Moods pulled apart, then remedied musically. At once personal and intellectual, MS. J blends raw, smoky performance with slick production to create nothing short of a musical conversation. Through a combination of 80s synth-driven sound and 90s trip hop, cut with a touch of blues, jazz and techno, MS. J creates a modern electronic ambience unlike anything you’ve heard before. These are the syncopated moments that give us pause as we walk toward a measure of freedom from self-imposed confinement.
With their shared love of electronica, three distinct personalities merged as MS. J, conceiving a unified sound and story. Co-writer and vocalist, Janice Swiercz, hones carefully urgent vocals, layered over the atmospheric mood, depth and rhythm created by producer and sound engineer, Mark Thibideau. Principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Stephen Pilla, composes music flooded with syncopation, crescendo, and even a bit of melodrama, with the desire to share many musical ideas in a space where so many others share only one. What results is an addictive sound that turns left when you’re expecting it to turn right – because, hey, life is like that.
Battledress is MS. J’s first EP release, each track comprised of original patches for every synth, and recorded live – all analog – in Thibideau’s personal studio in Toronto. From the pensive, moody Stand Alone, to the flirtatious Stranger, through to the upbeat, mischievous Jump, MS. J twists a genre you will recognize in one moment, but not in another. You might be tempted to call it a modern take on trip-hop – but upon listening, categories become irrelevant. Indeed, MS. J breaks free from the categories we get caught in, and which hide us from that elusive subject we have the hardest time facing up to: our self.
released January 4, 2016
Mixed at Repairlab, bass guitar by Danielle Duval and Matt Butler, photos by Celine Saki, biography by Mike Dineen
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