Fine Mist Public Domain

Fine MistPublic Domain
Jay Arner has flopped around the Vancouver, BC music scene for a few years, most notably playing in International Falls. But he's hit pay dirt with Fine Mist, an electro pop duo he formed with Megan McDonald. Unlike many would-be, Postal Service-style bedroom electronic projects, Fine Mist eschew the rounded pop edges and Garage Band compression to give us gritty, R&B-influenced rock tunes that sound like two people standing in a room playing music together. McDonald handles most of the record's vocals, changing like a chameleon, from Pat Benatar bombast ("I Can't Stand It") to sultry diva ("Palm Trees"). The music is a perfect mix of cheap drum machine beats and synth lines borrowing liberally from the past ― the main riff on "O Wake" sounds suspiciously like Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky." Members of Basketball and Japandroids' David Prowse drop by to add some cacophonous live drumming on final track "Murder Murder," capping off a fantastic debut. Let's hope Fine Mist are more than a one-off collaboration, as Public Domain is definitely one of the most enjoyable records to come out of the West Coast this year. (Hightone)