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New Chance's Debut EP Is an Experimental Pop Fairy Tale Worth Getting Lost In

The Toronto DJ and producer's 'It Says New Chance' project traverses house, drone, and pop music while forging its own distinct narrative.

by Phil Witmer
May 25 2018, 4:40pm

New Chance, the performance moniker of Toronto multidisciplinary artist Victoria Cheong, makes music that feels like pressing "shuffle" on a well-curated iTunes library or opening a pack of samples and fitting them together in interesting configurations. Its unclassifiable nature, roots in dance music, and general wispiness recalls Braids or early Grimes (somehow, Canada is the best at this hard-to-explain mode of music), but Cheong's debut effort It Says New Chance is its own story.

"Forever Is a Place" is like if a dream pop band got a 12" extended club remix, Cheong's voice taking its time to rise out of deep house stabs and eventually getting swallowed by a wash of synths. "RUN RUN RUN!" makes the house music connection even more explicit later on, while "A Soft Launch" is a full-on drone palate cleanser for "Chasing the Sunset," the gently grooving single whose focus serves as an anchor for the EP's eclecticism. Not pop, not dance, not avant-garde but some strange realm in between, It Says New Chance is a promising start for a unique artist. Stream the EP below and read on for a brief interview with Cheong.

Noisey: What's It Says New Chance about, thematically?
New Chance: In my mind the whole thing plays out like a fairy tale. We begin in a dewy love meadow and then get sucked down the rabbit hole, there we confront the darkness, unknowing, urgency and distractions, punctuated by moments of calm and of beauty...and in the end we wake from the dream and there's a bit of a joke to it. I think that it probably slips around being pinned down thematically, for me it follows a storyteller's logic.

How would you sum up your approach to making music? The material on here doesn't seem to slot into any fixed genre and seems to exist as both strictly instrumental electronic music and as pop.
I mostly think about texture and imagery when I make music. My approach is to experiment with sounds until the vibrations feel absolutely right in my own body. I am not loyal to genre at all, good music is good music and I listen to a lot of it so, I think it all influences me. I don't think about genre when I'm working because I need my music to be an escape from limitation.

Phil is on Twitter.

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