reaches its conclusion, but the quiet moments with their plucked rhythms and observational vocals are just as enjoyable.
Artist: Teenage Cavegirl
Song: “Space Girl”
Album/EP: Candy Cigarettes
It’s simple. It’s short. It’s brave, in that it’s got a clean guitar tone and minimalistic drums that leave the songwriting exposed amongst its bare instrumentals. But above all else, it’s fun – like a stripped-down White Stripes combo that chased after grunge instead of garage rock. Surely you’ve got 105 seconds to spare?
Artist: The Family Daptone
Song: “Hey Brother (Do Unto Others)”
Album/EP: 100th 45
Here’s an interesting one: as a celebration of Daptone Records’ 100th 45rpm release, a supergroup of Daptone greats including Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, James Hunter, Lee Fields, and many more collaborated as a super group to release this tune. With that kind of soul pedigree, you know exactly what to expect with “Hey Brother” – immeasurable vocal performances, warm and organic roots stylings, and an undeniably dancey groove meet perfectly to mark Daptone’s landmark anniversary.
Artist: Winona Forever
Punchy and jazzy indie pop that is sure to get your rump bobbing, “Gazing” is an exceptional final single from the Montreal group’s upcoming FeelGood. Trebly guitars, roaming percussion, heavy-lidded vocals, and a deceptively loose performance strikes the perfect chord between spaced-out relaxing and engaging, danceable fun.
Artist: Scattered Clouds
Song: “La politique, concours pseudo-érotique”
Album/EP: Take Away Your Summer
Steamy, mysterious alt pop with a flair for the attractively unnerving, “La politique” is quite the intriguing single. The language barrier certainly adds to the allure (whatever eroticism could they be singing about?) as do cagey synths, a restrained rhythm section, and those damn half-whispered lyrics.