Tennyson — inhabitant of Edmonton as well as headphone-space crowded with sound that remains supremely laid-back (curl up with his inaugural entry in Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs series, “You’re Cute”) — returns with “Lay-by,” a loping missive from an open road. Though he believes that “the dark can be beautiful,” Tennyson fills the track with melancholy details that glow with life, sometimes like distant stars, sometimes like streetlamps rolling past, sometimes (or the whole time, really) like the pinging of an open-door warning. The beat seems not to have its eyes on the yellow lines, looking out the window, spinning blunted circles in the air. It’s a strange blend of the cinematic and the low-key, half FlyLo-esque playfulness, half skyscraping Air France drama, with a sprig of zesty jazz breaks thrown in to taste.
Tennyson is not just another Canadian on the radar – he’s a colonizer of the inner ear, a plotter of new courses on the map of feels. Let “Lay-by” ease a lonely night or two on the roof. Though he did tag it #bae… maybe share it.