Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

Partner is the “mature” effort of two best friends named Josée Caron and Lucy Niles. Together, with Rock as their trusty guide, they explore a variety of themes in an attempt to understand the meaning of life.  rock duo Partner have spent the past few years warming hearts with their sly, subversive take on classic-sounding power-pop. Now living in Montreal, Josée Caron and Lucy Niles recently rolled out an infectious new single, “Good Place to Hide (At the Time).” And while we’re still not quite sure when we’ll hear more new music from Caron and Niles,

Partner are set to release sophomore album Never Give Up, and now they’ve shared a new song and accompanying video for longtime live cut “Big Gay Hands.”

Set to jaunty country-rock instrumentation, the narrative-driven song finds co-bandleader Lucy Niles enamoured by a pool-playing woman at a bar — particularly her hands, as explained by lyrics like “And I couldn’t help but notice how you held that cue / Made me wonder what else you know how to do.”

Say the band, “This song is about a wild night on the town filled with queer desire. It is an important song to us because it expresses a feeling we know is shared by many. There are a lot of songs out there about women’s bodies but this is the only song we know about big gay hands. This song is dedicated to the hotties and to those who love them.”

True to the song’s title, the video features hands — painted uncannily to look like the band members — as they traverse a miniature world in pursuit of romance and companionship, complete with several beautifully coordinated dance numbers.

“Big Gay Hands” is the latest in a string of recent Partner singles, Out September 18th

Gulfer

Montreal’s Gulfer have been reviving Midwest, ’90s-style emo for the past decade, and they’re now set to release their third LP, which is self-titled, on October 16th via Topshelf/Royal Mountain. Having spent the past couple years wavering between self-doubt and having it figured out, Montreal’s Gulfer have returned to the fore with their third full-length record. Composed of thirteen tracks of intricate, dexterous, and incredibly fun, punk-inspired emo tunes, Gulfer sees the Montreal quartet settled into their own with a career-defining record.

Set to be co-released through us and the band’s first ever Canadian label in Royal Mountain Records, Gulfer is expansive in a way that sets it apart from the debut What Gives and the Pitchfork-approved Dog Bless. Delving into their collective influences by drawing from elements of grunge, shoegaze, and contemporaries Oso Oso and Prince Daddy and the Hyena, the band never turn their back on their earliest inspirations. Explosive, agile emo serves as the backdrop to guitarist and vocalists Vincent Ford and Joe Therriault’s honest and vulnerable lyricism, with the two sharing the writing process on a record that tackles human nature; exploring self-doubt, resentment, complex relationships, climate change, and the waning of youth. The band never lose the sense of playfulness and fun that is omnipresent in their live show, an undeniable, electric energy that stems from being a group of close friends before all else.

They do a lot of justice to the noodly riffage and longing melodies of the classic Kinsella era, and new song “Heat Wave” is no exception.

Our new track “Heat Wave” is streaming everywhere you listen to music now! It’s the second track we’re sharing from our new self-titled record, out October 16th through Topshelf Records and Royal Mountain Records, and it’s about realizing that past friendships left you feeling out of place, and how special it is to find a new home somewhere else. You can listen and pre-order our record below, but variants are moving quick!

Free of former notions that they needed to write in a certain way to sound like themselves, the band instead went with their gut and wrote what came naturally. The result is their most definitive work to date, a record that focuses less on ultra-technical musicianship and more on structure, space, and feel. With renewed energy in their freshened sound palette and their most collaborative songwriting yet, Gulfer have created an album that sounds fresh and exciting, which is no small feat for a band with two albums, a handful of EPs, and eight long years under their belt. The deft and interweaving interplay of Ford and Therriault’s guitars is grounded by bassist David Mitchell and drummer Julien Daoust, whose dexterities and musicianship animate the album with explosive, emotional kineticism.

“Forget (Friendly)” is taken from Gulfer’s upcoming self-titled record, out on Topshelf Records and Royal Mountain Records on October 16th, 2020.

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Montreal’s Helena Deland has been releasing her music over the last year: methodically, and singularly.

“It’s a happy mix of different years and different contexts,” explains Deland, of her upcoming, five-song EP. The 26-year-old Montrealer began writing songs in high school, and started recording her work three years ago. While the oldest song in this new collection is roughly four years old, they are all loosely linked thematically so that “like stages, weaving in and out of relationships” and is “about wanting to be close with someone.”

The EP won’t be released until October. 19th, but we’re premiering its third single, “Lean on You,” which aptly fits into the descriptor. “It’s about having a crush that you’re kind of resisting because you don’t want to surrender mental space to this. You know?” explains Deland. The woozy track starts simply, with only Deland’s voice and guitar, and expands into a teasing chorus that states, “Cause I don’t need/ I don’t need/ to lean on you, no/ even though/ that’s what other people do.” You can hear whisps of what sounds like Deland’s breath through the lyrics, as her “ah-ah-aahs” march you gently through the song.

Produced by fellow Montrealer Jesse Mac Cormack (who has produced all of Deland’s EPs, encompassing 2016’s Drawing Room and March 2018’s Vol. I & II), Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. III & IV is her second EP to be released on new label Luminelle Records, of which Deland is the first signee.

Helena Deland’s new single ‘Someone New’ out now. Her debut album ‘Someone New’ out October

Band Members:
Helena – Guitar, vocals
Alexandre – Guitar
Francis – Drums
Agathe – Bass

Album out on Luminelle Recordings and Chivi Chivi October 16th.

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Montreal’s No Joy release new album “Motherhood” next week via Joyful Noise / Hand Drawn Dracula, and here’s a track that features frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz’s sister, Alissa, who plays in deathcore supergroup Arch Enemy. “I’ve never collaborated musically with my sister before,” says Jasamine. “When we were kids we would sing and play music together but as we’ve both become adults and touring musicians we’ve never had a chance to work together. This is the heaviest song on this record so it felt fitting to have her on there. There is something special about her being on this album, specifically because it’s an exploration of family and motherhood.” It’s definitely heavy, but also has space for No Joy’s ethereal side, too.

“Four,” which No Joy frontperson and principal songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz called in a statement “perhaps my favourite No Joy song ever written,” has a colourful sonic palette, starting with a buildup of shoegaze fuzz that melts into a spell of trip-hop instrumentals before jolting into a thrash metal closer. No Joy shared a music video for the new single, following visual artist Ashley Diabo at her home. The aim of the video, White-Gluz said, is “to appreciate Ashley at home, hoping to inspire all to embrace the love and inspiration of their home the way Ashley reminds us every day.”

Jasamine White-Gluz is back with No Joy’s first album in five years. The Canadian outfit arrived in 2010 with their debut Ghost Blonde, and have been releasing feedback-cloaked shoegaze with mystifying beats ever since. Their new LP Motherhood is the most ambitious thing they’ve ever done, but White-Gluz’s ear for immersive soundscapes remains. Here, No Joy expand into the realms of pummeling metal (“Dream Rats”), groovy trip-hop (“Four”), pulsing electro-pop (“Ageless”) and skying dance-rock (“Birthmark”), and it’s a heady, wispy ride. Sometimes throwing in everything but the kitchen sink works out.

“Four” by No Joy off the album ‘Motherhood’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings (world) & Hand drawn Dracula in Canada.

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Le Ren, the alias of 26-year-old Montreal musician Lauren Spear, quietly released one of the best indie folk EPs this year in her debut release “Morning & Melancholia”. It’s an airy and, at times, whimsical 12-minute affair, but the story behind these songs will bring you back down to the ground: Morning & Melancholia follows the death of Spear’s ex-boyfriend, who passed away in a car accident a few years ago, and grapples with grief and the fleeting nature of memories she no longer shares with anyone. But she bravely approaches these feelings, leaving us with a somber coming-apart song (“Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay”), a politely plucked goodbye (“How To Say Goodbye”) and a charming folk tune reminiscent of the song “Fare Thee Well” (“If I Had Wings”). Spear is one of the brightest new Secretly Canadian signees, and this EP is a promising sign of what’s to come.

Le Ren’s close-to-the-bone, heartbreak folk songs seem, at first, to tap into a shared musical memory.  A melody swirls forward and you’re just sure it’s known to the back of your mind; was it in from a movie you saw, some classic mid-60s setpiece? Maybe it’s something you heard as a kid, in the backseat of your mom’s Cutlass, or the shotgun seat of your own. But before you can zero in through the fog, your heart is torn apart by her voice — rich, direct and mellifluous — steering you through these slowburn tunes about real-life loss.

“Discussing songwriting feels the same as when someone asks about your tattoo,” says Lauren Spear, 26, the sole voice and songwriter behind Montreal’s Le Ren. “You’re putting it out there, showing it in public right on your arm. Then, when someone asks you ‘Hey, what’s that tattoo mean?,’ you’re shocked to have to explain it, as it is a choice that feels essential for a particular moment.”

The way Le Ren is able to look tragedy directly in its eyes and never let her voice so much as quiver is owed to a few things. Raised on rural Bowen Island, British Columbia, the isolated lifestyle allows for a certain independent dedication to craft that is evident in her performances. Spear has studied folk and bluegrass going back to her early teens, partaking in workshops and festivals all over North America. You can hear in her acumen the gorgeous folk formalism of Canadian heroes Kate and Anna McGerrigle. But it’s not all rigor and acuity that makes Le Ren’s music so stunning. She was also raised on The Holy Trinity of songwriters John Prine, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and their curious, deadpan and cosmic approach to life’s most brutal swipes also feed Le Ren’s sensibilities. Her lyrical couplets are as simply put as they are devastating. “So here we are at the end of all things // I guess I learned too late // that love can’t be the only reason to stay,” she sings on the closer “Love Can’t Be the Only Reason To Stay”. It’s gut wrenching, but sure-footed. And you can almost hear the slight smile on one side of her mouth as she sings, the knowing smile of someone who knows real pain, knows there’s surely more to come, but who also knows it doesn’t erase life’s humorous, enduring beauty.

“Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay” from Le Ren, out now on Secretly Canadian

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Montreal’s Yves Jarvis follows up of last year album with his first new release of 2020, in the breezy, softly lilting new track, “Victim“. Jarvis’ light touch belies the song’s heavier, more harrowing subject matter, which he says reflects negotiating “a tightrope walk between victor and victim”. Beautiful, affecting stuff, and hopefully a harbinger of a larger release from Yves Jarvis sometime in the near future. On the heels of his gorgeous new single from last month, Montreal’s Yves Jarvis shares another one from his just announced new full-length, coming this fall. Sundry Rock Song Stock is out September 25th on ANTI- Records.

“Sundry Rock Song Stock’ is my upcoming album out on September 25th and on Vinyl November 13th.

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Releases September 25th, 2020

If you caught Orville Peck on tour last year, you likely cried during the set of opener Le Ren, a.k.a. Lauren Spear. Spear has released material with two other projects this year — folksy band Maybel and pop-punks Skunk — and now as Le Ren she is gearing up to release Morning & Melancholia (via Secretly Canadian and Royal Mountain) on July 31st. The EP’s four tender folk ballads will leave listeners in awe and, once again, reaching for the tissues.

Two years ago, Spear’s ex-boyfriend was killed in a car accident. Since then, she has been struggling with the weight of being the sole keeper of their shared memories and in response, translated a sliver of that experience into music. Morning & Melancholia is a mediation on mourning, memory and how to live with the ellipses you’re forever left with in the wake of loss.

The way Le Ren is able to look tragedy directly in its eyes and never let her voice so much as quiver is owed to a few things. Raised on rural Bowen Island, British Columbia, the isolated lifestyle allows for a certain independent dedication to craft that is evident in her performances. With a folk and bluegrass study going back to her early teens, you can hear in Le Ren, the gorgeous folk formalism of Canadian heroes Kate and Anna McGarrigle, or The Holy Trinity of John Prine, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Their curious, deadpan and cosmic approach to life’s most brutal swipes feed Le Ren’s sensibilities, and her own lyrical couplets are as simply put as they are devastating. “Discussing songwriting feels the same as when someone asks about your tattoo,” says Le Ren. “You’re putting it out there, showing it in public right on your arm. Then, when someone asks you ‘Hey, what’s that tattoo mean?’, you’re shocked to have to explain it, as it is a choice that feels essential for a particular moment.”

Le Ren, moniker of 26-year-old Montreal-based musician Lauren Spear, announces her debut EP, Morning & Melancholia, out July 31st on Secretly Canadian / Royal Mountain. Today, she presents a new single/video, “If I Had Wings.” Following “Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay,” “ a brief, delicate, and restful folk gem” (Uproxx), 

“If I Had Wings” sways with pedal steel and Le Ren’s stirring voice as she sings of wishing to be able to see a loved one again: “If I had wings // I’d fly away, oh lord // Ya, I’d be heaven bound // So I could see your face once more.” The accompanying video, directed by Ali Vanderkruyk, is spectral. “This video lives somewhere in the distance between Tkaronto (Toronto) and Nexwlélexm (Bowen Island). It was shot with an iPhone and on 16mm film and was processed, printed and scanned at Niagara Custom Lab in Toronto (where the director works as a technician).”

Le Ren’s music is gut wrenching, but sure-footed. And you can almost hear the slight smile on one side of her mouth as she sings, the knowing smile of someone who knows real pain, knows there’s surely more to come, but who also knows it doesn’t erase life’s humorous, enduring beauty.

’If I Had Wings’ from ’Morning & Melancholia’ by Le Ren, out July 31st on Secretly Canadian

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Pottery’s debut EP, No. 1, made our mid-year best post-punk list last year thanks to its bluesy, funky take on post-punk. This coming Friday , the Montreal five-piece are unleashing their first full-length, and it’s even more eccentric than we were expecting (or hoping). It’s full of psych-punk jams so surreal and danceable that falling down their wormhole and grooving to the beat are not optional. Make sure you polish off your dancing shoes before diving into its off-the-wall percussion and snappy guitars. Their sky-high dance-punk and witty psychedelia can hardly pack more tightly-coiled zip.

Here’s a jagged new single from Montreal band Pottery’s upcoming debut album, “Welcome to Bobby’s Motel”, which is out in June. It goes from a rigid start into something decidedly more funky. “While there are hints of environmental themes on this one, we mainly wanted to make a disco song with a robotic feeling, something that could be easily chanted,” say Pottery. “Austin was originally really interested in heat as a musical concept/feeling – some of the early album titles we threw around were ‘Hot Hot Hot’ and ‘Sun Fever’ – and there are a bunch of other heat references on the album [see previous single ‘Hot Like Jungle’. In the studio he’d be joking around and yelling stuff at us like ‘let’s make it hot!’ right before a take. A lot of that didn’t end up totally sinking in, but some did…like on this song.”

“Hot Heater” from ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ out June 26th on Partisan Records and Royal Mountain Records.

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Braids have been taking the time and space necessary for little miracles to occur. Burrowed in their Montreal studio, the band has spent the better part of three years crafting “Shadow Offering”, their 4th album, due out in June 2020 via their new label home, Secret City. On Braids’ fourth album, Shadow Offering, the Montreal art-pop trio is at its cleanest and most refined. They teamed up with producer Chris Walla, who teases out the rockier side of their tunes, turning the group’s taut synth reveries into glistening and forceful songs that tackle topics like abuse and desire and self-hatred. Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s voice is dizzying; she presents her fears not as a persistent dull ache but as something that is going to rip her apart from the inside out.

Unlike previous albums, Braids decided to stay close to home for the recording of Shadow Offering. Taking over a spacious sound recording studio tucked in an old warehouse, the band were able to slow down and creatively rediscover themselves. “With this album, we wanted to give ourselves time to achieve a higher caliber of artistry and collaboration,” Tufts says. No longer riding the novelty of youth, the band deliberately took time to recommit to themselves and their craft, and channel new energy into their music. They wrote 40 songs. They went through their Saturn Returns. They learnt how to support one another better. They drank a lot of La Croix.

The band sketched and re-sketched new material for eighteen months before lucky circumstance found Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) renting out space in their studio. The four began wandering into each others’ rooms, curious about each others’ projects. Typically opting for a private and insular creation process, the friendship between the four saw the band sharing their songs with Walla, and naturally resulted in Walla co-producing and engineering Shadow Offering. Pushing the band out of their comfort zone, he at once broke and unified the band’s dynamic, unearthing individual creative energy long buried over the years. With a new sense of confidence, listeners will find Braids at their most personal, unabashedly flexing through their new music.

Braids are a Montreal-based, three-piece band. Formed in 2007, they have solidified a decade-long reputation for their musical ingenuity and established themselves as one of Canada’s most acclaimed art rock bands. With Standell-Preston’s vocals as the pillar of their sound, Braids weave organic and electronic elements together amidst a lyrical landscape that is intimate and emotionally-immersive

Braids

Prior to recording “Shadow Offering”, Braids’ continued intentions were to manipulate guitars to the point of being unrecognisable. Indeed, they have since admitted they felt they had succeeded once the guitar was hidden between layers of textures, loops and effects.

On their fourth full-length LP, the Canadian group have made a conscious choice to bring guitars to the forefront of their sound again. They rediscovered the instrument as a “vehicle for cathartic release, drawn to its visceral and authoritative qualities,” and were keen to embellish and utilise its imperfections and the spontaneity it can bring to a performance or recording. Montreal-based indie trio Braids will release their new album “Shadow Offering” on June 19th via. Co-produced with Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie, the album finds the band at their most personal, unabashedly flexing a new sense of confidence through songs that reach a higher level of artistry and collaboration.

New single ‘Just Let Me‘ explores the push and pull of a relationship, the narratives created between partners, and inevitable hardships of love. The accompanying video features singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s directorial debut with collaborator Derek Branscombe.

“The song was born of a desire to get through to one’s partner, to work through those feelings of complacency, stagnation, of pointless arguments; when you feel your partner, though sitting across the table from you, is further away than if they were not there at all,” stated the band. “It’s a yearning to understand how a love that was once there and so clear, could slip away. It asks the universal question that so many relationships encounter along their journey – where did our love go?”

With former Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla in the producer’s chair, they entered into a new world of experimentation, utilising a plethora of equipment from Audio Kitchen amps, a 1967 Rickenbacker 340 and a 1963 Gibson LG-1 to masses of outboard gear and a reamping chain that included multiple rack units including an Elysia Mpressor for live sidechaining and even tremolo and phased vibrato effects.

A multi award-winning band, Shadow Offering follows their acclaimed 2015 album Deep in the Iris – which won the 2016 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year – and could be considered their most honest and intuitive yet. Here, the band detail their five favourite guitar parts on the album, from discovering chorus pedals to using their drummer as a rotary speaker…

Eclipse marked our first taste of the front-and-centre roll the guitar would come to play on this record. While tracking, we were uneasy over what elements would lead the mixes, and how a myriad of instruments and sonic explorations would all glue and fit into songs. We never recorded a record this way – producer at the console, amps and live tracking sessions, capture over construct. It required a leap of faith on our part, something a group of three highly strung control freaks admittedly struggled with.

With Eclipse, Chris and Raphaelle experimented ad nauseum with wonky open tunings for deep and resonant chords. We also discovered chorus – something we foolishly avoided for years. With Chris’s guidance, we coloured outside our comfort zone. Listening to the first mix draft was a decisive turning point in our process. After months spent chasing an ephemeral ‘idea’ of what guitars might bring to our songs, we finally developed the film so-to-speak, and the image staring back at us was bold, expansive and all-encompassing. Needless to say, we were pleasantly reassured that what we were striving for was possible.”

Snow Angel

“At once jarring and visceral, tracking for Snow Angel was also a moment of joy, of exalted discovery. After laying down the song’s basic structure, Raphaelle had asked to be set up in the live room on a whim, amps pinned, for a few takes of unscripted overdubs. It was a moment of flexing and experimenting with the musicality of an extremely loud amp. And for Raphaelle, the birth of an emotional conduit just as immediate as the human voice, to provide emotional armour, and a violent counterpart to the album’s most confessional and raw poetry.”

Fear Of Men

“This song is Austin’s shining guitar moment. Austin doesn’t play guitar, he plays drums and as such had a spare hand to lend during our guitar tracking sessions. With the amps cranked, we set him up in the live room – heavily earplugged – and got him to be a real live rotary speaker. Microphone-in-hand, he spun around the room in his best ‘flanger’ impression, and the resulting audio is about as bespoke a ‘swirl’ effect as one could hope for.”

Young Buck

“We mixed Shadow Offering in our Montreal studio. The studio has two rooms – control and live. We spent a month mixing, and a typical day saw Chris [Walla] and Mike our mix engineer in the control room working on a mix, while we spent the day in the live room, chasing all sorts of extra parts for second verses and second choruses, intros and outros.”

“We’d reconvene once in a while to share progress, listen to mixes, and trade song progress back and forth. We’d been battling with the groove in Young Buck, struggling to get the mix to lock. Upon listening to the n’th rough mix, it suddenly came into focus. Through sheer relief, we didn’t ask too many questions at the time, and it was only while digging through stems, long after the mixes were wrapped, that we discovered Chris had clandestinely been tucking layer upon layer of palm muted guitar parts into the mix, gluing the song together.”

Just Let Me

“Stories and process and memories aside, Just Let Me is our favourite guitar ‘moment’ on the record. At every step of the way, the song is structured around creating this luscious and blooming key change, centred on two interlocking guitars. If at the outset of this record we wanted to take a swing at guitars-as-centrepiece, this is the moment in which we unapologetically enjoy the fruits of this journey.”

Shadow Offering is out June 19th on Braids Musique Inc. and Secret City Records. Braids’ new album “Shadow Offering”