Cindy Lee slips out quivering weepers

Plus hear new music from New Chance, U.S. Girls, Birds of Paradise, and Slates.

August 28, 2015

No Rest for the Obsessed is a column spotlighting some of the most exciting new music AUX’s Associate Editor Jesse Locke finds each week. It began in 2010 for Calgary’s dearly departed alt-weekly FFWD, and takes its name from a Lightning Bolt song.

Cindy Lee – “Quit Doing Me Wrong”


Since the days of Calgary’s Women, guitarist and singer Pat Flegel has quietly slipped out releases from projects like Cindy Lee, Androgynous Mind, and Fels-Naptha (jokingly renamed Phil’s Napsack following a notice from the soap company).

Alongside playing as a touring member of Victoria’s Freak Heat Waves, Flegel is now set to deliver his most stirring set of songs since Women’s Public Strain. Cindy Lee’s upcoming album Act of Tenderness (on his own CCQSK imprint) moves between quivering weepers splitting the difference between Sic Alps and Skeeter Davis, bristling noise blasts, and newfound flirtations with minimal synth-pop. “Quit Doing Me Wrong” is the first song and video released, with Flegel’s eerie vocals spilling over spidery guitar mangling that could have been plucked from Bill Orcutt’s recent solo output. Accept the mystery.

New Chance – “A Leaf is a Body”

Healing Power Records co-founder Victoria Cheong has been making waves with her solo project New Chance, dishing out beat-driven electronic pop that sounds like a Bjorkian cloud-rap daydream. Her Ear Rationelle cassette is one of the year’s most singular releases, and now has a 10-minute video from visual artist Yuula Benivolski (whose credits include clips for Owen Pallett, Isla Craig, and Tasseomancy). Cheong and dancer Abbe Findlay move in slow-mo flow behind neon laser projections of strolling snowmen and nervous dinosaurs. It was filmed inside Double Double Land’s clown cave rave, ’natch. We’ve got the premiere here.

U.S. Girls – “Window Shades”

The latest single from U.S. Girls’ forthcoming 4AD debut Half Free is another bases loaded grand slam. Setting unrequited love (“If I left it up to you… I’d still be waiting”) against a lush discofied backdrop of cinematic strings, lounge lizard pianos, and popping percussion, this might be the only song in recent memory to reference Gloria Ann Taylor and Katy Perry. A YouTube sleuth pointed out the video’s black and white source material of ‘Pansy the Horse’ and ‘The Marimba Queens’ from a compilation of 1940s vaudeville acts. The album is out September 25 and available for pre-order now.

Birds of Paradise feat. Slates – “Ghost of a Lover” b/w “Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne”

Here’s the most surprising sound-mash of the week: Montreal psych-blooz duo Birds of Paradise (featuring Red Mass’s Roy Vucino) teamed up with Edmonton punk band Slates on a countrified Suicide cover. The 1980 original is a suave strut through downtown New York produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocaskek, but in the hands of Birds of Paradise it sounds like crying into your beer at a shadowy saloon. The A-side is a lovelorn original that should appeal to fans of Fiver or One Hundred Dollars. Grip the 7” from Zaxxon Records.

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