Cold on Pluto eBar, Guelph ON, April 6

Cold on Pluto eBar, Guelph ON, April 6
Photo: Matt Forsythe
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"This song's about death, like all the songs," Rigel Rozanski declared partway through Cold on Pluto's opening set.
 
All clothed in reflective silver, the group's music offers the kind of isolated dejection hinted at by their name, delivered naked and vulnerable through Rozanski's raw, untrained vocal takes, ironically alien in their own unfiltered humanity.
 
The easiest comparison is Daniel Johnston, but Cold on Pluto launch their songs of pain and shortcomings through a fuller, more straight-ahead pop/rock lens, kicking and screaming hyperactively over crestfallen trumpets, Spector-esque drums and lo-fi guitars. This year, they've expanded from the two-point collaboration between Rozanski and drummer Sara Bortolon-Vetor (Bonnie Trash, the Folk) that made their Kazoo! Fest debut in 2016 to include trumpeter Gare Bear and bassist Adam Heller.
 
Widening the project's sound has only created more of a platform for Rozanski to open up, so this set was full of candid little asides like the one above, and the proclamation before another song that it was "about losing a lot of friends because you can't hold your shit together and then people start dying in your life," followed by nervous laughter.
 
It was a messy mix of cold pain and deserted passion, but one you could warm up to.