New Video: Montréal’s Diamond Day Shares Breezy “Fiction Feel”

Montréal-based duo Diamond Day features two highly acclaimed musicians in their own right:

  • Vermont-born Béatrix Méthé was raised with the traditional music of rural Québec. Her family moved to Canada when she was baby, and she grew up acquiring Lanaudiere’s regional repertoire from her father, the founder of legendary folk-trad group Le Rêve du Diable. Her mother, a singer-songwriter and fine arts graduate versed in early digital media, inspired Méthé’s own aesthetic. After spending some time venturing deeper into visual art, Béthé moved to Montréal to study filmmaking, but wound up discovering indie and psychedelic folk music along the way. She cut her studies short in 2015 to pursue music full-time, fronting acclaimed outfit Rosier, whose unique fusion of Québécois folk and indie rock garnered multiple nominations and awards — and lead them to tour across 15 countries with stops at SXSWNPR’s Mountain Stage and the BBC
  • Western Canada-born Quinn Bachand grew up in a home where art was omnipresent and the family’s 40-year-old record collection was on an omnipresent loop. As the son of a luthier, Bachand began playing guitars handmade by his father and was touring internationally by the time he turned 12. After graduating from Berklee College of Music back in 2019 on a presidential scholarship, the Western Canadian-born multi-instrumentalist spent time in the Grammy-nominated band Kittel & Co. His involvement in the US folk scene prompted collaborations with a number of like-minded artists, including Chris Thile. In 2019, Bachand began collaborating with Méthé and Rosier, quickly establishing himself as an influential, genre-bending producer.

That initial successful collaboration with Rosier lead to the duo’s forthcoming full-length debut as Diamond Day, Connect the Dots Slated for a fall 2023 release, the Canadian duo’s full-length debut reportedly sees them crafting a sound that weaves elements of folk, indie rock, electronica, shoegaze and dream pop into a unique take on alt-pop.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Connect the Dots‘ first single “Noisemaker,” which was built around tape-saturated organ echo, fluttering synths, blown out beats, a sinuous bass line and lush, painterly sheogazer-like guitar textures paired with Méthé’s gorgeous vocals. The result — to my ears at least — reminded me of a mix of Beach House and Souvlaki-era Slowdive with a subtle amount of glitchiness.

The album’s second and latest single “Fiction Feel” is a breezy, summertime dream of a song built around a glitch pop soundscape featuring vintage tape recordings, glistening synths and a shuffling organ drum machine before quickly morphing into a lush New Wave/post-punk anthem that brings Cocteau Twins and Violens to mind.

Directed by Natan B. Foisy, the accompanying video is shot in a gorgeous, cinematic black and white an features a collection of Montréal area theater club teens in a school auditorium. We see the teens as they cycle through a series of different emotions in an oddly bipolar yet playful fashion.

“We recorded ‘Fiction Feel’ a few times over the past year or so. Initially, it was very ‘post-punk,'” Diamond Day’s Quinn Bachand explains in press notes. ” I had just watched Converse PURPLE video which featured ‘Cries and Whispers’ by New Order and I was getting into a lot of newer stuff in that vein, especially Cate le Bon’s latest album. Ultimately, we don’t sound anything like that, so the arrangement turned into a bit of a frankenstein. We re-wrote melodies, and added and muted stuff. Before we sent it out to get mixed by Elijah [Marrett-Hitch], we removed tons of unused tracks and weird outdated plugins that were constantly making Pro Tools crash.”

“The song ended up being a little glitchy. Lo-fi thrift store keyboards, cheap classical guitars, archived speech recordings and arena-rocky drums,” the duo’s Béatrix Méthé says.  

“One of our mix notes to Elijah was, ‘Make the drums a bit more douchey, like Eric Valentine,” Bachand adds.

“We wanted it to evolve from tiny and creepy like The Books to big and bombastic like Depeche Mode. But we wanted it to remain catchy and dancey,” Méthé says.

“We love how The Books use extremely edited found sounds to intensify emotional moments and create a really unique feel. There’s so much subtle information–both melodic and rhythmic–packed into speech and these dated home recordings have so much depth,” says Bachand.

“We’re both folk musicians. Slightly jaded ones… [when it comes to folk music] we really only listen to archives now–rare home recordings of musicians in rural areas. There are tons of old reel-to-reel and cassette recordings across the country with this material, anyone can find them, you just have to dig. Quinn and I have a lot of that digitized now. Listening to everything around the music, the stuff the interviewer or engineer didn’t mean to record; that’s the weird stuff,” Méthé explains. “Quinn and I heard an argument on one tape, there was so much tension and urge in their speech. It was perfect… we had to include it in ‘Fiction Feel.’ Connect the Dots (the full record) has a bunch of awkward little archive-chestnuts sprinkled in.”

“Natan B. Foisy also directed this visualizer. He and Béatrix (and most of the video team) are from a region north of Montreal called Lanaudière,” Bachand says of the video. “Last winter, we were able to utilize a local high school in the region for some video.”

“The song is a little nerdy and bipolar and Natan did a great job of capturing that in the visualizer. He got teenagers from the school to play with the camera, cycling through different emotions and expressions as the song develops. And it’s all in black & white to contrast those dynamics,” Méthé says of the video.