Toronto based Modern Life Elixir take a metaphorical cross-country journey with new album

Named after a Florida state slogan, ‘You Don’t Have To Shovel Sunshine’ is the new album from guitar pop outfit Modern Life Elixir

Available March 29th, the Canadian band channel Y2K, fruity pop textures and a mellow bubblegum vibe on their new record ‘You Don’t Have To Shovel Sunshine.’

The fourteen track album takes inspiration from the flocks of people that travel down to Florida from Toronto during winter to avoid the biting snow.

Modern Life Elixir review happy mag

Taking this idea and expanding on it, ‘You Don’t Have To Shovel Sunshine’ looks at the notion of avoiding our natural habitat, and fleeing to where things are brighter and easier.

A unique inspiration leads to a glossy, indulgent record that drips with confidence and nostalgia.

The album opens with ‘Ontario Keys’, rich bass and swelling guitar, introducing a harsh yet soothing vocal that floats above the bubbly (literally) instrumentation.

‘A Place That I’ve Never Been’ leans heavily into the glitch pop of the 2000s, think Fireflies. A pop punk edge in the vocal and percussion, Modern Life Elixir feel plucked from 2004.

‘The Coast’ plays with aggressive synths and hooky guitar lines, teeming with pent up energy, where ‘Arrival’ is a straight up pop punk banger, complete with thick accent and lazy bass.

‘Simple Past’ blends the chipper, computerised pop with the gritty pop punk energy for an AJR-esque track. An album highlight, ‘Grass’, is deeply textured yet loose and untethered, introducing a percussive acoustic guitar.

‘Daylight’ and ‘Dog’ are playful and energetic, the latter bringing a Industrial Dance style to the forefront.

This is a band that has completely found their sound and the best ways to communicate it, as evident throughout ‘Hockey Pucks’, ‘Foot In Mouth’ and b-side highlight ‘Precious Seconds.’

‘Crayon Crayon’ is an exuberant, Mario Kart soundtrack sounding moment that still exudes talent and experience.

In contrast, penultimate track ‘Psych’ channels the early 2000s blend of rap-rock, complete with record scratches and descending synths.

The album closes with ‘The Mall Of My Mind’, a spacious example of vocal ability, composition and production.

Modern Life Elixir are so, so good.

This record is ambitious in its reaching into the past, but it returns with handfuls of perfect moments all integrated into this compelling, unforgettable record.

All Photos:Vicki Mahony