Things you can expect to see at a Lioness show: leather, chains, skulls, fire, magic, glamour and despair. Things you can forget about at the door: bright, shiny, pop-dance anthems about drinking and starships.
“In a world of sugary pop, we need a bit of darkness to balance it out, don’t you think?” says fierce feline Vanessa Fischer. “There is a strange safety in darkness. Not be seen. Not knowing what you’re seeing. I think the mystery is what we gravitate towards.”
After hearing the crunchy, tidal-wave synth rock of this Toronto trio’s first full-length, you’ll not only be gravitating to the band, but swallowed up whole.
Like a soundtrack to Miss Margot and Co’s Goth Drag party, Fischer and bandmates Ronnie Morris and Jeff Scheven create a sound that is macabre and dark but completely danceable, with ’80s new-wave splashes and violent surges of noisy beats and bass.
Produced by Leon Taheny — who has worked with Owen Pallett, Death from Above 1979 and Grizzly Bear — The Golden Killer feels very Vazaleen-esque, perhaps because Fischer was a close friend of Will Munro’s, a man who greatly inspired the record.
“We would have punk-rock dates; I would dye his hair black and we’d listen to His Hero Is Gone,” she recalls. “Will threw the best parties with the best flyers. I would dance my ass off. It didn’t matter who you were, what you were wearing or what kind of day or year you were having: you could be free. His attitude about life was contagious. If you have dreams, don’t wait for sleep. Go after them. If you want kindness, generosity, love — exude it.”
Fischer takes an emotional pause before getting back to promoting. “This album is about adjusting to change, pushing out of a defined box and learning to love when everything seems hopeless. We want people to get sweaty, find their light in the darkness and enjoy the moment.”
The Golden Killer release party is Fri, April 13 at The Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St W. myspace.com/lionesslionesslioness
If you think Mariah Carey had a voice that just went on forever, with the power to pierce wonderfully tiny holes in your eardrums, then dahling, prepare for the next level of vocal acrobatics from Canadian super-soprano Patrizia.
[Warning: If extremely dramatic pop-opera music is really not your thing, please skip this story and go listen to the new Miike Snow album — it’s really fun.]
Patrizia’s new album, I Am Patrizia, was created with producers who have worked with Lauryn Hill, Mariah, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, Platinum Blonde and Queen. But you won’t find any killer R&B on this effort. This is power-power pop: Patrizia bravely takes on Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” (the notes she hits here could actually break glass); extreme Euro-pop, with “Won’t Stop Believin’”; and a slew of hard, heavy opuses with modern pop twists. “Rage” even features I Furiosi, a lesbian/trans string quartet.
This might be one of the strangest and most glamorous releases of 2012. patriziamusic.com
He may be a superstar in India and England, but Canada seems to only now be catching on to Toronto-born, Calgary-raised dance-pop wonder Raghav. Raised on old Bollywood tapes, the adorable singer takes the danceable elements from his classical Hindi and Indian upbringing and adds R&B, dance and pop-radio flare. He snagged Kardinal Offishall for his new record — The Phoenix — and though there are hints of Auto-Tune and same-old top-40 formulas, suddenly you’re hit with the Michael Jackson-esque “Love.” Melodies! Real bass lines! Groove. raghav.com