When: Mon., Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m. 2011
The dark synths and cocaine cool of Young Galaxy's newest, Shapeshifting (Paper Bag), are definitely a detour from 2009's relatively indie-rock Invisible Republic—the Montreal outfit led by guitarist Stephen Ramsay and keyboardist Catherine McCandless (they both sing) enlisted Swedish producer Dan Lissvik to add his electro-heavy touch. It's definitely an improvement, and the new album's chill, moody beats (there's a little Karin Dreijer Andersson in the sound) slow-groove in an expanse of air without losing focus or feeling blase. Sure, the lyrics can be a little obtuse or self-consciously profound—the cathartic, quasi-tribal title track comes off like a piece of grad-student performance art—but the simple, pulsing dream-pop of songs like "We Have Everything" is too hooky-sinister to shrug off. It wouldn't have been hard for Shapeshifting to come off as contrived, especially given that it fits squarely into a subgenre that already provokes its share of eye rolling, but Young Galaxy make repetitions of hokey lines like "We have seen tears from the eyes of God" feel catchy and strangely perfect. —Kevin Warwick Austra headlines; Young Galaxy and Tasseomancy open.