Toronto’s rising alt-pop act YSSY blends indelible hooks, razor-sharp lyricism, and their signature throwback sounds to create a debut EP that’s worthy of an introduction.

Following a whirlwind year that began with their first single and ended with a viral video, YSSY’s The Way It Was EP drops worldwide on the band’s Spruce Sound label imprint.

Singer-songwriter/producer Elliot Caroll and multi-instrumentalist/producer Simeon Abbott met on a first date, immediately bonding over a shared love of modern pop sounds and classic songcraft. They began recording together as YSSY, shaping a sound that combined their wide-ranging influences (ABBA, Max Martin, Bruce Hornsby, and 90s power pop among them) with a refreshing voice that’s all their own. On The Way It Was, YSSY packs a skillfully-crafted synthpop punch of smooth production and nostalgic narratives told through Caroll’s crisp, candid vocals.

The songs are as thoughtful as they are catchy, exploring both interpersonal relationships and introspection. With an infectious beat and bouncy 80s bassline, “At Least We Know” is a tongue-in-cheek disco pop anthem about allowing yourself to start something new, even when you think you know how it’s going to turn out. The Scandipop-inspired “Sooner” is an “almost-love song” immortalizing the electric moment of realizing of how you feel about someone, with sparkling retro flourishes.

“Burn My House Down”, which received national airplay on CBC Music and Radio One, paints a vibrant portrait of depression and self-improvement; its buoyant piano riffs are supported by larger-than-life drums (c/o Rich Knox of Danko Jones). “90s Crush” is a lush, electronic slow burn that longs for a missed connection in the era of Blockbuster and AOL dial-up.

Explosive and heartwrenching, “How to Fall Out of Love” captures a relationship at a crossroads, showcasing intimate vocals and piano breakdowns that are distinctly YSSY.

“You Stay I Stay” tells an atmospheric story about meeting one’s match, featuring glitchy textures, dreamy keys, and a soaring singalong chorus that will echo after the album is over. The EP was written and produced by YSSY, with mixing by Abbott and Matthew Lederman (The Beaches, Brave Shores) and mastering by Grammy-nominated engineer Philip Shaw Bova (Bahamas, Feist, Andy Shauf).


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