fri 03/04/2020

Canada

Album: Purity Ring - Womb

Purity Ring, the Canadian duo, are purveyors of simple yet sophisticated dream pop. Corin Roddick makes synth tracks at one end of the country, while crystalline-voiced Megan James writes the lyrics and records the vocals thousands of miles away....

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Album: Basia Bulat - Are You In Love?

“No Control” feels like an instant pop classic. It opens with a brief introduction where layers of instrumentation are added in waves. There’s a restraint. Then, three-quarters of minute into what initially seems like a reflective mid-tempo ballad,...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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CD: Caribou - Suddenly

Around the turn of the millennium, when Dan Snaith started releasing music – initially as Manitoba, then Caribou, and latterly also Daphni – he tended to get lumped in with the folktronica movement. In fact, the closest he came to actual folk was a...

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Carly Rae Jepsen, Brixton Academy review - punchy, polished pop

Few will forget back in 2012, when Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen came crashing into the airwaves of pretty much every pop station on the planet, with the sugary synth-pop sounds of Call Me Maybe. With a track as big as that – even Jepsen herself...

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CD: Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance

That voice’s husky confiding wasn’t quite silenced. Working helped Leonard Cohen live a little longer, and old friends and family have gathered to complete these last bequests. “As for the fall it began long ago,” he sings, and more than a quarter...

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CD: Celine Dion - Courage

Of 2019’s pop culture phenomena, the critical reappraisal of Céline Dion as an international treasure is one of the most delightful. It’s been six years since the Quebecois singer last released an English language album, a period in which she closed...

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CD: Jacques Greene - Dawn Chorus

Canadian DJ-producer Philippe Aubin-Dionne – AKA Jacques Greene – has had a successful career in global clubland. One release in particular, his spacey 2011 deconstruction of the song “Deuces” by R&B star Ciara, which he entitled “Another Girl...

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Mother of Him, Park Theatre review – lean domestic drama unsure where it stands

Mother of Him was written a decade ago, but its most prescient moment happens in the first five minutes of Max Lindsay's production at the Park Theatre. Brenda Kapowitz (Tracy-Ann Oberman) presents a sheaf of papers to Robert (Simon Hepworth, ...

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CD: The New Pornographers – In the Morse Code of Brake Lights

New Pornographer-in-chief AC Newman grew up enraptured by how much and how little pop could be: from David Bowie shucking skins to the rush of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer”, to Pixies' boiling down of a song to three chords and a scream. Eight...

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Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, Wilton's Music Hall review - klezmer revue is moving and inventive

Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s “refugee musical” – now there’s a phrase you don’t expect to write – is a treat. Harking back to the early 20th century pogroms of Eastern Europe, it’s darkly steeped in history, conveying the sorrows of...

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theartsdesk at the Montreal International Jazz Festival - fabulous at 40

The Montreal Jazz Festival is vast. It attracts an audience of between 1.5 and 2 million people over its 12 nights. It has been estimated to bring the city more revenue than the Canadian Grand Prix.And yet size, as we were often reminded in this...

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