Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 19th 2009 11:30AM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Northern Exposure is Spinner Canada's weekly MP3 column highlighting the best in new Canadian music. This week we go daily to feature the finest acts at Toronto's North by Northeast festival (June 17-21).
Much like their namesake, Montreal band Young Galaxy arrived on the scene back in 2007 like a shooting star and after the splash of their self-titled debut the group seemed to vanish from sight. Luckily for those bowled over by that first record's hazily gorgeous single 'Swing Your Heartache,' Young Galaxy are finally back with a new tune from their forthcoming sophomore album, 'Invisible Republic.'
Founded by couple Catherine McCandless and ex-Stars guitarist Steve Ramsay, Young Galaxy took some time to regroup following the success of their debut, re-jigging their lineup to include bassist Stephen Kamp and keyboardist/guitarist Max Henry as permanent members, and taking their time to write and record 'Invisible Republic' at home in Montreal.
The album's lead track, 'Long Live the Fallen World,' shows the band solidifying their psychedelic dream-pop while drawing out some of the more retro influences suggested by their heavy use of synths. In fact, the pulsating beats and chilly keyboards kicking off the opening bars might have listeners reaching for the closest '80s references, but Young Galaxy are anything but revivalists. Theirs is a more modern take on pop with electro touches, much like their compatriots Junior Boys and Stars.
Like those acts, Young Galaxy also doesn't shy away from the darker side of things -- there's a foreboding and tension to the melody and rhythm that's matched by singer McCandless' yearning vocal and cautionary lyrics. But the indigo mood is tempered by an underlying sense of hope, and as the synths give way to an ever-quickening crescendo of blips and beats, the sound shifts from a certain disquiet to a stirring, New Order-esque outro.
While Ramsay handled the bulk of vocals on the last album, it's good to hear McCandless taking the lead on much of 'Invisible Republic,' as she's one of the most unique vocalists in Canadian indie-rock. While many singers would have taken 'Fallen World's' tricky rhythms as a cue to trill all over the place, McCandless keeps her delivery largely unadorned, yet sounds all the stronger for it.
It's been a long wait for Young Galaxy's return (the band left former label, Arts & Crafts, and is looking for a new home for 'Invisible Republic') but 'Long Live the Fallen World' serves as an intriguing teaser.
Download: Young Galaxy, "Long Live the Fallen World" (MP3)
NXNE set: Young Galaxy plays the Pop Montreal showcase at the Drake Underground on June 20 at 11PM