Audible/Visual Hoots: Nothingness, Her Harbour, & Bernice

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Nothingness – “Sun of Mine” 

Vancouver band Nothingness are gearing up to release their debut album Being next month and from the sounds of “Sun of Mine,” strap in, it’s going to be a trip. Beginning with C. Diab’s bowed guitar, “Sun of Mine” is an epic 9+ minute song dominated by manipulated guitars that pulsates between earnest chaos and organized grief. Falling somewhere between drone and garage-rock, “Sun of Mine” is a wintertime must hear. – Laura Stanley

Saxsyndrum – “Up To You”

It’s hard not to gush about Montreal’s Saxsyndrum, who continually push the boundaries of their own music, which is based around a thrilling combination of drums, saxophone and synth. Their latest release, “Up To You,” is a lush and pulsating world of heavenly synths and soaring sax. The cherry on the top of this joyous song is A.P. Bergeron’s smooth vocals, making this a great song for any time in your life when you need a little light. Also check out the “Up To You” dub, which subdues the music and somehow makes it even more sensual. – Michael Thomas

Her Harbour – “Hewing Crows” 

We’re big fans of Ottawa’s Her Harbour (Gabrielle Giguere) and so we’re thrilled that she’s releasing her sophomore album Go Gently Into the Night this February. In “Hewing Crows,” the album’s first single, Giguere returns to her chilling ways. Primarily accompanied by quietly delivered piano chords, Giguere’s remarkable voice does all of the song’s heavy lifting as she moves from a rich low whisper to a soaring cry (“you conjure demon in me,” she sings) for a very emotional tune. – LS

For Esmé – “Just Yet”

For those dealing with depression, their surroundings can seem as gloomy as those Martha Meredith deals with in the video for “Just Yet,” from For Esmé’s Sugar album. She awakes in a dark forest, her face bloodied, and looks around in confusion. “Just Yet” is inspired by her own experience with seasonal depression, and the video is a striking look at what that can feel like. But there’s more to the video than just empathy; things start to get brighter, and it shows that there’s always a way forward, no matter what happens to you. For December, all of For Esmé’s Bandcamp proceeds will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association. –MT

Lydia Képinski – “Apprendre à mentir”

“Apprendre à mentir” (Learn to Lie) is a hell of a charming song for being quite depressing. To a bouncing folk-pop beat, Lydia Képinski sings of the little lies people tell themselves or others to make love, or whatever else life throws at you, easier to swallow. Check out Képinski’s stellar EP released last month for more charm. – LS

Bernice – “St. Lucia”

Bernice has long been one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets, a sprawling band that straddles between effortless pop and R&B. Now that they’ve signed to Arts & Crafts, the rest of the world will soon catch up. “St. Lucia” is a bouncing electro-pop gem with just the kind of tropical flair that fits with the song title. It’s now got a pretty animated video to accompany it, which keeps it simple with a black background and chalk drawings. –MT

Aidan Knight – “What Light (Never Goes Dim)”

“What Light (Never Goes Dim)” is one of my favourite songs of 2016 and now it has an equally standout video! In the video, Knight plays the entire crew of a submarine who are met with an “unknown vector” hurtling towards them. The video has a similar vibe to The X-Files episode “Triangle” but it’s also its own weird thing entirely. Take the plunge. – LS

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