Azeda Booth

Here is the sum total of what I know about Calgary, Alberta, Canada: it was the host city for the 1988 Winter Olympics; it is the host city of the annual Calgary Stampede, a crazy-ass Old West chuckwagon race and rodeo; and if you want to cross the street in Calgary but you’re not at a light or a designated crosswalk, just wave your hand and the cars in both directions will stop for you. That last thing may be a lie, but it says something pretty outstanding about Calgarians, and Canadians in general. Could you imagine waving your hand in midtown Manhattan, along Wilshire Blvd. in L.A., or even along Whatever Major Thoroughfare in your U.S. or European city and have drivers stop for pedestrians? Crazy! Such civilized behavior may explain the pleasant surprise of Azeda Booth, which as far as I know is the first band from Calgary of which I’ve been a fan. Azeda Booth’s ambient pop is certainly civilized, with its soothing electronic chimes, muted guitar and high, light vocals. Their new album feels like the heyday of Darla’s Bliss Out series—perfect for bringing calm to a cluttered, chaotic mind. Their older tracks, which were all I could find available to the masses, are just as blissful. All in all, it’s not what you might expect from Calgary, if you know the place as well as I do.