Published Nov 13, 2019Toronto producer and vocalist New Chance (aka Victoria Cheong) explores dance music's past, shuffling effortlessly among stylistic cues with her latest, self-released EP. Picking up where last year's It Says New Chance left off, but forging a more singular and determined path, the music blooms with a vigorous energy. Each track bursts into focus, locking into a dance floor-friendly rhythm and spiralling outward with beatific abandon.
"The Unexpected Door" opens with polyrhythmic percussion accompanying Cheong's soft-spoken vocal. Her deft leverage of tiny snippets of melody creates a whirlwind of sound that continuously builds on itself. The track culminates with an earworm vocal melody urging the listener to "move on" as the music slowly dissipates. An electro vibe introduces "Overworked," as Cheong beckons her audience to contemplate their dance floor writhing as an act of hedonistic labour. It's a pinnacle among many moments of ecstasy to be found here.
On the title track, Cheong unleashes a banger of a piece — one that drives hard while retaining her singular sense of rhythmic and melodic interplay. Pulsating beats toy with interlocking melodies that are accompanied by ecstatic groans and cleverly dispersed samples within which one can easily lose oneself. "Alone on the Floor" wraps up the proceedings in house music mode with sensuous vocal incantations that are fit for both the club and a set of headphones. Dizzying and dynamic, Hardly Working is an ironically named release from such an enterprising producer. (Independent)