Most creative ambitions, musical or otherwise, remain castles in the clouds. Then there are groups like Imaginary Cities, who allow themselves to daydream, but take the rare step of backing it up with action, turning those ambitions into realities. Composed of core duo Marti Sarbit and Rusty Matyas, who are frequently joined by guests in the studio and touring musicians, Imaginary Cities have taken great strides in their young career. Imaginary Cities have an incredibly solid foundation in multi-instrumentalist Rusty Matyas and vocalist Marti Sarbit. When the pair began collaborating, they immediately recognized their rapport. In Marti's words, “the first song that we recorded was 'ours'; it became ours instead of his, or mine.” It was so natural that they continued to work together, and Imaginary Cities were born.
After forming in 2009, their debut album, Temporary Resident (2011), garnered a warm reception and critical acclaim. Temporary Resident topped campus radio charts, won the Western Canada Music Award for Best Pop Album of the Year and was long-listed for the Polaris Prize, while the group opened for the Pixies on several Canadian and U.S. dates. After a successful Australian tour in the Fall of 2011, Imaginary Cities toured extensively throughout 2012, including a headlining European tour in the Spring and extensive North American dates in the Summer, culminating in an appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL. Now, with all this behind them, Imaginary Cities are poised to release Fall of Romance, a braver, more ambitious endeavour.
Fall of Romance is a commentary on the challenge of finding and recognizing true love in an increasingly robotic and technology- driven world, where affection is monetized and branded, and small gestures of love reduced to status updates. The record seeks out the feelings and emotional authenticity still possible within such an overwhelmingly commodified reality. While the success of Temporary Resident gave Imaginary Cities a great deal of confidence, their ambitions are greater for Fall of Romance. In production and instrumentation, they pursued a larger, fuller, richer sound, bringing in increased orchestral and choral elements, horns and string sections, and wild synth passages. Imaginary Cities consistently prove that it's possible to both write well-arranged, catchy pop songs that are also experimental. Whether these experiments led to them adding layers of complex instrumentation or the sound of a coffee grinder, the duo consistently explore the musical potential of sound within the structure of pop.