Spectregates is Vancouver’s newest addition to the electro-pop scene with the release of their debut EP, Correspondence, a 4-track journey through moody, downtempo synths and soulful, sometimes French, vocals. Spectregates is a 3-piece outfit comprised of Maryse Bernard, Julia Kimberley, and Solomon Krause-Imlach. Together they have created a debut which offers a glimpse into the promising future of this group.
The initial impression of this release is interesting. From the album artwork, to its title and tracks, there is definitely a brooding, dark, and almost bewitching thematic element woven throughout, which lends itself well to their maturity of sound and to lead vocalist, Maryse Bernard’s, tone. You will find no title track here; rather, the word Correspondence leads you through what is a very pleasingly put-together effort in terms of both aesthetic and thematic material.
Their musical rejection of bubblegum heartbreak songs is refreshingly real.
From the captivating opening drones of standout tracks like “Psychic Love”, which hosts the most dance-worthy beat on the album, and “Cage Song”, to the multidimensional, bilingual track “Squelette” (Skeleton), it is obvious that Spectregates is a group that knows exactly who they are. Nothing is overdone production-wise, and this understated, “nothing-to-prove” style is exactly what makes them stand out amongst a sea of artists emerging in this saturated genre. Ultimately, Correspondence plays as a record about the pains of love, but their musical rejection of bubblegum heartbreak songs is refreshingly real.
Perhaps the track with the potential to be most overlooked on this release is the opening track, “Dizzy Spells”, which features a hypnotic vocal from Maryse Bernard. But don’t let its monotonous facade fool you; coupled with its dark musical backdrop it gets better with each play, beautifully setting the pace and ambiance for the rest of the EP by entrancing the listener and making them pay attention to what is being said.
This understated, “nothing-to-prove” style is exactly what makes them stand out amongst a sea of artists emerging in this saturated genre.
This is an exciting debut from Spectregates; an effort that lays a solid foundation for growth and experimentation in the future. Let Correspondence be an experience that, as Spectregates so aptly puts it, can “make you sad and happy and angry and freak out”.
Correspondence is available on Spectregates’ Bandcamp page at www.spectregates.bandcamp.com
Written by Emily Whitmell, Jr. Music Producer