Album Reviews: Altin Gün, Molly Burch, Clairo

Altin Gün — Âlem (Amsterdam, Netherlands/Indonesia/Turkey)

With an already very steady stream of music, Altin Gün has somehow dropped a second 2021 release in less than six months. With a little more genre fusion, the group takes a moment to explore a whole aesthetic through a record, though perhaps with less high-energy moments than in  previous records. Though it calls very overtly to LCD Soundsystem's "Get Innocuous" in its intro and base tones, "Yali Yali" quickly evolves into its own Anatolian beast of a track with so many great synth lines it quickly becomes unrecognizable from its early moments. The sombre drive of "Kisasa Kisas" plays to the massive-sounding but sparse notes of "Ordunun Dereleri" but with a lot more hooks to make that space work rather than feel lacking. The 80s feel of "Cips Kola Kilit" makes for a wonderfully electronic trip by the band, and potentially the most notably influenced Merve Dasdemir perfectly morphs between a suave and pointed diction much like the synths here go from square and punchy to smoky neon. B-side inclusion with "Kisasa Kisas" "Erkilet Güzeli" is worth its own shout-out, as it takes their recent exploration into drum machines to a very vintage lounge dance beat with the wonderfully Anatolian-flavoured melodies that they always bring.

Kirty — We Are All on Fire (Toronto)

As a departure from their Fast Romantics material, Kirty's music as a solo act manages to hit a personal high and get much weirder. There's a cosmic high to "Something About You" that takes off from every catchy verse into this triumphant and hopeful leap in every chorus. "Turn You On" lets the blown-out towns take over, with their much more charming lo-fi keyboards providing unique colour here, and the whole song's layers of distortion emulate both a heightened sensation and a kind of numb "over it" tone. The dazed, swirling production on "We Are All on Fire" is a dizzying experience, and this design allows Kirty to draw you into the out-of-control feeling its bones. Though much more straightforward, "I Want Your Love" also hits you with all the amazing hooks of the record cranked up even more.

Molly Burch — Romantic Images (Austin, TX/Los Angeles)

With a love for a vintage vocalist, romantic style, Molly Burch has refined her blend of old and new on her latest release. Almost like a through-all-time reflection on love, this record merges so many eras seamlessly into one excited record. The 70s/80s tinges on "Games" let the track bounce and dance around, with a dark, cool as well, as Burch hits some of her fastest and most energetic highs. There's an immediately intimate delivery to "Heart of Gold," trying to lure someone in with charm while also being honest, and all with a very warm production to it that highlights Burch's pop sensibilities. The grooves of "Took a Minute" hit a lot harder than others here, and let Burch's silky high-notes really pop in its loose disco feel. The yearning and intense emotion on "Back in Time" comes in with a deep power, as Burch lets the schmaltz in the arrangements enhance how important her story feels to her.

Seth Dyer — Lost (Single)  (Toronto)

As a moody and direct R&B track, Lost sees Seth Dyer crooning without any allusions to break up the message. The delicate vocal delivery makes every word, and Dyer's person-of-interest feel absolutely important. This smoky approach to their craft lets the swells of harmony feel like a booming drop, and amp up his lyrics to another level. Though it doesn't shift gears throughout its run so much, the slow amp up of each chorus makes Dyer's performance feel all the more . . . well dire!

Clairo — Sling (Atlanta, GA/Carlisle, MA)

Quieter music has a tendency to be slow and sparse, but Clairo is proving this doesn't need to be the case. As a tightrope mix of subdued arrangements and a large swath of instruments, Clairo really manages to pack a fantastic emotional colour palette into this album. "Bambi" proves a low-key track has a lot to offer sonically on "Bambi" as keys, and a whole range of instruments come in to compliment the feelings in her words, making for a devastating but magical listen. This subversion lets "Partridge" stand on almost trippy ground, as the stereo shifting of drums and specific voices really set the song apart from others like it. "Wade" takes its time, and slowly opens up with is woodwinds into this airy and swaying jam, that constantly blooms into these utterly shocking breaks. "Joanie" takes this to a theatrical place as the entire feeling of the song goes in and out at a moment's notice, as bells, vibraphones, and a wash of guitars all take their turn painting its picture fully.