After a decade of playing in a number of local bands, performing with other artists and stints with Moon King and Born Ruffians, Toronto-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician Maddy Wilde’s long-felt imposter syndrome gave way to a desire to create music that she felt was largely unexplored in the Toronto scene — earnest, heart-worn-on-sleeve pop with her latest band Rapport. Around the same time, her bandmates Kurt Marble and Mike Pereira, who have played in Twist, Ducks, Ltd. and Most People had experienced a similar urge to create earnest pop, despite their professional backgrounds in garage rock, punk rock and glam rock.
With their recently released debut EP Floating Through The Wonderwave, the Toronto-based trio have embarked on an exploration of crafted and breezy pop rooted in Wilde’s intuitive sense of harmony and slick hooks paired with a desire to sincerely capture the essence of sentimentality. But just under the surface, the EP’s material possesses a dark, melancholy quality.
Thematically, the EP touches upon jealous, neuroses and self-doubt while Wilde’s narrators also explore the delicate and uneasy balance between artistic creation and self-promotion. “I had to uninstall social media apps on my phone when I realized they were a major source of anxiety and a hugely addictive waste of time which I could have spent making music,” Wilde says. “My creative practice was suffering as a result. But without these tools, how are artists meant to share their work?”
The recently released EP’s third and latest single “Can’t Get It To Last” is a shimmering bit of 80s inspired pop featuring atmospheric synths, Pereira’s percussive and chugging bass lines, Marble’s 80s rock-like guitar lines and soloing and Wilde’s achingly delicate vocal delivery paired with a soaring hook. While sounding as though it were a seamless mesh of the Stranger Things soundtrack and Brothers in Arms-era Dire Straits, the song on one level could be read as a prototypical broken heart-fueled ballad. But as the band’s Maddie Wilde explains, “On the surface, this probably sounds like your average love song. But it’s really about friendships and growing apart. Close friendships take different shapes- for example, friends who do everything together but have never actually been vulnerable with one another. It’s like maintaining a light and fluffy connection that has never really progressed further than a casual relationship. Friendships like this can go on for ages, and they are valuable, but they don’t seem to last as long.”
“Adrienne McLaren brought to life my vision of creating a music video mood similar to that scene in Grease where Danny walks around the drive-in singing about Sandy,” Wilde adds. “For the drive-in movie, we made an experimental film not unlike one that would be submitted as an art class assignment. To get even more meta, we displayed the drive-in music video itself playing on a small Panasonic TV in various locations around the city. A video within a video within a video.”