Just one spin of “San Francisco” and you’re hooked. Where has Foxygen been for the past 50 years? This sound is steeped so deeply in ‘60s brit pop psychedelia, you’d swear it was a blast from the past. In age, Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and Sam France haven’t reached the quarter century mark. The slow, hypnotic call-and-return of “I left my love in San Francisco/That’s ok, I was born in L.A.” will hover in your mind for days. Rado and France have been making musical love together since 2005, as self-described “high school kids obsessed with the Brian Jonestown Massacre.” Now signed to Jagjaguwar, the same label responsible for Bon Iver and Sharon Van Etten, Foxygen may be the ‘it’ band of 2013. Their second album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic, is out January 22.
She’s baaaaaack. Yes, in all her curve-hugging, hip-thrusting ‘90s diva-tastic charm, Mozart’s Sister’s Caila Thompson-Hannant is back. But she wasn’t gone for long. After charming Austin at last year’s South by Southwest, releasing her debut EP (2011’s Dear Fear) and multiple appearances at POP Montreal, Mozart’s Sister stepped into the studio to hash out her next ‘pièce de résistance.’ Montreal’s resident electro-soul singer announced the Feb. 26 release of the Hello EP this week by unveiling the self-titled “Mozart’s Sister”. The one-woman band felt it was time to debut a theme song. Belting, “I’ll never be more than number two/But at least two’s better than three,” the infectious pop ballad, somehow, is a self-deprecating pep talk.
Blue Hawaii features a gutsy soprano that Montreal’s most naive Mile End hipster will recognize. In “Try to Be”, the modest Braids’ frontwoman, Raphaelle Standell-Preston, pits her soothing vocals and acoustic guitar loop against Alexander Cowan’s ambient, building production. Cowan, brother to the head of Montreal’s Arbutus Records, has long been a part of the city’s DIY underground electronic scene—which is now, on a national scale, associated with the success of Grimes’ Claire Boucher. Blue Hawaii’s first album, 2010’s Blooming Summer, was a poppy, tropical and dance-inducing debut. But the record unfortunately laid in the shadows of Braids’ 2011 Polaris Prize nominated Native Speaker. The pair previewed a two part single, “In Two I” & “II”, last October—but their full length sophomore effort is due March 2013.