A Toronto duo with a fearless, uncompromising sound that combines the exquisite disquiet of singer Johanne Williams’ vocals with the discordantly melodic, electronic landscapes that producer and multi-instrumentalist David Trusz creates.
Sissy's first album ‘All Under’ was acclaimed for it's creativity, the way it fused Johanne’s subtly emotional vocals over electronic backgrounds. The band called it “dark, moody, downtempo, date night music”. It was much more than that. The follow up, ‘March of the Humans’, is a record that demonstrates how far the band have come musically and creatively.
Recorded in their studio in the empty, industrialized port zone of Toronto, ‘March of the Humans’ sounds like nothing else on earth. It is futuristic and organic, synthesized yet human, harsh yet melodic. One minute there’s a bar room piano or a drum that sounds like a drunk beating a garbage bin with a baseball bat; the next a gloomy synthesizer whooshes in straight out of science fiction, a rock guitar howls, and Johanne’s voice begins to cast its spell again.
This is an album with depth and variety, a kaleidoscope of moods. Even darker and more beguiling than its predecessor, ‘March of the Humans’ crackles and fizzes with the kind of sonic imperfection Sissy were striving for. “Nowadays everyone can be perfect,” says David. “It’s just a time and a place and it’s not perfect,” says Johanne. “It has a certain emotion.”
DAVID Trusz is from the small town of Lindsay, a few hours from Toronto, and began recording at 13 when, inspired by Depeche Mode, built his own home studio. He began making electronic music; ‘Space Station’, ‘All That Is Pure’ and ‘Marbles’ amongst his earliest releases on System Recordings, Silver Planet Recordings and Rhythmic Recordings respectively. He revisited his electronic dance music roots recently on the clinical, precise dynamics of his club track ‘O.B.X.’ for Toronto DJ/producer Glenn Morrison’s label, Morrison Recordings.
Johanne is from the small town of Peterborough, also a few hours from Toronto, and started out in musical theatre before discovering Nine Inch Nails, Bjork and Portishead. Even as their first album was being recorded, she was combining part-time work as a hairdresser with some advertising work. “I was cutting hair and singing jingles,” she says. A long way from the darker emotional hinterlands she conjures up with her voice. Or perhaps just the inspiration.
Much of ‘March of the Humans’ is based on a bleak view of a materialist society relentlessly consuming it's way into self-destruction. “Turning on your TV or even just walking outside, you see a lot of things that get to you. People not caring about each other. People driving nice Porsches and others sleeping on the street,” says Johanne. David concurs. “A lot of it comes from turning on the TV or reading the news. The parade of nonsense - it drives me crazy.”
‘March of the Humans’ is the result of this disillusionment, the soundtrack to what Sissy see and feel is a world going to hell. And it’s one hell of an album they’ve produced out of that crash of faith. “It took longer because we didn’t have a set vision on how we wanted it to be,” says David. “We just wanted to let it flow out however it did. When you don’t necessarily know where you’re going it’s much more difficult.”
But when you get there, it’s so much more worthwhile.