Corridor is an acclaimed Montreal-based indie rock JOVM mainstay outfit that has a long-held reputation for being earnest DIY enthusiasts: they design their own merch and create mind-bending animated videos for their incredibly catchy material.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you probably have picked up on the fact that I’ve had an obsession with French indie rock, French hip-hop and French pop that has been sparked into overdrive after spending time in Montreal for M for Montreal. During that same period I’ve managed to spill copious amounts of virtual ink covering the Montreal-based JOVM mainstays.
With the release of their sophomore album 2017’s Supermercado, the band exploded into the international scene with the album receiving rapturous praise from NPR and from Vice, who wrote that 2017’s sophomore album Supermercado was “the best French record of 2017, 2018, 2018, 2019, 2020 2021 and even 2022 . . . ” Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Francophone indie rockers spent the following year supporting the album with touring across Europe with stops at London Calling Festival and La Villete Sonique Festival, before making their Stateside debut with stops at SXSW and Northside Festival. They capped off a busy year or so, with a sold-out Stateside tour with Crumb.
Corridor caught the attention of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band, making them the first Francophone act on the label. Their third album, and first for Sub Pop, 2019’s Emmanuel Ethier-produced Junior is fueled by a special sort of je ne sais quoi? that comes from self-imposed restraints: Although at the time, the band had just signed to the label, they had a firm commitment to releasing a new album every two years — and they had every intention on going through with it.
When the band informed Sub Pop of their intentions, the label gently informed the band that if they wanted to release new material that fall, they would have to send the label a finished album in early May. With the ink barely dried on the contract, and a deadline looming, the band — Jonathan Robert (vocals, guitar), Dominic Berthiaume (bass, vocals), Julian Perreault (guitar), and Julien Bakvis (drums) — went into the studio, furiously writing and recording material, never stopping to second guess themselves.
Six of he album’s 10 songs were conceived in a single weekend, with the album closer “Bang” written the night before they were going to start recording. Because of the quick nature of the Junior sessions, the album features fewer expansive jams and less reliance on overdubs. “Part of the beauty of the thing is that we didn’t have time to think about it,” the band’s Dominic Berthiaume says of the Junior recording sessions.
Sonically, the album is intimate yet immediate while revealing a band with a mischievously genre-defying approach: the material draws from post-punk, Komische Musik, jangle pop, dream pop and indie rock while being completely their own.
Junior was released to widespread critical acclaim from the likes of BrooklynVegan, Clash, Paste, Stereogum, Exclaim! and a long list of others. The band supported the album with tours across Europe and North America that impressed fans and the cognoscenti, helping to establish the Québécois act as one of genre’s newest must-see acts. The tour and its shows went so well that they decided to make Samuel Gougoux, a live collaborator for the Junior tour, a full-time member.
The JOVM mainstays have returned with a new single “Et Hop,” their first bit of new material since Junior‘s release. Originally written during the Supermercado sessions, “Et Hop” was gathering dust in the band’s musical vault. Interestingly, when CISM, the student-run radio station at the University of Montreal asked if they wanted to release a song to celebrate the station’s 30th anniversary, the members of the band gave them “Et Hop,” a bit of old-timey jangle pop centered around the band’s unerring knack for gorgeous melodies paired with razor sharp hooks. But pay close attention! There are subtle nods to 60s psych rock and post punk throughout that should serve as a reminder that they never do anything in a straightforward fashion.
Corridor will be capping off the year with two previously announced shows in Montreal and Toronto in November. They’ve also added a handful of headlining Stateside dates in Spring 2022 that includes a March 31, 2022 stop at The Sultan Room. Check out the tour dates below.
Fri. Nov. 19 – Montreal, QC – Fairmount Theatre
Fri. Nov. 26 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
Thu. Mar. 31 – Brooklyn, NY – Sultan Room
Fri. Apr. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Milk Boy
Sun. Apr. 03 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
Fri. Apr. 08 – Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme