Room Inside the World. It’s a smart and layered collection of art rock with psychedelic synth flourishes and rhythmic work that feels indebted to both DEVO and Talking Heads (it helps that frontman Tim Darcy’s tenor resembles David Byrne’s, perhaps with a bit of Tim Presley’s mixed in). It’s many things at once, but never inconsistent.
The early 2010s saw a wave of well-hyped Canadian buzz bands, and Montreal four-piece Ought was among its finest (see also: Alvvays). Emerging from the city’s DIY scene during a period of sizable student protests and political unrest, the band worked its way up steadily with a sound suspended between the ’90s college-rock angst of Sonic Youth and asymmetrical ’80s post-punk. Ought eventually caught the ear of celebrated North Carolina-based label Merge Records (also home to Arcade Fire, Superchunk and Dinosaur Jr.), which released the band’s most recent album, 2018’s