Mantler Monody

Mantler Monody
It may have been six years since Toronto, ON's Chris A. Cummings released an album under his Mantler banner, but it's obvious he still has a deep love for soft, R&B-ish pop. His latest slab of eccentric music making, Monody (defined as "a sad melody" or "a single melody"), is teeming with slow jams, a love for the '70s and an honesty that saves it from becoming retro-obsessed kitsch. It's a record that shows a more focused, to-the-point Mantler, mixing sedate chill-out moments with the occasionally bright and upbeat one. And it's an album that boasts its fair share of guest stars, including Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan (who produced two of the album's tracks) and Owen Pallett (who did some brass arrangements), as well as Local Rabbit Ben Gunning, Sandro Perri and the Ohbijou string section. But despite the songs' warm, organic nature, Monody definitely embraces that "sad melody," making this an album best reserved for those who can appreciate pop that's more than a little cool, calm and collected. (Tomlab)