Broken Social Scene alumna Lisa Lobsinger is back with electropop band Laser. She’s joined by Paul Pfisterer (the Beauties) and Martin Kinack (Transistor Sound & Lighting Co.) on this slick debut album, an ode to 80s synths and drum machines that’s paired with Lobsinger’s dreamy lead vocals and warm guitar tones.
For the most part, this balance of cool electronics and lush instrumentation stops Night Driver from veering too far into the past. The best songs use otherworldly elements like arpeggiated synths and danceable beats for spirited punctuation. On opener Leaving It Too Late, Lobsinger’s undulating vocals drift above a robust keyboard line while theremin-like effects flicker in and out. The trio lose their equilibrium on Maniacs: a flashy keyboard solo hijacks the song and takes it to a cheesy place.
But even when songs swing too deep in that direction, Lobsinger’s steady, breathy vocals keep things grounded.
Top track: Leaving It Too Late