Ben Gunning Mal de Mer

Ben Gunning Mal de Mer
He won't get the credit for it, but Toronto, ON's Ben Gunning is on the same sophisticated musical plain as Owen Pallett on his densely complex new effort, Mal de Mer. The former Local Rabbit has taken a darker, more incisive turn as a solo artist, intellectually wary of retro, while also mired in an existential angst about the state of pop music and its reflection of contemporary life. While an artist like Pallett tackles such subject matter from an organic, emotional register, Gunning goes the other way, embracing the cold machines of our collective culture to compose pop songs that indict a dizzying mélange of technological stimuli whose ills we seem complacently oblivious to. The trick is, on Mal de Mer, he dresses his po-mo critiques up in slinky R&B production, music geek signatures and hooks that are addictive and alienating all at once. (Zunior)