Comprised of Marie Davidson, perhaps best known as a renowned solo artist, who has released two critically applauded albums and Pierre Guerineau, best known for his production work with Dirty Beaches and Femminielli, Essaie pas is a Montreal-based electronic duo that officially formed during the summer of 2010. The duo quickly caught the attention of DFA Records with a sound that initially consisted of minimalist and industrial electronics, big power chord guitars and Davidson’s sultry mumbling and cooing in Quebecois — and at one point the renowned indie dance label invited the duo to open during Factory Floor‘s first North American tour.
Demain est une autre nuit (Tomorrow Is Another Night), Davidson and Guerineau’s debut effort together was reportedly inspired by a series of unfortunate circumstances. As the story goes, when the duo returned from their first European tour they had discovered that their apartment and rehearsal space/recording studio La Brique fell victim to the sort of rapid gentrification and property speculation that should be familiar to New Yorkers, Chicagoans, Angelinos, San Franciscans and others while in the middle of a bitter conflict with their landlord — and during a Montreal winter without much in the way of prospects. Eventually they lucked into a temporary practice space at the offices of Les Filles Electriques, an independent interdisciplinary festival producer during their off-hours and the space quickly became Guerineau’s studio and Davidson’s home. The empty, industrial building was full of a variety of corridors that Davidson used to work out during winter nights, running throughout through the building listening to techno, acid and Italian disco — and finding herself inspired by the space and the music she had been listening to. “This environment influenced our music,”Guerineau explained in press notes. “The sounds are more clear and open, the production has more depth, on a full frequency range.” And their living conditions while on tour were another influence. As Guerineau noted, “Staying at different people’s places around the world for a whole year accentuates the feeling of being a stranger wherever you go, even in your own town, but also creates a feeling of being part of an international community, opposed to a scene that exists only in one city.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about Demain est une autre nuit’s first single “Le port du masque est de rigueur,” a tense, and cinematic bit of industrial/goth-leaning electronica consisting of layers of undulating and buzzing synth stabs, propulsive drum programming, some industrial clang and clatter and Guerineau and Davidson’s vocals chanting and cooing lyrics in French — and sonically, the song sounded as though it drew equally from Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” as it does from Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People” and Depeche Mode’s “I Feel Loved” — but with a chilly sense of menace. “Lights Out,” Demain est use autre nuit’s latest single is a menacing and propulsive bit of industrial-leaning house music consisting of murky and cascading layers of synth chords and skittering and propulsive drum programming paired with a repeated mantra chanted throughout. Sonically, it’s a propulsive club banger that sounds as though it could rival the likes of Boys Noize — in particular, his most recent “Overthrow” — and others as far as rocking a crowd.
The recently released video employs the use of grainy VHS-style video that emphasizes the trippy and tense nature of the song.