Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering the Montreal-based JOVM mainstay act Corridor. The Montreal-based JOVM mainstays — Dominic Berthiaume (vocals/bass) and Jonathan Robert (vocals/guitar/synths) along with Julian Perreault (guitar), Julien Bakvis (drums) and the band’s newest member Samuel Gougoux — received growing 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, Corridor spent the following year 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.
The French Canadian JOVM mainstays caught the attention of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band, making them the first Francophone act on the label. The band’s third album, last year’s Junior continues their ongoing and successful collaboration with their friend, producer (and occasional roommate) Emmanuel Ethier while finding the Montreal-based quintet jettisoning the languorous creative process of its predecessors — out of an inspired necessity.
Although Corridor had just signed to their new label home, they had developed firm commitment to release a new album every two years — and they intended on fulfilling their commitment. When Sub Pop was informed of the band’s intentions, they gently informed the band that if they wanted to release new material that fall, they had to send the label a completed album in early May. With the ink barely dried on the finalized contract, the members of the band rushed into the studio and record Junior in an inspired and breakneck blitz, finishing the album by mid-April of that year.
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 Berthiaume says of the Junior recording sessions.
Album single “Domino” is trippy motork groove-driven guitar anthem that finds the Montreal-based JOVM mainstays drawing from New Zealand jangle pop, early 80s New Wave and krautrock. The song finds the band carefully balancing a deliberate attention to craft with an explosive yet free-flowing jam between friends.
Directed, produced and edited by the band’s Jonathan Robert, and featuring footage from Phillippe Beauséjour, the recently released video for “Domino” is a technicolor fever dream with a retro-futuristic bent that reminds me of DEVO, Kraftwerk, and 3,2,1 Contact for some odd reason. “‘Domino’ illustrates a link between one’s work & mental health as well as its negative impact, in turn, on the people surrounding us,” Jonathan Robert says of the song and the accompanying video. “It, therefore, made sense to film ourselves breaking stuff for this video. I then spent some time with the footage to experiment with the treatment and the editing.”