In the three years since her last release, Toronto-based producer Pursuit Grooves (Vanese Smith) has been working to build her graphic design and product line, MO:delic Arts, while putting the finishing touches on her latest LP.
Felt Armour sees the genre-bending producer tackle the concept of balance — mastering fragility with toughness, and recognizing one side cannot exist without its opposite — which plays out quite effectively, as each track has a smoldering industrial gait it attempts to loosen before its end.
Smith's ability to so acutely capture such distinct and opposing feelings in a single track is remarkable. "Defensive Play" for example, has a constant tone that feels on the brink of unbridled change, while pocked with anxiety and doubt. "Stitch Heal Recover" plays with lifting tonalities across its lithe industrial platform, lending some light to the darkness, and the percussive punch on "No Surrender" pulls you back into discomfort while engaging you immediately.
It's an album to take your time with, to immerse yourself in and be genuinely surprised with what unfolds. (Independent)