Well with Verboden in the rearview and May 2/3 complete, it’s probably time for us to start gearing up for the traditionally busy summer season here in Vancouver. Of course we’ll be hopping over to Alberta for Terminus (and maybe even a little further East for something else, as yet unannounced), but there’s plenty of local shows we’re looking forwards to to boot. Will we have a Lords of Acid show report for you in an upcoming podcast? Maybe, but brace yourselves because there’s plenty of sets we’re eager to catch and let you know our impressions of on the horizon.

Visions of Vision Video (videos of them too)

Qual, “Techsick”
Certainly feels like we’re seeing something of a change in the remit of William Maybelline’s Qual; where once the project seemed like a deeply misanthropic electro-industrial counterpoint to the artist’s work in the darkwave world as half of Lebanon Hanover, more recent material seems to be favouring a more minimal, wiry body music aesthetic. The vocals on new jam “Techsick” maintain Maybelline’s dramatic persona for sure, but we’re feeling the fast moving instrumental that drives the track. Be curious to hear what the rest of the new EP of the same name sounds like.

Vision Video, “Stay”
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the reason so many people have latched onto Vision Video is how much their music speaks to shared experience. Yeah, you may not have had the experiences that VV’s Dusty Gannon has, but that doesn’t make “Stay”, a song about dealing with PTSD any less relatable; its a catchy song in the band’s melodic post-punk style sure, but its the sentiment behind it, about holding on when things get dark and feel hopeless, delivered with a unique sincerity that makes it stick.

Sydney Valette, “La Mamant et le Fant​ô​me”
Another new one from French darkwaver Sydney Valette, finding that middle ground between the trad euro-Darkwave sound and the modern electronic variation. One aspect of Valette’s songs we enjoy is his excellent vocals, which have a certain dramatic energy to them, giving songs a real frisson of energy without tipping over into histrionic dramatics. Looking forward to catching the stage show this summer at Terminus.

Ortrotasce, “Distant In Time”
The flurry of singles and EPs, all of widely differing styles and sounds, we’ve heard from St. Petersburg’s Ortrotasce in the years since his last full length have given us a very blurry picture of an artist in constant motion, never sitting still long enough for a full portrait to emerge. Will that change with the impending release of the Dispatches From Solitude LP in a few week’s time? Is this hypnotic slice of classic new romantic pop with a little hint of space and italo disco hovering in the background indicative of the record as a whole, or simply one quick frame of the ongoing locomotion? Check back with us when it’s released…

Automelodi, “Cavallo”
Keeping with continental vibes delivered by North American artists, it’s been a full five years since we’ve had original material from one-man Montreal act Automelodi. Xavier Paradis has a long-earned rep for impeccably smooth and well-arranged new wave and cold wave tracks which recreate French classics from the 80s to an uncanny degree. A densely packed but never too busy cut like this is a welcome reintroduction to his style.

Menthüll, “Culte”
…And by the gods, the Quebecois just keep delivering the hits this week, with Tracks regulars Menthüll delivering another towering synth gem just a few weeks after the release of “Parade”. This number nicely links the synthpop of the past with the present, and if you’ve been steeped in Canadian synth for as long as we have, you’ll be able to detect a few distinctly north of 49 notes in this infectious, enveloping number.