ALBUM REVIEW: Programm – ‘Like The Sun’ EP

Prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime as Toronto’s own Programm has come out with a spanking new EP… and it’s chilling.

 

This album takes the meaning of psychedelic to the next level. Since forming in 2009, Programm has taken a step further into the hypnotic world of indie-electronic music, and it’s all heard in their four-track EP. According to their official Bandcamp page, the group formed by “love at first site, and obsession at first listen.” The chemistry is undeniable.

 

Like The Sun was co-produced by Alexandre Bonenfant (known for METZ, Crystal Castles, Diamond Rings) and Jakub Soma, with guru Graham Lessard (Timber Timbre, Broken Social Scene) polishing it all off with his mixing. Heavily ridden with sensual vocals of female lead Jackie Game and male partner-in-crime Jakub Soma, now add in Mark Plishewsky on the keyboard and the solid drumming of Andrew Reesor and Steve Reble, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for magic.

 

And magic is what you sense in the first 10 seconds of their single “Like The Sun.” A solid bass-driven tempo starts off the song, creating the feeling of the beginning of a journey. Now add in another layer of drums and the soothing voice of Jackie with the lyrics, and you’re immediately sucked into a calm. Anticipation is consistently added throughout the song, with layers upon layers of drums and guitar slides that create almost an exotic feel to it all. Staying true to the title, the song then fades just like the sun…which brings you to the next track.

 

“We Barely Escaped” begins with more of an upbeat tempo, using the snare drum and minimal notes to maintain the idea of this journey. Vocalist Jakub then goes on to paint a picture with lyrics, juxtaposing lines such as, “the sound of your voice soft in my ear,” accompanied by heavy snare-drummed crescendos. Towards the end, Jamie enters with sultry vocals, acting as the soother to an air of urgency that had been building throughout it all. The final effect is relief.

 

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, “Soft Shadows” once again awakens the senses with resounding drums and ambient sound effects, more dark and mysterious than ever before. Working with the title, Programm is able to create musical shadows within a melody layered by its vocals, yet never losing the pounding tempo that keeps the darkness alive. Ending sooner than you’d like, you are then brought to the end of the adventure: the finale.

 

It begins with a synthesized sadness soon followed by the voice of Jakub. The beauty of this final song is how the minimal vocals allow for the melody to tell the full story. It keeps that drum-ridden beat and electronic effects consistent throughout the whole album, yet puts more emphasis on a melody built through a piano and one guitar. Amidst crescendos and decrescendos, we finally reach the last few seconds of the song. At this point you’re left feeling almost hopeful, with just the right amount of time to reflect on the musical adventure you’ve been taken on, fading out to a peaceful stop.

Programms’s Like The Sun will give you chills and perception with each track. If you’ve been looking for musical exploration that provides rejuvenation and healing, don’t miss out on this EP! The Full release will be on February 17 via The Hand. Until then, take a look at their first single “Like The Sun” and experience the heat for yourself.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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