Metronomy – Love Letters (Because/ Elektra; 2014)
Since their 2011 studio release, Metronomy have been consistently writing and touring. In an interview with NME, multi-instrumental frontman and lyricist Joseph Mount said that their fourth and latest album, Love Letters, is probably their best yet. Lyrically, Mount’s prowess is undeniable, but sonically, the album does not necessarily bring anything new to their electronic alt-pop repertoire.The album’s makeup are the Metronomy signatures: drum machines, synth-keyboards, subtle funk-infused bass lines and Mount’s achingly endearing British accent. Love Letters ditches the experimental, sunny vibe found on their aptly named third album The English Riviera, and opt for a more stripped down, minimalist sound that borders on classic 1960s pop. Despite the lack of musical innovation, the album does carry some instant favourites; “I’m Aquarius” and “Reservoir” amongst others showcases the familiar Metronomy lyrical wit and ‘can’t-get-it-out-of-my-head’ melodic catchiness that will resonate with fans of the British alt-pop quartet.
Trial track: “I’m Aquarius”
Skrillex – Recess (OWSLA; 2014)
This is by far Skrillex’s best work to date. Sonny Moore, stage name Skrillex, has achieved huge success in the last two years, but this is the first piece of music that truly stands out as a masterpiece in the 26-year-old electronic music producer’s repertoire. There are significantly less collaborations with other artists, which is a shift from his previous productions. Regardless, the album still boasts some impressive cameos like Chance the Rapper and the Ragga Twins. Despite having released a ton of material since he emerged on the electronic scene, Recess is Skrillex’s first full length studio album. The wide variety of electronic genres like deep house and experimental EDM are interwoven to build the album and allow for Recess to sound like an experimental work of art. The tracks are not all pure dubstep dance tracks though; many of them stray from this specific form of EDM. The final few tracks off the album take an unexpected turn, but deliver on every level. Needless to say, this album will be the anthem to our summer parties and road-trips. Ultra original work.
Trial Track: “Fire Away”
The Olympic Symphonium – Chance To Fate (Forward Music Group; 2014)
After emerging from New Brunswick’s growing music scene almost a decade ago, The Olympic Symphonium have brought their harmonic indie-folk sound across Canada and the Atlantic. For their fourth studio album, the three-piece collective enlisted the help of musician/composer/producer Joshua Van Tassel to create some of their most introspective lyrics and melodies to date. Touching mostly on heavier existential themes involving loss and religion, Chance To Fate is gracefully melancholic. The album opener “Seize The Day” sets up the tone for the rest of the 10 tracks with relaxed, crooning vocals and a soothing guitar chord progression to match. Chance To Fate comes impossibly close to personifying in sound that feeling you get when a long trip comes to a natural, satisfying end, and you’re just about ready for familiar, comforting surroundings that only home can provide.
Trial Track: “No Saving Grace”