Picastro / Exit
Release Date: Feb. 24, 2020 (Re-issue)
Genre: Experimental Folk / Singer-Songwriter
All songs by Liz Hysen (MAPL/SOCAN)
Recorded by Joe Dodaro and Matthew Ramolo
Mixed by Matthew Ramolo and Nick Storring
Cover art by Temple Bates
Picastro, an active force in Toronto’s music scene for over 10 years, have reached a new level of creativity on their seventh and and latest record Exit, now available through (weewerk) Recordings. Led by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Liz Hysen, Exit also highlights the talents of her band, cellist Nick Storring, synthesist Matthew Ramalo (Khora), and drummer Germaine Liu.
On the album’s eight songs, Hysen systematically plays with the notion of being the central voice, while firmly adhering to her singular artistic vision. While the music stays true to Picastro’s previous work, Hysen relinquishes her role as singer and storyteller, even adopting male pronouns in her writing, and inviting guest vocalists such as Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Tony Dekker (Great Lakes Swimmers), Adrian Crowley, Caleb Mulkerin (Big Blood), Alex Mackenzie (Petra Glynt), and Chris Cummings (Marker Starling) to contribute their take on the songs. Letting these alternative versions run wild, Picastro explores how the music and narrative mutates with different voices at the helm.
Picastro has appeared on the BBC, WFMU, VPRO Dwars, at numerous festivals including SXSW, CMJ, Rhaaa, Lovely, Tanned Tin and has recorded sessions with La Blogtheque and Daytrotter.