Label: Polyvinyl
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


A mysterious and enigmatic figure -- supposedly raised in a deaf family, being genetically deaf herself, and having learned to sign as her first language -- Picastro front-woman Liz Hysen quickly gained notoriety for her soulfully emotive vocals and her band's lushly atmospheric mediations. First taking their native Toronto by storm and giving the city some needed indie rock credibility in the process, their unique pairing of electric guitars, cellos, and haunting vocals soon were winning fans over outside of Canada, as the quartet was soon snatched up by Los Angeles' leading experimental rock label, Pehr. Their debut, 2001's Red Your Blues, drew comparisons to everyone from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Cat Power, earned favorable reviews, and ultimately had songs turning up on network television programs. By the end of that year, Hysen was said to be recording an album of gypsy songs with avant-garde rockers Cerberus Shoal. [AMG Matt Fink]