Fake Tears
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Fake Tears

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2013
Duo Pop Electro




"Fake Tears Nightshifting"

The soundtrack of the city at night is dark and pulsing, as Fake Tears demonstrates on their debut album, Nightshifting.

The duo features local indie mainstays Larissa Loyva (AKA Kellarissa, former member of P:ano and The Choir Practice and touring member of Destroyer) and Elisha May Rembold (Lost Lovers Brigade, Shimmering Stars). On Nightshifting, the pair has created an atmospheric odyssey through the night that is both brooding and oddly optimistic.

Ethereal synth swells and drum machines are layered with shimmering harmonies to other-worldly effect, proudly influenced by synthpop pioneers like Kate Bush and New Order.

The album opens with “You Want The Light”, a melancholy incantation that sees the sun set on the city and darkness descend. “Second Wind” evokes Bronski Beat as it asks “Do you want me? Do you care?” Such are the questions that haunt us on lonely, sleepless nights.

But while the night may be full of terrors, Fake Tears urges us onwards through the darkness, for morning is soon to come.

Rating: ★★★★ - Westender

"Fake Tears Works the Night Shift"

Something remarkable happens when Larissa Loyva and Elisha May Rembold get together. The voices of the two Vancouver women blend together so well that they seem like a single instrument of ethereal beauty.

The pair’s recorded debut under the name Fake Tears is called Nightshifting, and it’s an apt title. There is something ineffably nocturnal about a song like “You Want the Night”, with its twilight shimmer of oscillating synthesizer tones and dreamily contemplative vocal harmony. And when Fake Tears kicks up the tempo, as on “Second Wind”, it makes a perfect dancing-with-tears-in-my-eyes soundtrack for those nights when Austra just isn’t soul-searching enough.

What is perhaps most remarkable about Fake Tears is that Loyva and Rembold manage to find time for it at all. The two are in high demand for their vocal and instrumental skills and generally find themselves juggling commitments to different projects. Loyva, for instance, has toured with Destroyer and How to Dress Well in addition to recording solo as Kellarissa. Rembold, meanwhile, plays bass for Shimmering Stars and leads the Lost Lovers Brigade (which also happens to feature Loyva).

“I was at four at one point, which is ridiculous,” Rembold says, tallying up her various musical projects in an interview at Mount Pleasant’s Our Town Café. “So now I feel like I’m on an awesome vacation, because I’m just focused on this. People always ask both of us to sing on many different records and play live with many different people. I was at four and now I’m at 2.5.”

“More recently we were both singing in Adrian Teacher’s band Cool TV,” chimes in Loyva, who is seated across from her bandmate. “We were singing backup vocals with him. But since then they’ve had to pare down a little bit so they can tour, and they can’t tour with six backup singers or whatever.”

Loyva notes that Fake Tears got its start when she attempted to launch an all-female musical collective, but that didn’t quite pan out. “I tried to start a group with a bunch of girls, women whose musical prowess I really admire, and they were all local singer-songwriters or band members,” she says. “And I was like, ‘Maybe you would like this opportunity. We could all collaborate and share ideas and sing together.’ I wanted strong singers, too, because I love singing and I wanted a lot of singers. But we were down to three members of five after about two rehearsals, and then we were down to just the two of us after a couple shows.”

“We didn’t really know what we were doing, but we slowly figured it out,” Rembold says of the nascent outfit. “We’ve been together playing as Fake Tears for about three years, but the first part was trying to figure out what we were going for and how we were going to do it. Because before that I never really programmed beats or did any electronic stuff.”

The sound the two arrived at is a winning one, with their voices woven together seamlessly over keyboard parts and rhythm tracks that Loyva says are kept simple and relatively unadorned by design. “The voices are first and foremost,” she says. “Everything else is just a vessel for singing.”

As for who exactly is doing what on Nightshifting, instrumentally, Rembold notes, “I love hooky lines.”

“Yeah, she does that more than I do,” Loyva agrees. “I’m more like a chord person.”

When it comes to the words, each member contributes, but both are reticent to reveal which songs are whose, although Rembold does acknowledge that she and Loyva differ in their approaches to lyric-writing: “I think her lyrics are more to do with a story line, and my lyrics are like, ‘I really love the sound of how these words go together, and I just want to use them.’ Or, actually, to me, how it comes out as a voice, like singing, is a huge thing for me. Sometimes I’ll write lyrics and then I’ll try to sing them, and it just doesn’t carry as well.

“Everybody’s always said to me, ‘What is this song about?’” Rembold continues. “I don’t think I’ve ever really written a song about anything. I know how I feel about the song. Visually, if you were to say ‘I love those colours and shapes, and it’s not about anything,’ that’s how I feel about writing lyrics.”

Nightshifting was released earlier this month by Mint Records, which, probably not coincidentally, was also home to P:ano and the Choir Practice, a couple of Loyva’s previous bands. That should give Fake Tears enough clout to book a killer tour, but, without getting into all the details, the duo points out that there is some red tape to cut through before that can happen. Logistically, though, hitting the road shouldn’t be a problem. With their on-stage setup consisting of a pair of microKORGs and an iPod, Fake Tears could fit all of its gear in the back seat of a compact car.

Rembold counters that they wouldn’t even need that. “We’re just going to do a bike tour, with our keyboards on the front,” she says. “It’ll be next-level.” And at that, the members of Fake Tears burst into very real laughter. - Georgia Straight

"Nightshifting Fake Tears"


3½ stars out of 5

The debut album from Vancouver duo Fake Tears, consisting of Larissa Loyva (P:ano, Choir Practice) and Elisha May Rembold (Lost Lovers Brigade), is a late night walk down a dark, foggy alley. Hazy layers of lo-fi keys are custom fitted with electro-noir beats, buoyed by the pair of singers’ disarming harmonies. In an age where ’80s electronica and synth-pop are the trend du jour, Nightshifting recalls those old movie soundtracks, with hints of Vangelis and Cocteau Twins in the mix.

Produced by Vancouver indie fave Jay Arner, Nightshifting is glossy without being overbearing, keeping in line with that Mint Records-y indie esthetic. Nightshifting is a haunting listen: It takes a good 30 seconds of woozy synths before Fake Tears start humming the title line to You Want The Light — “You want the light for youuuuu ...” Hearts Break Loud is a loopy microKORG-built, ghostly heartbreak number, while Rite Of The First Night is built on an 808 beat reminiscent of old school hip-hop and new wave.

It’s not always perfect. The meandering Night Box — with its moody, terrifying buildup (“Light, screams, awake in dreams/Light, please, nothing as it seems”) — turns into a grating number with its repeated, semi-operatic ending that feels a little too much like sketch material. That kind of blunt vocal delivery works better on Small Fires, a restrained, pained number where vulnerability is matched with stripped down electronics.

With Nightshifting, Fake Tears take you into the dark, with heavenly voices as your guide. Well worth the venture. - Vancouver Sun

"Music Waste Festival"

June 6, 2014 - w/ Cool - Music Waste Festival - Remington Gallery - Vancouver, BC - "Fake Tears were sharing synth-driven songs with an absolutely packed room. [T]he duo of Elisha Rembold and Larissa Loyva were stunning as they conjured electro-soul sounds out of a pair of Korgs and an iPod mini loaded with beats, and filled the air with a steady stream of blissful duets." -


Nightshifting - Mint Records - August 7, 2015



Fake Tears cut their teeth on their respective solo projects in the past decade. Larissa Loyva (Kellarissa) and Elisha Rembold (Lost Lovers Brigade) became fast friends in 2012 and joined forces and voices to create an edgy and enjoyable synth-pop duo with minimal elements but a big impact. 

Inspired by the likes of Tears for Fears and The Knife, Fake Tears features duelling MicroKorgs, retro beats and heartbreaking harmonies. Strong vocals are the feature and skeleton of Fake Tears, and often the two voices are indistinguishable from one another. Rembold and Loyva's compositions have also garnered multiple comparisons to The Cocteau Twins and The Eurythmics.

Fake Tears have flourished in the Vancouver, BC live music scene in the few years since they formed, opening for the likes of Ariel Pink, Mecca Normal, and Sur Une Plage. In the meantime, Larissa has also toured extensively with How To Dress Well and Destroyer, and Elisha with Shimmering Stars. Fake Tears' first full-length, "Nightshifting" was released on Mint Records on August 7, 2015.

Band Members