Consider yourself fortunate if you've heard of the Pehr label or the group Picastro. Pehr, the label that released Picastro's Red Your Blues, specializes in all manner of off-kilter pop, sneaky gems from disparate bands unafraid to sprinkle instruments such as cello and violin atop the standard-issue guitars, basses and drums. Based in Toronto, Picastro consists of singer/ songwriter/guitarist Liz Hysen and a rotating cast of collaborators; the group's spare, trancey melodies and occasional bursts of release bring to mind the works of kindred spirits Lisa Germano and Julie Doiron. A sly and appealing record that sounds better with repeated listens, Red Your Blues is darkly tinged and vaguely foreboding -- the adjective "melancholy" is more or less obligatory in any description of Picastro (including, it seems, this one).
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