“Agent Amsterdam” 


By Mike O’Cull 

High-concept avant-garde electronic pop artist and fictional character Lailien has released two brand-new lyric videos that accompany his tracks “Agent Amsterdam” and “Valentine.” Lailien, the public face of Toronto-based artist, composer, producer, poet, and director Brad Shubat, makes incredibly stylized experimental pop that pulls from influences including electronica, pop, jazz, and rock that sit perched upon Shubat’s classical piano background. He calls his work “Eschatological Tunes” and his songs are intended to reveal time's openings in an already omnipresent and accessible end. By any name, however, Lailien’s music is some of the most gloriously idiosyncratic pop you’re likely to encounter.  

“Agent Amsterdam” uses eccentric electronic pop sounds to expound on the struggles of reason versus nonsense and skepticism versus certainty. Lailien respects no genre tropes and drifts in and out of the places his mind takes him. The video is a surreal environment of ever-shifting images that are anchored by the lyrical text on the screen. Lailien throws words, sounds, and colors at the universe like the abstractions they are and carves out an expansive original space that’s epic and inimitable. 

“Valentine” is an endeavor into physical, mental, and spiritual romanticism that’s quirky, off-kilter, and engaging. Lailien’s melodies never go where you expect them to and display a sensibility that’s his, alone. Lush synths support his often-perplexing lyrics and his words again hold things together in the fantastic world of the video. Lailien is one of the most individually creative artists dropping music today and stands up for the visionary talents like Bowie and Eno that pushed the boundaries of pop music. These are tracks that need to be heard.