I M U R
Little Death (Independent)
A major factor in the slow decline of guitar-driven music—if you want our professional opinion—is the rise of cheap digital audio workstations, or DAWs. Coming pre-loaded with drum patterns, malleable synths, and simple interfaces, DAWs make it more than possible to create electronic tracks in your basement that are—after you watch a few YouTube tutorials—studio quality.
That’s not to say, however, that every bedroom producer is the next Audiojack. True, the barrier to entry has lowered, but as SoundCloud becomes saturated with competent compositions, the rift between the average and the inspired widens.
Vancouver group I M U R falls squarely in the latter category.
Despite releasing its debut record, Little Death, just weeks ago, the trio—pronounced “I am, you are”—has already racked up more than 200,000 cumulative SoundCloud plays on its nine experimental R&B tracks, due in large part to the standout single, “F F L”. Layering singer Jenny Lea’s soulful voice over tropical-tinged chords and sparse electronic drum rhythms, the song is at once highly danceable and effortlessly smooth—a characteristic that defines the record as a whole.
Recognizing the power of space and silence, Mikey J Blige’s production never overloads the album with samples or instruments, relying instead on simple guitar riffs and light piano touches to complement Lea’s vocal acrobatics. A master of genre-bending, I M U R creates tracks like “Breathless” and “Bumps” that swing between commanding traplike drum samples and soft, melancholic bridges, creating a rich diversity that is emphasized in a live setting by third member Amine Bouzaher’s electric violin and bass.
A master class in slick production, Little Death’s rich contemporary sounds should prove a model for Vancouver’s burgeoning producers.
Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays