Toronto native La+ch has been a bit of a sleeper cell. Together with co-producer Dustbuster, he’s making some of the smoothest and heartbreaking house music on SoundCloud. His track with fellow sideways collective member Coleman Hell, “You Are My Summer”, has garnered over 3 million listens on Spotify since its release 4 months ago. Before gearing up for what will most likely be a very busy 2015, La+ch and Dustbuster have finally released their debut EP after a paced singles schedule.
Last week, I got the chance to email with La+ch. I’ve interspersed my impressions of the album with his responses, all posted under the player below.
“We have been working together with Coleman Hell for several years now. After playing live for such a long time it becomes second nature to create something as a duo. It usually starts with a bassline or a set of chords one of us comes up with. The writing process is very melody based. We’ll usually get a rough structure of a beat, then record a bunch of vocal ideas and let the song build itself. A dark room with big speakers is key.”
The most striking thing about this EP is the singularity of vision. La+ch’s vocals are perfectly paired to Dustbuster’s aesthetic, each working to heighten and highlight the other, resulting in a very satisfying listen. This is most apparent on the album’s lead single, “Nights”, which has already been compared to M83 enough times on StGA and in the larger blogosphere. While the parallel is a fair one to draw, there’s something else working below the surface here. The track sets a grittier stage, sounding more like a sexy R-rated feature than a quirky indie romance.
“You lose the girl; you fall in love again. It’s never easy but always a wild ride.”
At the core of the EP and embedded in La+ch’s unique vocal delivery (it is not objectively pretty or polished, but it is absolutely his own), there is heartbreak. The album is the equivalent of going through the stuff your ex left at your apartment, having to pack it for her before she comes in the morning while you’re at work to pick it up. The lighter moments of the album are still liltingly desperate. “Lolita”, in particular, is haunting and possibly the best track on the EP. However, underneath these new-wave blues (“Hi-Life” is an apt follow-up to “Lolita”), there is hope – time will go on, the pain of loss will abate and you will wake up one morning without that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.
“The most direct inspiration is probably Sonic and Tetris. The landscape of music is constantly changing. It feels futile to try and stay on top of it. I think we try our best to avoid what is trendy and just make what we feel is good. We don’t have any real strategies – we just put it out there and hope everyone else enjoys it as much as we do.”
Dustbuster is just as orphaned as La+ch, which perhaps is the reason why they ebb and flow as well as they do. He doesn’t necessarily align himself perfectly in any particular corner of the genre, eschewing the uniform of house and electronic music to provide the listener with an ever-changing experience. Your attention can’t wane because there is always an oddity waiting to reengage you; these “wait, what was that?” moments are the glue of the EP. “RoadIIVegas” features some of the most interesting choices, setting the stage for what could come next.
Overall, the EP is a promising (and proper) introduction to this duo. La+ch ended the interview with a rundown of what to expect in the future – “We are hoping to put out a few instrumentals and other side projects in the coming months before the La+ch LP drops early next year.”
One of the biggest questions on my mind is where their next album will go. In distancing themselves from the mass, La+ch and Dustbuster run the risk of pigeonholing themselves in their own definitions. It will be interesting and exciting to see how far they can push themselves and their listeners, but for now the EP will certainly be in heavy rotation for the rest of the year.