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Louise Burns, Young Mopes

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Holly Gordon

Louise Burns has spent two decades of her 30-year-old life making music, having co-founded B.C. band Lillix in the late ’90s and signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records when she was just 15. Often found on other bands’ projects (and as host on CBC Radio 3) between her solo albums — most recently on Japandroids’ newest, Near to the Wild Heart of Life — on Young Mopes, Burns is looking to take 2017 for herself.

The followup to 2011’s Polaris-nominated Mellow Drama and 2013’s Midnight Mass, Young Mopes is named after a line the Globe and Mail’s Brad Wheeler used to describe Burns (not particularly kindly) on her sophomore album, calling her a “young mope.” “It wasn’t written for him, but I thought ‘young mopes’ was perfect,” Burns told Stereogum. “That’s me and my friends, old souls with teenage hearts.”

But there’s no apathy in these nine new, glittering tracks. “Oh, who’s the madman/ who make believes that everything’s just fine?” Burns asks on opener “Who’s the Madman,” a take-charge number reminiscent of early Madonna, with shimmers of Bowie. Burns’s voice glides through Young Mopes, revelling in an ’80s-tinged wave that sounds as vibrant as it is pointed. Co-produced with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Black Mountain), Young Mopes marks the first album Burns has recorded with her band, Ladyhawk’s Darcy Hancock (guitarist) and Ryan Peters (drummer).

While these young mopes don’t need your approval, they’re going to get it anyway.

Young Mopes will be released Feb. 3 via Light Organ Records. You can pre-order the album here.

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