Circlesquare is the alias of Vancouver's Jeremy Shaw, who melds post-punk, ambient drones and steely techno overtones into a dark, molten sound overlaid with his own distinctive vocals. The plangent tones of steel guitar sometimes recall Angelo Badalamenti or Chris Isaak, while Shaw's breathy voice lends a smacking of Velvet Underground-style disaffected cool. But the pervasive atmosphere is a kind of narcotic haze of too-slow beats and melting tones.
Shaw began the project in 1999 with "The Distance After" single for Trevor Jackson's Output label, but he really hit his stride with 2004's spellbinding Pre-Earthquake Anthem. After 2006's Fight Sounds EP, a collection of sketches and stylistic experiments, Shaw was left briefly in limbo after Output folded, but returned in 2009 with Songs About Dancing and Drugs. Recorded with a full rhythm section and painstakingly remixed by Shaw, the album was at once sensuous and numb, an appropriate contradiction for a record (and an artist) so preoccupied with the comedown.