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Metric also won a Canadian Screen Award (with Howard Shore) in 2013 for “Whether the attitude is deeply cynical or brightly optimistic, the Canadian band Metric keeps its songs neat, succinct and tuneful on its sixth album, “Pagans in Vegas,” making the lessons of 1980s new wave sound current.” “…[Emily Haines] can convey a world of torment with the phrasing of a single word.It’s the kind of voice that’s equally effective in vaguely melancholy club bangers and crushingly melancholy chamber-pop ballads.“Statuette” provides a brief, mid-album Godard-esque pause that leads into the marching “Siren”. While, in her own words, she describes the record’s production and choral harmonies as “like a panic attack with a lullaby on top”, it’s the light in the darkness that she wants to tap into setting free.“Minefield of Memory” provides the most accurate description for the album as a whole, and “Irish Exit” into “RIP” takes us back to the start, providing a cyclical approach to memory. "Fatal Gift" has the album's fullest arrangement, utilizing skittering drum machines, squiggly basses, echoing guitar lines, and a choir of Emilys to drive home the song's bitter message, and the title track, which is restrained musically but features a long spoken word section that calls to mind the work of her father Paul, a poet who worked with Carla Bley.The rest of the album features similarly structured ballads with the same atmospheric and wistful approach.
"Legend of the Wild Horse" has an insistent undercurrent of drama, some brilliant vocal multi-tracking, and a melody that's as sharp as a burr under a saddle.In 13 tracks, Haines examines what it is to be a woman and the power we have in our produced by Haines and Metric guitarist Jimmy Shaw who also mixed the record.Recorded in Toronto in late 2016 — the majority on a grand piano from the 19th century aptly dubbed “The Matriarch” — it is an explorative narrative into femininity; the labels and misconceptions thrown our way.No matter the setting, Haines shines like a glittering gem on a sunny day.Her vocals have enough understated power and graceful beauty that she could basically sing anything and it would sound lovely; instead, her songcraft lifts the album into rarified air.