It’s a well-known story for working musicians: In March 2020, the world shut down, forcing artists to cancel excursions, push again album releases, and marvel how they’d ever make up the losses. For Toronto-based indie rocker Carlyn Bezic, who had performed just a few reveals as a touring member of U.S. Ladies earlier than COVID hit, the shutdown supplied a possibility to shift priorities to a long-gestating solo challenge. Cobbled collectively from unreleased demos she’d written as part of the pop-punk duo Ice Cream and rock quintet Darlene Shrugg, Bezic’s 2021 debut as Jane Inc., Quantity One, was an eclectic whirlwind of funky rock and electro-disco that critiqued capitalist buildings and tried to reckon with dwelling by way of digital personas.
Her second album, Quicker Than I Can Take, comes somewhat over a 12 months after the primary and has a clearer thematic throughline. Over 9 tracks, she crafts disco meditations and euphoric dreamscapes that blur collectively previous, current, and future. “The legal guidelines of time have modified,” Bezic sings on shiny opener “Contortionists,” and every track shudders with a cosmic realization. From Bezic’s vantage level, time is porous and shimmering, a fluid entity that’s exhausting to parse but straightforward to embrace. “Oh, I can really feel it altering/Oh, the sky is rearranging/Quicker than I can take,” she sings on the breezy title monitor. “Human Being” is a pointed exploration of how others’ perceptions have an effect on our personal self-image. “Constructing a face/Faux I’m in a public place/Surrounded by strangers/And nobody is aware of my identify,” she muses over bouncing synths and a tugging bassline; a vocoder impact makes her voice sound like an precise group of strangers.
Bezic has described her musical persona as “a machine or an entity,” a definite headspace punctuated by the “Inc.” in her stage identify. Likewise, Quicker Than I Can Take often conjures the sound of manufacturing unit automation: Every drumbeat falls into place with precision, and Bezic’s dry vocals typically evoke an industrial robotic searching for human consciousness. On the abrasive, clattering “2120,” she imagines an invisible pressure shoving her by way of time itself: “The times rush previous like a greenback invoice/That you just attempt to seize nevertheless it flies proper previous you.” Over a resonant cowbell rhythm that rings like an alarm, she chants a couple of reckoning, wanting to “forge a brand new infinite gas/manufactured from anger, and hope, and refusal.”
At different moments, the routine of the manufacturing unit fades away. Within the candy bossa nova groove of “Image of the Future,” a easy acoustic association slowly builds right into a heavenly synthscape. Bezic is joined by backing vocalist and arranger Dorothea Paas (additionally a U.S. Ladies touring member), who lifts the monitor to an ethereal airplane. Paas’ vocals seem everywhere in the album with a vibrant, nearly metallic sheen, and her preparations present a pillow of ethical help for Bezic to relaxation her frenetic anxieties.