“Re-Tilt” highlights the amazing work Confidence Man puts into their music
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Unfold (Aix-en-Provence, France)
After Melody Prochet seemingly took a six-year break from the studio following her debut, it was fair to think she had simply stepped away for a while. But with an EP’s worth of dreamy “lost” material much closer to her first album, Prochet not only reveals the potential that was missed at the time but also how prolific her creative streak has been, whether we’ve gotten to see it or not. With a fierce kick and truly trippy effects that propel the song into space, “Pêcheuse de Lune” adds a truly kinetic and driving edge to a lot of Prochet’s hazier delivery. All the rich, vintage drum tones and fuzzed-out riffs make “Ocean Road” a true delight to listen to, particularly as Prochet’s spirit-like drone here contrasts the whole feeling perfectly, leaving it more ethereal than grimy. Prochet merges her tastes for both modern and vintage production in the fantastical “From Pink They Fell Into Blue” as Prochet’s song gets more blown-out, futuristic and warped to reflect a happy relationship fading into pain. Meanwhile, there’s a more vivid sonic journey from the get-go on “The Cure” as you’re ripped through a kind of wormhole to wrap the EP in a whole experimental disintegration of her sound.
Amanda Sum – New Age Attitudes (Vancouver, British Columbia)
At times jazzy and others deeply infectious, Amanda Sum takes the swan dive on her new album. Amazingly varied in its arrangements and melodic resonance, Sum delivers a record that feels amazingly written and produced. “New Age Attitudes” finds her swimming through the groove with suave charm and every hook bursts with warmth and vibrance here. There’s a subdued bounce in “Puncture” as Sum rides the hum of the guitar and to create an uneasy harmonic ride for listeners. The deeper colours of “What Did I Know of My Mind?” gives a refreshing palette for Sum’s story and ideas to dance in, with even the harsh scratching metallic sounds painting in shades of her feelings she can’t make out in words. There’s a watery and bubbly tone to “Different Than Before” that offsets the rather downbeat air of the song and leaves you with a sense of optimism that even if things have changed, it’s not necessarily a destructive thing.
Confidence Man – Re-Tilt (Brisbane, Australia)
While their amazing Tilt album earlier this year already felt like a full-blown club gem, Australia’s Confidence Man came back swinging with a remix companion they could dance to themselves. The varied sounds will make it harder to listen through all as one record, but the highs of the individual tracks here are amazing and truly highlight the amazing detail and work Confidence Man put into the record in the first place. A hard bass drive and a tripped-out vocal loop lead Tame Impala’s remix of “Holiday,” which seemingly takes the track to a space where you can just vibe out and relax to it. Arguably the highlight of the release is “Luvin U Is Easy (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix),” given the smoky and 70s disco reimagining it brings out of it, as it both hones the track into its most danceable core but also takes it to a cerebral place that’s wholly new. With a lot of subtle echoing and minor tweaks, “Break It Bought It (CC: Disco! Dub Mix)” gives a sultry new flavor to the original track while barely changing up its essence, but it’s that synth line it drops in the middle that really makes it a unique listen. Daniel Avery instead goes off the deep end for the group’s most bombastic song in his take of “Feels Like A Different Thing,” so that you’re left in this demented swirl of the entire song seemingly overlapping with itself at once.
Jessia – One of the Guys (Single) (Vancouver, British Columbia)
With a biting punk-pop angle, Jessia writes a frustrated anthem for women who can’t seem to catch the right man. Not dissimilar to Olivia Rodrigo’s sound as of late, the glossy tones of this single give an amazing weight to every distorted guitar in its chorus, really elevating the shift in the lyricism from sad to outright mad as well. The attitude and confidence Jessia injects here is a very important detail, though, as the whole thing never comes off as weak but rather jaded and ready to move on. There’s a startling amount of layering between all the keys and guitar lines as well, creating a sea of sound filled with hope, angst, and even a bit of longing.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down (New York City)
It took nearly a decade, but the time was clearly worth it, as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs return in their rawest state in some time. A sure step forward for the group into a fully realized dance-rock era, the band has managed to weave in a lot of sharp melodies, keep it loud, but still offer a vulnerable edge to their music too. “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” is acoustic equivalent of a constant burn and occasional explosion with the band and Perfume Genius going from a void-like key sound into a cataclysmic glow filled with booming drums and feedback. “Wolf” takes all their previous dance energies and lets them fly wildly, reinjecting the group’s fiery spirit into these larger-than-life chorus releases. Building momentum from its infectious groovy intro, “Burning” quickly snowballs into an unstoppable tornado of punk disco built to let crowds dance frantically while screaming “Whatcha gonna do when you get to the water?” It’s cool to see the more indie-focused side of Karen O’s writing colour the writing and even lo-fi production on “Different Today,” as it feels like this intimate little track might speak to the band’s true emotions more than any of the riotous music on the rest of this record.