Doubleheader is a collaborative project between Arthur Comeau, a musician and producer, who has released material as Radio Radio, Nom de Plume and under his own name — and multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger Jean Massicotte, who has worked with Patrick Wilson, Jean Leloup, Lhasa, Arthur H, Alejandra Ribera and a lengthy list of others. Interestingly, Doubleheader finds the acclaimed musicians and producers blending a wild mix of ideas, genres and sounds, including beatmaking, DJing, hip-hop, worldbeat, pop and others — as a way of showing the world what pop music can feel and sound like in the 2020s and beyond, continuing a larger push towards a genre-less world. Importantly, the duo’s sound and approach is specifically crafted to be a reflection of the world we should be aspiring to right now — a multicultural world that celebrates diversity in all of its forms.
The Montreal-based act’s 10 song, full-length debut Slim Wall finds the duo collaborating with an equally accomplished collection of Canadian vocalists including 2020 Juno Award-winning artist Dominque Fils-Aimé, 2019 AFRIMA Award-winning artist AfrotroniX, 2020 Juno Award-winner Djely Tapa, Samito, EIDHZ, Quentin Hatfield and TEKE: TEKE’s Maya Kuroki to create material that eschews genre and language constraints in an interesting yet accessible fashion.
Late last year, I wrote about “Djanto,” which featured achingly plaintive and evocative vocals from acclaimed Malian-Canadian artist Djely Tapa artist over shimmering acoustic guitar, skittering beats, twinkling synth arpeggios and a soaring hook to create a club-banging track with elements of reggaeton and Afropop. Underneath the euphoric, club friendliness though, the song is actually centered by a thoughtful and much-needed message: we have to take care of our only home — and that taking care of nature involves protecting both animal and human life.
Slim Wall‘s latest single “Criddora,” is a strutting and laid back, sun-kissed jam centered around skittering beats, reggae-like riddims, shimmering and reverb-drenched squiggling guitar blasts paired with Samito’s achingly plaintive vocals, which to my ears, manage to evoke longing and desperate loneliness within a turn of a phrase. Because of our forced confinement and isolation, the song’s ache feels so deeply familiar to me — as it should to you.
“‘Criadora’ is a reggaeton with a deep luso blues flavour and laid back beats and guitars,” the rising Montreal-based duo explain in press notes. “The song tells the story of a tortured man in a state of near-madness searching for relief. Exploring social isolation and stereotyping, Samito offers insight into the perceived discrepancy between what is said about him and what he believes is true.”