Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Ford’

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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Influenced by the early 2000’s bands like Snowing and Algernon Cadwallader, artists in the DIY scene have heavily relied on the genre’s math rock, indie, and punk roots to draw inspiration for new music. However, with the scene’s saturation of artists fueled by Midwestern emo stylization, it is easy for releases to blend in. However, I haven’t heard a record stand out as brightly and notably as Gulfer’s Dog Bless in a long while.

Hailing from Montreal, Gulfer‘s sophomore album is a testament to the complexity of life, covering everything from growing old, to the bouts of uncertainty that consume that we face throughout our turbulent lives. The album’s ooze of emotion-packed indie rock is so enticing and beautifully executed, with impactful lyrics being matched by energetic guitar riffs,  both of which purvey a feel of melancholy to shadow the album’s deeper significance. Structured into three segments, each composed of three tracks and divided by light musical interludes, the design of the record contributes to the album’s originality, as the presentation feels like you’re digging into chapters of the band’s songwriting process rather than being fed a stream-of-consciousness.

The first trio of tracks feels like the ultimate introduction to Gulfer’s style of music, as well as to the album as a whole. Kicking it off with the track “Secret Stuff”, the albums begins with Vincent Ford’s screaming vocals penetrating somber guitar riffs, which in turn are only to be met by a fury of impassioned drums. The song attacks in waves, fueling bursts of passion and discourse with pieces of therapeutic, emotional bliss. “I dislike the fact that I’m getting older everyday”, shouts Ford as he depicts a night of seclusion and basement song writing, veiled with intrinsic feelings of self-hatred and nihilism. The track as a whole depicts themes of conformity and social rigidity, which are painted in a more approachable fashion by the band’s demeanor.

“Secret Stuff” rolls right into “Doglife”, a track that loses none of the energy displayed in the former introduction, as it opens with familiar guitar riffs from the previous track before evolving into a beast of its own right. “Doglife” is one of the more cathartic tracks from Dog Bless, as it flows with a mellower tone and cyclical style that is focused on the power of Ford’s voice, as it dictates the flow of the song from start to finish. Displaying the missed opportunities and connections we can all relate to in our own experiences, Ford depicts taking a “dog’s life” amount of time to kindle a dear personal relationship, and continues in expressive detail about the impact that it has had on him.

Following the first musical interlude, we find the thrashing gang vocals and upbeat attitude of  “Baseball”, a song that Gold Flake Paint described perfectly as “choppy and contagious”. Producing images of dust-covered wedding gowns and tattered reels of 35mm film, “Baseball” feels like a flashback to a simpler time, peppered with memories of nostalgic refuges and bathed in lasting warmth. The whole track composes itself to produce a beautifully strewn together juxtaposition of fluttery math rock riffs and abrupt crashes of intricate sound, which together bridge the whole piece into a solid effort of force and passion.

Complimenting the former effort, “Be Father” follows with a similar sea of bellicose emotional ties. Opening with the same flickering guitar riffs that have been synonymous throughout the album, the track continues as an extremely upbeat tune. “Be Father” feels as though it could almost command movement from the listener, exuding an aura of excitement and vigor that touches can penetrate straight to the soul. The guitar itself drives the song, commanding utmost attention with raucous displays of authority over tempo and the track’s general mood. In the later half of the song, Ford’s vocals take hold of the listener, echoing repeating lines of prose as the song reaches and ultimate climax, only to again collide with quick guitar and heavy drums until the music cuts out and we are left feeling innate ecstasy course through every nerve of our being.

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Although some people consider emo music to be “done”, there is no doubt that Gulfer has come together to create a meaningful and memorable work. Implementing already-established styles of math rock guitar and hybridizing it with more distinctive indie undertones they have produced a sound that, though not comparable, still feels quite familiar. Combining said riffs with Vincent Ford’s emotional songwriting and impassioned vocals has drawn a figurative line in the sand, separating the Montreal outfit from a lot of modern music, and allowing their mastery of art to stand alone and bright in the landscape of a music-driven society.