As Southern Shores, Jamie Townsend and Ben Dalton create sonic oases — patchworks of ephemera culled from all corners of the world.
Beginning with their inaugural EP, Atlantic, for Cascine in 2011, the Toronto-based duo has developed a signature style of deeply layered electronic music evoking faraway locales, out of space and time. A collage of samples and found sound, their songs cohere around soulful melodies delivered with a soft gaze and a playful heart.
Southern Shores’s new EP, Siena (Part I), is the first of a two-part series, and captures the feeling of an ocean breeze gently whipping a coastal town. “The mood of the record is more of a sunset, rather than midday bliss,” says Jamie. “It’s that subtle melancholy that lies beneath the bright textural exterior.”
Written over the last year in Jamie and Ben’s shared residence — a hundred-year-old home in Parkdale, Toronto — the songs of Siena (Part I) drift at the pace of life. Flecks of tropicalia and funk fade into the mix, as well as dreamy house, Balearic and downtempo textures. As a collection, it has the feeling of something once lost, now recovered.
As heard on the wistful and celebratory singles “Estrisa” and “Tropea,” the Shores excel at infusing their music with an imaginative, global worldview and a distinctly human spirit. With Siena (Part I), they capture the essence of escapism — the sense of longing for open waters, a downwind breeze, a far-off fantasy.