Junior Boys- So This Is Goodbye

Junior Boys- <i>So This Is Goodbye</i>
It’s a challenge to explain the genius of Hamilton duo Junior Boys to the uninitiated. Sure, they’re a little bit electro, a little bit pop and a whole lot of smart. But that barely scratches the surface of the melodic magic of Jeremy Greenspan and Matthew Didemus. From the first icy beats of opener "Double Shadow” right through to the warm, soothing strains of "FM,” the Boys skilfully play with opposites on So This Is Goodbye, balancing upbeat and melancholy, fast and slow, percussion and synths. Greenspan’s hushed, emotive vocals provide the through-line to a virtual history of modern sounds, whether taking a page from forebear Frank Sinatra’s debonair pop or tipping their hat to the last two decades of dance floor trends (acid house, Euro pop, atmospheric indie electro). But simply viewing So This Is Goodbye through a retro lens does the duo a disservice — they’ve stuffed a cannon full of influences and shot them into the pop stratosphere. You can almost picture robots falling in (or out of) love to the cascading blips and beeps of "In the Morning,” but Junior Boys’ cleverness lies in tempering what could come off as mechanical with an oh-so-human edge: the clipped beats framing Greenspan’s heartsick laments are merely the backdrop to a swirl of heavy breathing. Goodbye is esoteric yet accessible, old school yet forward-thinking, expansive yet insular. Uniquely Canadian, come to think of it. (Domino)