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New Music: Infilm

By Jason Herring, January 19 2016 —

Calgary electronic duo Infilm recently released their debut album Emporium, pairing harrowing drum machine beats with soaring vocals to create an atmospheric but occasionally repetitive album. The band, comprising of vocalist Sam Pekarchuk and multi-instrumentalist Zach Howie, traveled to Brooklyn to record and produce the album. ENT_InfilmCover

Lead single “North” kicks off the album with a lone, stark drum machine beat reminiscent of Aphex Twin’s calmer electronic work. Pekarchuk soon enters, her voice gliding effortlessly over the swelling synth as the track reaches its peak. The duo complement each other well, creating captivating melodies.

This juxtaposition is a recurring pattern throughout Emporium. Howie’s cold, almost mechanical instrumentals contrast brilliantly with Pekarchuk’s airy vocals. Unfortunately, the trick gets old fast, with tracks like “Emporium” and “Omega” leaning on the device a little too strongly.

The style is reminiscent of Björk, whose music is defined by her strong voice atop undulating, brutal electronica — though Infilm’s vocal work is a lot easier on the ears.

Emporium hits its stride towards the end of the album, with a strong stretch of songs starting with “Artifice,” which features a strong, funky bass-line by ex-member Keegan Sawatzky that complements the song’s catchy stilted rhythm. “Helix,” which follows, is the band’s most experimental piece, introducing Colin Stetson-esque horn arrangements to the mix.

“Flume” closes the record with a sparse ballad, contrasting the rest of the album’s jumpy mood. “Follow me, we might suffocate but we won’t fall,” Pekarchuk sings as the wall of synthesizers behind her builds and fades out completely. The song ends Emporium with a whimper, but it’s the album’s most affecting piece.

Infilm are a young band finding their voice in the Calgary music scene, and the meticulously-produced Emporium is a solid release to start with. It’ll be interesting to see what they come out with next.

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