Published Jul 22, 2018If their set at the Picnic-er Stage was any indication, Vancouver electro trio I M U R probably aren't going to be just Vancouver's much longer. Flanked by Mikey J Blige on live production and electric guitar and Amine Bouzaher on electric violin and bass, lead vocalist and keyboardist Jenny Lea had them eating out of the palm of her hand. Even when she accidentally unplugged he own mic partway through "FFL" ("fight, fuck, love"), she maintained momentum with vibrato-like laughter.
Lea was a captivating lead, showering the crowd with love without coming off as pandering. Regretting her choice of purple motocross pants she bought from Value Village, which she pronounced as "vah-loo vill-ah-juh" in a high fashion accent, her self-deprecating humour balanced out the honest expressions in her lyrics and the deep digging she did in her singing to resonate on multiple levels. Lea has a bit of that blue-eyed R&B/hip-hop swagger in her vocals, but where Zee and the Empties buried themselves in those influences earlier in the day, she took those building blocks and made them her own.
With audible traces of Sylvan Esso and Phantogram in their orchestral loft-pop sound, I M U R's songwriting takes you places. Subtly intoxicating, their songs each have distinctive timbres, tantalizingly teased out by the palpable rises and falls of their dynamic structures. When called upon, Blige played a mean guitar, in addition to his duties triggering percussion and effects, while Bouzaher's violin added a worldly mystique to bring the vibes from a simmer to a slow boil. Altogether, they are ready for bigger stages.