Note: Beast is a Montreal-based duo consisting of singer Betty Bonifassi (best known for lending her vocals to the Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville soundtrack) and drummer/producer/composer Jean-Phi Goncalves (best known for his production work for Lauryn Hill).
Sound: A surprising mix of hip-hop, rock, soul and electronic music that at times sounds like an aggressive, rock version of ‘90s trip-hop acts like Massive Attack and Portishead, and other times sounds like a female fronted Nine Inch Nails. The mood alternates between film noir/spy thriller, industrial/apocalyptic, eerie/haunting and digital/funky. Betty can flip between rapping and singing nearly as skillfully as Lauryn Hill and Estelle, and she croons nearly as creepily as Portishead’s Beth Gibbons.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Mr. Hurricane”; “Microcyte”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Devil”; “City”; “Satan”; “Ashtray”
Recommended: The truly strange part about Beast is that it sounds like a lost gem of an album from the mid-‘90s. No artist made any music that sounded exactly like this, but the stylistic tendencies of that era can be heard throughout. Despite sounding a decade and a half late, Beast is an impressive showcase for this duo’s exceptional performance and production chops.