Ada Lea/Screaming Targets
what we say in private // Next Door (Can), Saddle Creek (US)
Ada Lea’s debut album, what we say in private, at face value chronicles heartbreak, but upon closer inspection is an expedition into freedom. The latest of the Omaha based record label Saddle Creek (homes to the likes of Big Thief, Bright Eyes and Hop Along), Alexandra Levy is in good company for a nearly impeccable release. The album that may be best categorized as chaotic pop, but it’s not without its subtleties. Sonically abstract, and flipping between fuzzy bass sounds, arpeggiated synth, overdriven guitar lines, to muted guitar and even an auto-tuned narration of the purchase of a dove, Levy keeps us on our toes from start to finish.
At times the album feels so personal, we shouldn’t be listening at all. This is truly the beauty of Levy’s talents as a songwriter, not only are we given a peek behind the curtain with her confidential lyrics, but as well into real-life sounds; janky voice memos and clinking glasses. We are taken with her in the quiet moments and in the symphonies of sound. What we say in private is a collage of many times and colourful places that are not to be easily forgotten.
- Ella Coyes
Carbon Copies // This Is Pop! (Can), Recess Records (US)
Screaming Targets came into existence in the year of 2017, in the city of Edmonton, Alberta with a couple of members of a band you may have heard of called Slates. They grabbed pals from other notable Edmonton bands (The Blame-Its and Real Sickies), wrote a bunch of songs and decided to head on down to San Pedro, California to record their debut album, Carbon Copies. The album was recorded with Todd Congelliere (FYP, Toys That Kill) and the band received a little help in the form of a bass guitar from well known local Mike Watt of The Stooges and Minutemen. Carbon Copies will be released on July 26th on This Is Pop in Canada and Recess Records in the United States.
Now with the origin story in place it is time to tackle the content of the album, which is full of dystopian references inspired by eighties films. The songs are short and punchy with a poppy flare that offsets the dark lyrical content. After just a couple listens you will find yourself dancing and singing along with songs about the annihilation of all life as we know it. The gritty vocal melodies, catchy guitar lines and driving beats just suck you in, holding you captive until the last track plays and you start it over again. Above all, Carbon Copies is a punk record in its element, tackling the messed up news cycle of a world that too closely resembles our worst nightmares.
- Jeshaiah David