Canadian synth-pop has places to go, and Toronto-based five-piece Coronado are in the driver’s seat. Their new, six-song EP Remain Calm speaks for itself. It’s no surprise that it’s been dominating my headphones since I discovered it, considering it seems to be a cross between two of my favourites artists from recent memory. Their music has all of the ear candy and funkiness that you would expect from a Daft Punk record, but also pays homage to ’80s sounds and ’70s vocals like the debut that I loved from HAIM so much in 2012. I dare you not to dance.
Coronado consists of Carlos Coronado (guitar/vocals), Lisa Lorenz (synths/vocals), Luke Boehler (bass), Amy Morris (keys/vocals), and Kevin Correia (drums). Carlos Coronado began recording and releasing folk music in his native Mexico in 2007, and moved to Montreal a year later. There he spent three years soaking up musical styles and recording from his bedroom, until a move to Toronto in 2011. There, Coronado’s first EP Fool Yourself was recorded, and the current lineup was put together to do some shows in 2012.
Fool Yourself is a four-song party on its own and definitely deserves a listen, but knowing what comes next shows the debut to be a solid foundation and starting point for greater achievements. It’s just enough to make you long for more, and luckily we have it in Remain Calm.
There is no filler on Remain Calm; it is a solid, ambitious collection of six tracks that could all be radio singles by themselves. The sound is now more mature, and every element has been improved upon from Fool Yourself, from the vocals to the songcraft to the melodies to the overall production. It’s got plenty of funky guitar and hooks to spare that pay homage to the canon of greatness that were the ’70s and ’80s. The bass lines are groovy and beefy, and even the videos are extra fun.
Fancy some Fleetwood? It’s here. Blondie? Early Madonna? check. This is The Postal Service if Ben Gibbard had a little more soul and made you want to get your groove on instead of count your tears. There is nothing boring here. By the time the handclaps hit your ears during “Sympathy”, you’ll be calling your friends and making plans to hit the dance floor sometime soon. Summer will come, and this should be your soundtrack.
Besides “Remain Calm”, two more EPs are in the works along with a mini-tour to Montreal and Ottawa. If the current formula for Coronado happens to be making a good record and then improving upon it with the followup, I’m more than excited for the next one. Check these guys out in a smaller venue while you can–I’ve got a feeling their ticket demand is going to increase quickly in the future! Your next chance is at The Piston in Toronto on April 24th.
Check out Coronado!
Author: Jason Scharff