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Metric, ‘Fantasies’ (Self-Released)

Having spent the last few years on acoustic solo work, Emily Haines sounds eager to get back to the club with these nightlife tales chronicling obsessed groupies, lonely hearts, and dissatisfied hedonists. Ever the empathizer, Haines calmly untangles her characters’despair, whether it’s over the quietly pulsing “Collect Call” or the driving electro rock of “Satellite Mind.” Fantasies is a welcome return, but it’s not without flaws: Some of the synths veer into jock-jam territory, which makes sense on the tongue-in-cheek “Stadium Love,” but less so on the earnest “Gimme Sympathy.”

Watch: Metric performance and interview at SPIN HQ: