This feature originally appeared in the November issue of AUX Magazine. Download and subscribe for free in the App Store.
Nyssa Rosaleen – vocals
Matthew Aldred – guitar
Benjamin Reinhartz – drums
Patrick McCormack – bass
WHERE: Toronto, ON
WHAT: The band’s long-awaited debut full-length, Modern Superstitions
The first thing I impatiently tell Modern Superstitions singer Nyssa Rosaleen when we connect on the phone is how torturously long the wait for the band’s new album has been. I was kidding, but, I also wasn’t: the Motown-influenced power-pop four-piece had been putting on one of the more memorable shows in Toronto over the past few years in support of their stellar All The Things We’ve Been Told EP, but real life and lineup changes (now featuring Benjamin Reinhartz on drums and Patrick McCormack on bass) and a rotating cast of Canadian indie superstars helping with writing and producing meant a longer process. It just meant we had to be patient.
“We were going to just put out an EP last summer or fall, then we decided against doing that,” she says. “We recorded a few of the songs last summer with Brian Borcherdt, and we wanted to take time to write more songs so that we could be fully happy with what the finished product was.”
The finished product also includes some songwriting workshopping with Ben Cook, known best in the most of the world as a guitarist in Fucked Up, and in the smaller garage/punk scenes in Canada as the fuzzy pop-hook mastermind behind Young Guv (and lots of others). His own modern edge and nostalgic mind were a perfect fit for a band whose name essentially spells out their mission. Rosaleen calls him “sort of a pop wizard.”
That Rosaleen and Aldred met in high school over a shared love of the White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs may not show too much in their sound, despite Rosaleen’s insistence that she in particular gets compared to the latter due to what she says is too few other female choices.
“I like the thought of being a girl fronting a rock band. Especially younger girls being into that. I’m fine with it defining me and my band,” she says. “[But] one thing I think would be refreshing is to have my voice not compared to just the three female singers that everyone compares girls to. You can compare me to a guy. There’s no problem with that.”