Shi Wisdom Stranger Things Have Happened

Shi Wisdom Stranger Things Have Happened
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There's something about Shi Wisdom's Stranger Things Have Happened EP that separates it from your average Canadian indie release. Maybe it's the way she adeptly handles both the engineering and creative sides of the production equation with this project, aided by talented producer/mixmaster Keita "KJ" Juma. Perhaps it's the care so obviously taken and polish so thoroughly applied throughout, straight down to the cool album cover.

The latest effort from the Toronto-based singer-songwriter/producer mines soul, pop, hip-hop and jazz influences for a trippy, modernist atmosphere. Kicking off with "No Sight Required" sets the stage for an explorative, moony soundscape: "Vision is all you need," she implores in the lyrics, before inciting you to bounce. "The Key" has a Jhene Aiko-ish vibe, while "Yacht" sails forth with a carefree yet measured midtempo style. The track "Young Gunner," with its Toronto-centric references — local television station CP24 gets a shout out — and gritty storytelling is worth the buzz it's been getting.

Stranger Things Have Happened is perhaps too short at seven tracks, but that's clearly a calculated decision. With each successive project — her last was this past February's four-track Intervention EP — Shi Wisdom navigates out of "best kept secret" category to an artist to watch. (Independent)