It would appear that I have a predilection for Canadian electro-pop. I was effusive in my praise of Young Galaxy's new record last month, and this month I'm turning my attention to the debut by Vancouver's Gold & Youth. First things first: FAO people who haven't gotten to know the quartet yet - you really should, because they've been having a very good year so far, and Beyond Wilderness hints at the rest of their 2013 being similarly great. It's a slickly-produced and charming collection of hook-filled electro-pop that manages to stand out in a crowd due to its dark and melancholic take on the genre. Vocals are mostly handled by Matthew Lyall, and his smooth baritone is perfectly suited to the sort of material the album offers.

If their debut were full of frivolous pop thrills, it likely wouldn't have as much staying power as it does; some of the less immediate tracks on the record have actually grown into becoming my favourites on the album, though it must be said that they certainly know how to kick things off. Opener 'City of Quartz' lets the album start on a high note, before the swaggering 'Little Wild Love' kicks things up another gear. At the same time, however, Beyond Wilderness isn't exactly top-heavy. There are plenty of albums like this which pour everything they've got into the album's first half, and then drop off immediately afterwards, but Gold & Youth manage to keep things consistent throughout, and some of the best moments, such as the thrilling, dancefloor-ready 'Young Blood' and the considered 'Come to Admire' feature on the album's other half.

Fans of early 90s Depeche Mode would do well to take note of them, as there are a few songs here that wouldn't sound out of place on Violator, including album highlight 'Jewel' - the sole song on which Louise Burns takes lead vocals - which would ideally end up doing for them what 'Enjoy the Silence' did for Martin Gore and co. back then. It doesn't overshadow the other songs too much, however; released as the lead single from the album, it actually works better in context, giving the record an extra shot in the arm after the laid-back instrumental 'Cut Up'. On the whole, Beyond Wilderness is a striking and frequently impressive debut that has a great flow, and showcases enough variety to ensure that the band don't get backed into any sort of stylistic corner for the follow-up.