Although he’s best known for being one-half of Toronto-based indie electro pop duo Phédre, Dan Lee is also a solo artist in his own right, writing, recording and performing under the moniker Lee Paradise. And with the release of his Lee Paradise debut, 2020’s The Fink, Lee quickly established a sound that’s typically widescreen and is indebted to polyrhythmic psychedelia.
Lee’s sophomore Lee Paradise album Lee Paradise & Co. is slated for an October 28, 2022 release through Telephone Explosion Records. The album’s material started off as a set of mood-focused instrumental sketches. But the sketches became fleshed out songs after he sent the tracks to a an eclectic array of collaborators including Jane Inc.‘s Carlyn Bezic, Scott Hardware’s, No Frills‘ and Ducks Ltd.‘s Jonathan Pappo, Scott Hardware, Isla Craig, New Chance‘s Victoria Cheong, Jay Anderson, Mother Tongues‘ Charise Aragoza and Lukas Cheung, and Moon King‘s Daniel Woodhead. The result is an album that sees Lee and company crafting material that defies genre and style conversations with a soulful panache — and in which every aspect of its creation became open to collaboration, from musical performances, lyric writing and vocals, all the way through mixing and mastering.
Late last month, I wrote about “Not Practical,” a woozy yet accessible synth pop-leaning banger featuring copious amounts of DFA Records/LCD Soundsystem-like cowbell, layers of glistening and whirring synths and skittering beats paired with Victoria Cheong’s beguiling vocal. And while being remarkably dance floor friendly, “Not Practical” evokes the swooning and illogical nature of love.
“Leaving,” sees Lee dialing into his self-described cyborg-funk with the song being centered around laser gun blast-like synths, twinkling keys, skittering and clunky thump paired with Lee’s dreamy and meditative delivery and a saccharine-laced, pop chorus. At points, the song evokes the dread and unease of the work week; the desire to escape that life and to never have to do it again; the desire to just up and leave.