Montreal dream-pop composer and songwriter Tess Roby follows her promising 2018 debut with a perceptive self-produced LP, the first on her new label SSURROUNDSS. Ideas of Space is a pristine collection of songs about envelopment—by architecture, by colour, by emotion—that tempers its subject matter with a vivid yet restrained sonic sensibility. In this environment, Roby’s lyrics feel impressionistic and taut, searching for the cut that might reveal the heart of life’s mysteries. Instrumental contributions from Joseph Shabason (woodwinds), Ouri (cello), and Austin Tufts (percussion) add richness and warmth to Roby’s synthesized environments without overwhelming the whole (Tufts’s drumming, in particular, is a welcome addition to Roby’s fold, providing gentle momentum on “Eyes Like Babylon” and “Path”). But it is Roby’s voice—lucid, round, and precise, reminiscent of Julia Holter—that rightly steals the show here. Ideas of Space is brimming with beautiful moments of vocal counterpoint: “Eyes Like Babylon” and “Euphoria in August” each build toward a rich acme, weaving short, evocative phrases to wrap listeners in their atmosphere. Elsewhere, as on the brilliant title track, Roby sings melodies so crystal-clear that they pierce the polyphony, refracting and rising to meet the scale of her existential ideas.