Published Sep 03, 2020Toronto synth-popster Nyssa recently released debut album Girls Like Me, and she's keeping the celebrations going. As part of Exclaim! and Dan Burke's Class of T.O. video series (with support from the City of Toronto and Great Lakes Brewery) Nyssa took to Toronto's Monarch Tavern to pay tribute to one of her biggest influences, the Psychedelic Furs.
"I inherited the Furs as a favourite band from my mom," Nyssa tells Exclaim! "I remember stealing her copy of Mirror Moves and adding it to my collection when I was a kid — watching 'Heaven' on pop-up video, hearing her talk about how much she loved them and that video — the rain and the rotation, Richard Butler's heartbreaking voice. Because of that storm-drenched video, I listen to Mirror Moves every time the heavens unleash. So, at a time where 'When it rains, it really pours' seems an apt description for the daily humdrum, I thought channelling and covering their gloomy beauty would be ultra fitting."
In addition to covering "Heaven," Nyssa gave a synth-pop update to Furs classics "Pretty in Pink" and "The Ghost in You," replacing the soft-rock instrumentation of the original with sharp backing tracks, strutting and posing around the Monarch stage as if it were rammed to the gills with audience members.
In the past few months, Nyssa's been keeping busy between gearing up to release Girls Like Me and working on new material — no wonder her Class of T.O. performance is so strong. On her recent activity, Nyssa says, I started playing guitar again back in April and I've been participating in a weekly writing group with friends from NYC. I've also been jamming in a magical backyard oasis with my one of my dearest and oldest friends, Zack Burgess."
She adds, "I want to shape this [new] collection of songs I've been working on into another release, work on some distanced collabs and channel the isolating frustration of Zoom meetings into a positive impulse to work with friends in faraway places. My plan is to just take each day, week, month as it comes and keep telling stories and producing quality material."
Watch Nyssa perform "Pretty in Pink," "The Ghost in You" and "Heaven" at the Monarch Tavern below. Don't forget to check out earlier instalments in the Class of T.O. series, and stay tuned for Jesse Crowe (Beliefs) and Julia Wittmann (For Jane) performing Portishead on September 8.