DVSN: Keep The Faith (Faithful Extended Remix)
The Toronto R&B duo – who graced the cover of NOW in July – up the gospel factor to 11 on a remix of their contribution to Drake’s Views album. The extended version of Faithful essentially turns Drizzy into the guest MC, and runs an epic gamut from old-school Kanye to Daft Punk-y robo-soloing to piano ballad before returning to the original version and then taking a slightly aggressive turn into trappy drum rolls and bass. Nineteen85 and Daniel Daley conceived dvsn as a way to double down on traditional R&B while also switching up expectations, and with Keep The Faith they juggle both tasks in epic fashion.
Jesse Futerman: You Are Never Alone
The Toronto DJ/producer is the latest Canadian dance artist to surf the lo-fi house melancholia wave. Futerman has made a name for himself with jazzier, downtempo fare – attracting the ear of influential BBC host Gilles Peterson in the process – but this, his latest single, is firmly in the realm of four-on-the-floor. Released this summer via Sweden’s Omena Records, the song is full of beautiful atmospheric touches. The 21-inch single comes with a Guraimu- remix that extends the dance floor romance into a full-on banger with a big, Todd Terje-esque disco shuffle.
Adria Kain: Styrofoam Cup
Another beautiful slow burner from consistently good indie R&B singer/songwriter Adria Kain, who has a knack for celebratory feel-good jams. On her latest release, she raises a styrofoam cup “to the struggle” with a stop-start flow that rides a mid-tempo Mary J bop-worthy groove. Produced by Scarborough’s Nate Smith, it’s the perfect soundtrack for those times when you want to turn up without actually standing up.
Jex Opolis: “Look At My Car!”
New York-via-Toronto producer Jex Opolis has teamed up with St. Louis-based performance artist Ian D. Knight on his upcoming EP Jex Opolis Presents: In The Nite – “Look at My Car!”, due out November via his Good Timin’ imprint. The title track has a heavy thump and an even heavier Talking Heads vibe. Opolis calls it “a paean to the joys of both consumerism and rampant motorism.” An enjoyably uncomplicated bit of throwback synth-funk.
The Cosmic Range: Love II
Free-form cosmic funk gradually gives way to rollicking, screeching chaos on Love II, the first taste of prolific local musician Matthew “Doc” Dunn’s intriguing jazz project. The Cosmic Range’s cast of musician includes U.S. Girls’ Isla Craig, Slim Twig, Diana’s -Kieran Adams and Not the Wind, Not the Flag’s Brandon Valdiva, among others. If the lineup sounds intense, so is the music. The band’s debut album, New Latitudes, comes out October 28 on Idee Fixe.
Michelle Gurevich: First Six Months Of Love
The last time we heard from Berlin-based Toronto musician Michelle Gurevich, she was recording under the name Chinawoman. She’s now releasing music under her own name, and the good news is she’s still giving us heavy Laurie-Anderson-playing-on-Wong-Kar-wai’s-jukebox vibe. First Six Months Of Love – off her recently released fourth album, New Decadence – is a ominous and deadpan ode to blissful young love that reaches its best before date.