August was hot. Heat waves rolled over much of Canada. The mercury climbed to unforeseen, cruel heights. The luckiest among us limited their movements, shuttling from one air-conditioning unit to the next. The great many suffered quietly — tried to enjoy it, even — aware that the scarf heaped in the closet would be needed again too soon. In that spirit, we've collected the very best (hottest, you could say) tracks from across the country for the month of August. You'll notice it was remarkably fiery there, too.
In the description field for Ryan Hemsworth's new blissed-out jam, the Haligonian producer says only: “fionna apple in ‘the first taste’ music video (1996).” How has Ms. Apple, and especially her demeanour here, inspired him? Does her graceful, charming, floating routine on camera correlate to those identical qualities in this, his most graceful, charming, floating groove?
The latest from the crowned jewel of Canadian pop is a blistering, anthemic, and emotional hit about unrequited love. The chase is on for someone who is in love with another girl, powering through the attack-and-release synths and air tunnel blasting chorus. “Your Type” feels like it’s trapped in the 1997 movie Cube. Unlocking the trap doors of the realization that you’re not made for the person you’re in love with brings a beaming sunshine, crystal-clear lake water, and a lime green tube to relax in, where you’ll spend your time thinking.
Fake Palms show yet again they've got a lock on their signature sound: sunny pop melodies, full of as many catchy guitar riffs and "oohs" as you can hum, drowned in reverb and distortion. At this rate, new record from the Toronto upstarts is sure to be a delicious chocolate & peanut buttery treat.
Toronto-based synth-pop duo Prince Innocence's "Manic" is sulky with just the right amount of sugar. Josh McIntyre's production loops hover in a gloomy atmosphere while Talvi Faustmann's vocals sooth and calm.
"I live in a hive of compartments and codes," Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist Ben Gunning begins on his latest, "Live In Love," pining over lines of neon, rubbery R&B. It's a thoroughly synthetic dance track, virtuosic in execution, that still wants more — machine precision and human desire placed at odds from the outset.
What murder exactly is she accusing our beloved PM of committing? The way he's sold out Canada's environmental commitments for Big Oil money? How he's gutted social programs? The negligent ways our government treats First Nations communities? The literal murders of indigenous women, which have gone uninvestigated?
Apparently there's a fine strip of undiscovered-'til-now territory between Taking Tiger Mountain-era Brian Eno (I'm thinking of "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More," specifically) and, like, The Bangles. Suddenly, I understand the appeal of a white ragtop Le Baron, especially on an open stretch of desert highway.
The chorus to “Ride” explodes into a fireball of chaotic happiness that will, without a doubt, take over the radio. It sounds like Charli XCX and "Hollaback Girl" making love to drum and bass and raising the baby on a helicopter ride through Hawaii. Sound fun? Take a listen.
Outré pop singer/songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage's new track "Propaganda" is a celebration of outsiders everywhere. Early on, you get labelled because you fall outside a certain box, he explains in an accompanying interview video. Then, "freak" becomes its own sort of box — another way to trap you. "Propaganda" reminds fellow weirdoes that choosing to live differently is about exercising one's own agency.
This is full fat, rich pop rock. His warm falsetto melts like butter over the glowing synth pads. '80s-referencing drum samples (from the decade of opulence) and an R&B bass line remind you what table you're eating at — just because it's a midnight snack, and you might be fully faded, doesn't mean you don't deserve the white linens.