Off To A Running Start
Temporary Resident, the debut LP from Canadian duo Imaginary Cities, will grab you in seconds and take you on a short but sweet journey through a wonderful blend of sounds. Marti Sarbit’s gutsy, soulful vocals and multi-instrumentalist Rusty Matyas’ compositions have captured the attention of Canadian audiences since the two banded together in 2010 and Imaginary Cities even earned an opening tour slot with the Pixies.
It’s no mystery why Imaginary Cities have burst onto the music scene—Temporary Resident is a masterful collection of indie pop, electro, and soul songs that flow and coalesce, crossing genres on almost every track. The album starts out with the engrossing retro-soul anthem “Say You”, switching quickly to the catchy pop “Hummingbird” before springing into the excellent “Calm Before the Storm”; a bluesy Motown-inspired piece with muted drums and Sarbit’s richly melodic humming. It has just the right balance of seduction and class with slinking bass and brooding keys transitioning into more orchestral jazz piano and trumpet.
There is also the bright rock’n’roll sound of “Don’t Cry” which sounds like a slightly less peppy Los Campesinos!, and the warm acoustic guitar of the bittersweet “Where’d All the Living Go”. One of the album’s best moments is “Ride This Out”; a stirring blues song with Sarbit belting out her smooth, soulful vocals over uptempo acoustic guitar and rousing, clapping percussion. The band branches out even further on “Manitoba Bossanova”. It’s a take on the Brazilian genre with- again- a slinking bass and jazzy guitar that come together in a quiet by flavorful song, with strings and piano melodies adding a little extra spice.
Temporary Resident is an unusually strong debut album; a tour de force of musical composition and Sarbit’s striking vocals. And this is just the beginning for Imaginary Cities, who will hopefully be anything but temporary residents in the music world.