Audible/Visual Hoots: Dizzy, nêhiyawak, Castle If & more

Dizzy – “Backstroke”

Oshawa quartet Dizzy have been making waves lately with their dreamy pop songs and  next Friday they will be releasing their debut LP Baby Teeth via Royal Mountain Records. “Backstroke,” one of the album’s singles, is thick with synths and melancholy. Lead singer Katie Munshaw wades through the drama of young love and tries to shakes off the heavy feeling that sits on your chest when you realize it isn’t going to work out.

nêhiyawak – “somnambulist”

Last fall, we were taken by trio nêhiyawak’s EP, a recording that has since disappeared. Likely because nêhiyawak recently signed with Arts & Crafts which is quite exciting. Their first track with the label, “somnambulist,” is a dazzling number about extraction industries and the impact that have on society. The band wander through rock grooves and twinkling pop inflections with, in spite of the song’s title, their eyes-wide open.

Maryze – “Their Hearts”

Somehow it’s already August. If you blinked and half the summer is over and you still don’t have a go-to summer song, perhaps Maryze’s – an pop/r&b artist from Montreal – “Their Hearts” is just what you’re looking for. Maryze pairs an upbeat electro-groove with melancholy as she sings about the struggle of being in love with a man and a woman at the same time. The push and pull of the track is pretty electric.

Alex Rand – “Kindness”

Early this year we premiered “My Mettle Changes,” the b-side of a 7″ from Alex Rand, in anticipation of Rand’s EP, Sundial. Well, Sundial has finally arrived and its opening track “Kindness,” is another doozy from this Look Vibrant member. “Kindness” builds steadily into a multi-dimensional pop track, a sonic style that Rand’s label Jurassic Pop characterize as “Art&B.” In the stop-motion animated video, created by Rand’s Look Vibrant bandmate Matt Murphy, we see a big foot-type creature emerge from his home for the first time and come face-to-face with the beauty and ugliness of the world. The small details included in the diorama will blow you away.

Ellis – “The Drain”

Like Dizzy, Ellis (Linnea Siggelkow) is another young act that has been generating buzz. The Hamilton singer-songwriter’s debut track “The Drain” was featured on Stereogum and Pitchfork last month and now us, equally influential, owls are hooting about it. “The Drain” is a dense pop track about that swirling, all consuming sensation of falling in love. Siggelkow’s voice punches through the track’s thickness though, allowing you to breathe. Watch out for Ellis’ debut EP out this fall.

Castle If – “Sector 02”

Castle If‘s long awaited sci-fi concept album Sector 03 will be touching down on earth on August 24th. To prepare us for its arrival, Jess Forrest (Castle If) has released a new electronic song + video, “Sector 2.” The video, directed by Kate Young, is ultra-trippy (and eerie) and feels like it belongs on a VHS tape. We watch as Forrest’s floating head sways and, with her vocals warped into a robotic voice, sings, “I’m ready to leave this body.”  Brace yourself for Sector 03.

Bloom – “Help Me Understand”

Bloom’s (a trio fronted by singer-songwriter Daniel Monkman) debut song “Help Me Understand” is a hazy journey with powerful purpose. According to the band, the melody’s charging thrum  symbolizes “the triumph over addiction, racism, and self-destruction” while the thick layer of sound that blankets the entire track is there to “guide the listener to a quiet place of reflection.” It’s an engrossing listen overall.

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