Calm Hands Somewhere June

Calm Hands Somewhere June
Over the last three or so years, '90s R&B has infected the long-lost innocence of indie rock, because, well, why not? Just as clever sampling methods employed by Burial and How to Dress Well devolved into stencil-dusted pop templates for bands like Passion Pit and Miike Snow, Toronto's Keith Bradford throws his hat into the new jack ring with Calm Hands. The keyboardist for indie straight shooters Ruby Coast debuts his solo project with Somewhere in June, a six-song EP that focuses on playful, smooth rhythms and minor-key piano musings. But upon multiple listens, tracks like "Red Ink & Black Eyes" and "Walk Alone" come off more organic and irony-free than advertised, delivering some of his most relaxed and unfussy melodies to date. The fact that Somewhere June's most captivating first-listens – the aching grooves of "Ghosts" and the "An '80s Love Story" – stay relevant long after their concept-first stylings lose their novelty shows just how much Bradford has grown as a songwriter. (Independent)