30-Second Reviews: Feb/March 2022

OMBIIGZI

OMBIIGZI

Sewn Back Together

Sewn Back Together
Genre: Art rock
Sounds like: Hazy electronic soundscapes, gentle guitar strumming and stirring vocal harmonies
If you like: Ringo Deathstarr, Casper Skulls, nêhiyawak

Why you should listen: OMBIIGZI is the debut collaboration between Anishinaabe artists Zoon (Daniel Monkman) and Status/Non-Status (Adam Sturgeon). The two share their different cultural heritages through lyrical storytelling and genre exploration — there’s influences of dream pop, shoegaze and alt-rock. For this duo, the album is a tool for healing and reclamation. Get lost in the dreamy instrumentals and learn something along the way.

Best track: Spirit in Me

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MO album cover

Motordrome 

Genre: Dance pop
Sound: Utterly danceable beats propel lines of gritty electronics and emotional vocals
If you like: Robyn, Sigrid, Charli XCX
Why you should listen: Known for featuring on one of the most successful singles of all time (Major Lazer’s Lean On), Danish phenom MØ contributes a cinematic addition to the Nordic pop canon as she sings of battling anxiety in her gravelly, character-carved voice.

Best track: New Moon

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Texas Moon album cover

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges

Texas Moon

Genre: Eclectic easy listening/Psychedelia
Sound: SIxties’ psychedelia creates a smooth landing pad for reverbing guitars, shimmering cymbals and hypnotic refrains
If you like: Shuggie Otis, Son Little, Toro y Moi
Why you should listen: This is vibe-out music at its peak. The follow-up to Texas Sun, the first collab. between these two taste-making Texan acts, this simmering sequel takes on a sexier, nighttime vibe with wavy reverbs and soulful, smooth-talking romances.

Best Track: B-Side

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Valley album cover

Valley

The After Party

Genre: Pop
Sound: Airy harmonies, tender strums and lovesick shimmer pop melodies
If you like: COIN, LANY, Shoffy
Why you should listen: This Toronto quartet is blowing up for their sweet love songs full of ’90s-approved references. This time, the party’s over. With sad-boy tenderness, they hit the rewind button and cry to filmy memories of lost love.

Best track: Last Birthday

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Cabu So Far To Go album cover

CABU

SO FAR TO GO

Genre: Indie electronica
Sound: Infectious dance groove bangers in anticipation of summer 2022
If you like: Kaytranada, Ta-ku, Nujabes

Why you should listen: Sydney-based producer Cabu’s energetic EP, So Far To Go, mixes R&B and soul aesthetics to create a party anthem for good times, backed up by sensual and hypnotic vocals.

Best track: Process (ft. Milan Ring & Ta-ku)

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Mitski album cover

Mitski 

Laurel Hell

Genre: Indie rock/synth-pop
Sound: Avant-garde instrumentation elevates ’80s-pop-inspired anthems and mournful alt-rock tracks alike
If you like: Phoebe Bridgers, Japanese Breakfast, Snail Mail

Why you should listen
: Mitski makes her discomfort with her own fame no secret in this heavily anticipated album. This is the last record she’s contractually obligated to make with her label, and she uses it to zero in on capitalism and the music industry with palpable exhaustion and anger. She breaks tradition as well with a newfound exploration of ’80s synth-pop and electronica aesthetics.

Best track: Love Me More

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Dashboard Confessional album cover

Dashboard Confessional

All The Truth That I Can Tell

Genre: Emo
Sound: Intimate acoustic campfire songs paired with hopelessly romantic lyrics
If you like: Jack’s Mannequin, Yellowcard, Secondhand Serenade

Why you should listen: Once again, Chris Carrabba does what he does best — writing confessional songs that show his heart on his sleeve. After all these years, Carrabba hasn’t lost the yearning in his voice, accompanied simply by his acoustic guitar, without distractions.

Best track: The Better of Me

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Jerry Leger LP cover

Jerry Leger

Nothing Pressing

Genre: Folk
Sound: Charming and familiar folk music with a country influence
If you like: Daniel Romano, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Malcolm Holcombe

Why you should listen: True to its title, Nothing Pressing must have been written slowly and with care. If you can picture a bustling train station where travellers pause to listen and appreciate the busker on the corner, this album is the music that busker’s playing for everyone. 

Best track: Have You Ever Been Happy

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Sam Weber LP album cover

Sam Weber

Get Free

Genre: Indie
Sound: Laidback indie singer/songwriter with notes of blues
If you like: Bahamas, Terra Lightfoot, Hovvdy

Why you should listen: There is so much life and fullness on Get Free. It’s an ode to Weber’s travels, the people he met along the way and the memories made together.

Best track: Get Out Of The Game

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Freakin Freddy Endless album cover

FREAKINFREDDY

ENDLESS

Genre: Hip hop
Sound: Underground, grimy and gritty old-school hip hop
If you like: Supreme NTM, Rebel Kleff, San E

Why you should listen: Young, up-and-coming Munich-based rapper FreakinFreddy’s downbeat debut album is an emotional and moody record that blends poetic lyrics and underground, old-school beats to create inspiring tracks with powerful sounds and reassuring words to motivate.

Best track: Fuori (feat. ATP Crew)

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Basia Bulat album cover

Basia Bulat 

The Garden

Genre: Folk
Sound: Ethereal, heaven-sent orchestral arrangements soundtrack Bulat’s airy voice
If you like: The Lumineers, Ryn Weaver, Adrianne Lenker

Why you should listen:
The Garden isn’t your typical album — it’s a reimagining of some of Bulat’s greatest tracks from five studio albums alongside a classical string quartet. The evocative musicianship injects Bulat’s timeless songwriting with new emotion and makes old tracks feel entirely new.

Best track:
Infamous (The Garden Version)

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aurora the gods we can touch album cover

AURORA 

The Gods We Can Touch

Genre: Alt-pop
Sound: Sing-songy alt-pop that swells with eerie vibes and baroque instrumentation
If you like: Allie X, Daughter, Billie Eilish

Why you should listen: Norwegian art-pop songstress AURORA’s latest album hits every beat. You’ll find danceable club-ready hits, dark alternative tracks and multi-layered orchestral masterpieces that overwhelm the senses. Expert production, intricate vibe curation and technical skill make this album one to watch.

Best track: Giving In To The Love

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Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq 

Tongues

Genre: Experimental
Sound: Tagaq meshes Indigenous art forms with industrial avant-garde production to create a listening experience like nothing you’ve heard before.
If you like: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Backxwash, Yoko Ono

Why you should listen: Tagaq’s mastery of Inuit throat-singing combines with her furious lyricism, experimental instrumentation and searingly political subject matter to create a dark, otherworldly listening experience that builds off the surreal world in her 2018 novel, Split Tooth.

Best track: Colonizer

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animal collective album cover

Animal Collective

Time Skiffs

Genre: Experimental
Sound: Eclectic, idiosyncratic noise tracks that build ambient, dreamlike soundscapes
If you like: of Montreal, the Microphones, Ariel Pink

Why you should listen: After years of constant and prolific experimentation, indie darlings Animal Collective are proving that they’ve mastered their experimental craft. This record toys with soaring harmonies, addictive melodies and a constantly shifting musical ethos that never stops taking you by surprise.

Best track: Prester John

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donovan woods album cover

Donovan Woods 

Big Hurt Boy

Genre: Pop-folk
Sound: Whispering, confessional modern folk that’s built to give you chills
If you like: Taylor Swift, Phillip Phillips, Christian Lee Hutson

Why you should listen: Woods’ named this self-effacing album to poke fun at his pattern of writing about breakups and heartache, but after listening to it, you’ll beg him not to stop: He sings with quiet intimacy and raw honesty that will tug at even the toughest heartstrings. Bring tissues.

Best track: Leave When You Go

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no bro album cover

NOBRO

Live Your Truth Shred Some Gnar

Genre: Punk rock
Sounds like: A driving, stomping rhythm section with wailing guitar solos and gritty, hollering vocals
If you like: The OBGMs, PUP, Bad Waitress

Why you should listen: This Montreal rock quartet’s newest release comes at you fast and hard. Packed with electric adrenaline and infectious, chant-worthy lyrics, these women are challenging sexism in the genre with their fun “get the fuck out of here” attitude. Their collaboration with JUNO nominee Terra Lightfoot makes the EP even more powerful. These tracks will set the perfect on-stage mood when the group goes on tour with Billy Talent this spring.

Best track: Eat Slay Chardonnay

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sunglaciers album cover

Sunglaciers

Subterranea 

Genre: Indie rock/Post-punk
Sound: Carefully crafted electronic distortions, angsty vocals and angular textures
If you like: Preoccupations, Metz, Joy Division

Why you should listen: Sonically dense with chunky guitars, expressive vocals and psychedelic sensibilities, this Calgary outfit teamed up with local experimental legend Chad VanGaalen to produce a gloriously head-banging piece of catharsis rock for their sophomore record.

Best track: Avoidance

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LÉON_Circles_800

LÉON

Circles

Genre: Contemporary
Sound: Spellbinding lead vocals sail across a glittering, disco-beat ocean filled with salty heartbreak tears
If you like: Lennon Stella, Wild Rivers, ABBA

Why you should listen: Set to dazzling tones of ’80s synthpop and warm acoustics, Swedish sensation LÉON longingly belts to the impulses of love and heartbreak with cry-on-the-dance-floor profundity in her much-anticipated third record.

Best track: Soaked

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