Ontario’s Kelly McMichael has played in some synth-sational Canadian bands like Gentleman Reg and Rouge, and you can hear she’s at home in that genre on her new EP under the name Renders – a departure from the rockier moniker of Kelly McMichael and the Gloss people might remember by, from her last spell in St. John’s.
On her new Renders EP, her smoky vocals and experimentations in sound textures are reminiscent of Lana Del Ray – whom coincidentally she has covered – but the music itself blends the best elements of what has launched the careers of acts like Austra, Grimes, and Lowell.
Put more simply, Renders debut EP is amazing, perfect for its genre, and puts her on par with anyone in Canada working in this style of music. That’s not hyperbole if you’ve listened to singles like “I Am Gone” and “Running Through the Night.”
She’s managed to dive into what’s happening in synth pop these days, and land running and ready to do her own thing with where that genre is at in 2016. Across the span of merely 4 songs, she covers enough tempo and tone to prove she’s no one trick pony; she’s entirely comfortable bending the best aspects of moody dark synth pop in any direction to great effect.
These songs are constantly building and transitioning, living and breathing, avoiding the static lulls that dull most songs after a first few listens. That takes some careful crafting and multi-tracking. “I Am Gone” is as good a song as anything cohorts like Lana Del Ray, Austra, Lowell, Washed Out, and Grimes have offered up to date.
McMichael moved to St. John’s a few years ago with her musician boyfriend (and local fellow) Daniel Banoub, whom she met in Ontario when he moved there for school. The two of them moved back to Ontario in 2015, but they’re back now, and she’s playing a show as Renders on Oct. 9th at The Ship.
Catch the Renders / Kashka Show at The Ship Sunday Night!
Kelly, as Renders (with local favourite Steve Maloney on drums), will play on Oct. 9th at The Ship, along with a Toronto sensation and fellow synth pop star Kashka — who is Kat Burns of the band Forest City Lovers!
Much like Kelly has done with her previous band, Kat retired Forest City Lovers to start up this new project as Kashka, which she calls FolkPopTronica. When not busy playing, Kat is an illustrator for magazines and voice actress.