Picastro, an active force in Toronto’s music scene for over 10 years, released their seventh and newest record “Exit” this past June. Led by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Liz Hysen, this latest offering features the talents of her band, cellist Nick Storring, synthesis Matthew Ramalo (Khora), and drummer Germaine Liu.
On the albums’ eight songs, Hysen systematically removes herself from her own stories while playing around with the roles and expectation of the creator as the central voice of their artistic output. While the music still sits in continuity with the bands previous work, Hysen relinquishes her role as singer and storyteller, even adopting male pronouns in her writing, Guest male vocalists including Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Tony Dekker (Great Lakes Swimmers), Adrian Crowley, Caleb Mulkerin (Big Blood), Alex Mackenzie (Petra Glynt), and Chris Cummings (Marker Starling) were invitedtocontribute their take on her vision of the songs. Letting these alternative versions run wild Picastro explores how the music and narrative mutates with different voices at the helm.
Picastro has appeared on the BBC, WFMU, VPRO Dwars at numerous festivals including SXSW, CMJ, Rhaaa, Lovely, Tanned Tin and has recorded sessions with La Blogtheque and Daytrotter.