Published Jan 16, 2017June Moon and Thom Gillies met playing a show together in Montreal in 2015; within two years they were married, had formed a songwriting partnership called Exit Someone and had written and recorded their debut EP of laid-back, slightly retro soft-funk/indie-pop. It's a story steeped in romance and spontaneity, intangible forces reaching out from the ether to bring them together and bring this music out of them.
For such an intoxicating sound, the ingredients are rather simple: male-female vocal trading, watery chorus-effected guitar, warm synth pads, rhythms exclusively from the TR-505 drum machine and some sax noodling. Before one makes assumptions about 1980s radio-style soft-rock, it should be noted that both the singing and the poetry here are far more understated than expected, evoking Destroyer's 2011 album Kaputt. The intimate textures might also call to mind Beach House or Toronto's own Diana.
There's an undeniable romantic vibe running through these six songs, and the focused palette provides effortless cohesion. Exit Someone's most engaging material involves staccato rhythms that pop, and June Moon's soaring voice; the choruses of "Sydney, the List Goes On" and "Austrian Amnesia" are fine examples. In these moments, one is reminded of how melody can sometimes be funky enough to demand dancing, while the drum machine becomes another background texture.
At mellower points, it seems like there's a bombastic funk beast lurking behind the moody haze, restless for catharsis. "Forbidden Colours" opens with a medium tempo beat and sparse guitar strums, but the bass is dancing around in 16th notes. If they can give that popping beast a bit more leeway, their next release could be a crossover hit. (Atelier Ciseaux Records)