On their first two LPs, Montreal’s Young Galaxy won over fans with their epic choruses and cinematic guitar rock. When recording their third album, Shapeshifting, they decided to shake things up. They recruited Dan Lissvik of the experimental Swedish duo Studio to produce, scaling back their stadium-sized rock-outs in favour of chilly synths and slinky grooves.
Young Galaxy’s overseas collaboration with Lissvik was a nine-month process. With the band at home in Montreal and the producer in Gothenburg, Sweden, the two parties communicated via Skype. Lissvik reworked the group’s raw tracks, putting his own distinctive stamp on the songs. The result sounds as much like Studio as it does Young Galaxy, as the producer clearly held nothing back when shaping the arrangements.
Opening track “Nth” begins the album with half a minute of ethereal, otherworldly electronic tones. From there, the collection takes listeners through ’80s-infused pop (“The Angels Are Surely Weeping”), eerie synth funk (“Peripheral Visionaries”) and euphoric space disco (“B.S.E.”). Aside from the vocals interplay between singers Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless, this is scarcely recognizable as the same band that earned a Polaris Music Prize nomination with their 2009 LP Invisible Republic.
A press release calls it “a thing of cold reverb, hot drums and synth.” You can make up your own mind by listening to the stream on Exclaim.ca, where the album will be streaming until February 7.Return home