Electronic artists have been tackling a “ghost in the shell” theme — drawing human warmth out of synthesizers and sequencers — for decades now. But what happens when a live band sets out to rebuild the cybernetic shell around a ghost? On previous albums, the four members of Toronto’s Metric have only hinted at the full-bodied, buffed-chrome sound they achieve on Synthetica â€” a sleek amalgam of electro, punk rock and pop that orbits lead singer Emily Haines, who shimmers at its cool blue center like a diva hologram from the future. At first blush, her voice suggests a creepily programmed detachment, especially over the epic two-part opener “Artificial Nocturne” and the beat-less synth washes of “Dreams So Real.” Dig deeper though, and she reveals a daunting range of emotion, from menacing (“Youth Without Youth”) to playful (“Lost Kitten”) to heart-wrenching (“Clone”). As synthetic as she might sound, Haines can’t escape her warm-blooded humanity — and that’s the whole point.
By Kristina Feliciano on 01.11.10 in Icons
Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time and, like artists such as Bob Dylan, there are at least two ways to appreciate her: for her music and for her individuality. (The latter actuall...
By Kirstie Shanley on 09.15.14 in Live in Pictures
Photos of Riot Fest Chicago: Wu-Tang Clan, Patti Smith, Slayer and more
By Ian Cohen on 07.24.14 in Reviews
"Indie pop" is a fuzzy descriptive musical term, but however you define it, Alvvays are the real deal. The Canadian group is directly in the lineage of Orange Juice, the Go-Betweens and Teenage Fanclub — starting with '6...
By Peter Blackstock on 09.30.13 in Reviews
Three albums into a career that was initially boosted by her ties to fellow Canadian act Arcade Fire (members of the Grammy-winning band have produced or co-produced each of her records), Basia Bulat has rocketed past an...