Written By: Fletcher Bonin
Rapper Drake and pop star Justin Bieber have done their part to make the Canadian music scene into an actual mainstream category. But what about Canada’s underground pop scene? Well, Toronto based pop trio shy kids released Lofty! in 2015, and if this ten track project is any indication, the genre is thriving. This, their follow up to their 2012 release Field Trips is upbeat, shimmery, and as enjoyable and light as pop music should be. The vocals and instrumentals of Walter Woodman, Patrick Cederberg and Matthew Hornick combine to make a soulful and intimate collection of music. The tender vocals, vulnerable lyrical themes, and glistening instrumental accompaniments create a mystical sensation.
Like most indie pop music, Lofty! is the ideal soundtrack to any escape through cornfields, star gazing summer nights, and used car road trips to your buddy’s college. I liken shy kids sound to bands such as ‘Of Monsters and Men’ or ‘Lumineers’. Basically, bands with alternative instrumentals, artistic musical decisions and quirky, thought provoking, prideful gibberish lyrics. However, if the aforementioned bands are closer to the indie end of the spectrum of the ambiguous genre of indie pop, shy kids fall closer to pop. While they certainly make use of folky, acoustic sounds, they implement far more electric and synthetic sounds and post recording edits.
And, to clarify, I do not mean this as a critique. Lofty! is a very enjoyable album that stands out from the crowd with its experimental noise. My favorite track off the album is the wild and raucous hit single ‘Rockets’. On this track, the beat starts slow and traditionally plodding in typical folk style. From here, however, the beat builds into an intense chant, before settling somewhere between these two elements for the bridge. The chorus is sing song and joyous, chanting, “la-la-la-lollipop rockets bubble gumdrops candy crystallize, can it simplify.” I find this nonsensical seeming refrain to be indicative of the group’s unique creativity. They aren’t taking anything too seriously, and perhaps we should take heed of this message.
Other tracks I’d recommend are the slow and enchanting ‘Which Wine’ as well as their other hit single ‘Flow Thru Another’ which is as shimmery and captivating as anything they produce. To be transported to a world in which up is down and that’s ok, simply hit shuffle on shy kids 2015 release Lofty! and let yourself be caught in their strangely wonderful wave.