Tag: Montreal QC

New Audio: Corridor’s Jonathan Robert Releases a Shimmering New Single with Solo Project Jonathan Personne

Jonathan Robert is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known for being the co-founder of the internationally acclaimed JOVM mainstay act Corridor — and for his work as an animator and visual artist. With his solo recording project Jonathan Personne, Robert released his full-length debut, last year’s Histoire Naturelle, which was  thematically  inspired by the potential end of the world and drew from desert dream pop, Western spaghetti rock and jangle pop. 

Robert’s Jonathan Personne sophomore album, Disparitions is slated for an August 28, 2020 release through Michel Records and the album reportedly finds Robert continuing with intimate and sensitive songwriting — but this time inspired by a moment when music became a source of disgust for him: “I spent a lot of time touring away from home. Towards the end I felt like I was reluctantly going to do something that I had longed wished for,” Robert says in press notes. 

Subtly recalling his work with Corridor, “Springsteen,” Disparitions’ first single sees Robert boldly drawing  from and then meshing several different eras of rock music: glistening  psych rock through the use of a looping and shimmering 12 string guitar line, 70s AOR/radio rock through the use of bluesy guitar soloing, glam rock-like four-on-the-floor and a soaring hook paired with Robert’s plaintive falsetto. And much like his full-length debut, “Springsteen” is centered around observations and feelings about the seemingly inevitable end of the world as we know it. 

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New Audio: Montreal Doom Metal Trio Shezmu Releases a Punishing New Single

Shezmu is a Montreal-based doom metal trio — founding member Oliver Bérubé Emond a.k.a. Comte Bergaby (vocals, guitar) and Marc-André Labonne (drums), along with the band’s newest member, Sol Miracula’s and Aiauasca’s Yanick Tremblay-Simard (bass) — derive their name from the ancient Egyptian god of wine, oils, blood and slaughter. Founded back in 2016, the band released three efforts as a duo, a self-titled demo cassette in 2017, which they followed up with two mini-albums 2018’s The Scent of War and Breaching The Tomb. Interestingly, that same year saw the band expand into a trio with the addition of Tremblay-Simard. 

The band has long had a deep and abiding love of history — and because the band’s name is inspired by one of the more contradictory Egyptian gods, the Montreal-based doom band’s sound can generally be described as contradictory, explorative, expansive and genre-defying: pummeling drumming, enormous power chord riffs and rumbling down-tuned bass help to create a murky and evil sound.  Slated for a July 27, 2020 release through Krucyator Productions, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut A Travers Les Lambeaux, reportedly finds the band taking a much different songwriting approach. While still drawing from ancient history, the album’s material explores themes of rage, sorrow and madness — but the album features some of Emond’s most personal and urgent lyrics to date. 

“Les Secrets des Ziggourats,” A Traver Les Lambeaux’s lattât single is a furious and forceful aural assault centered around pummeling drumming, enormous power chord-based riffage, rumbling bass and howled vocals. While the song — to my ears, at least — seems to evoke the gates of hell slowly being opened, the track is a howl of desperate and seemingly unending despair and of awe.  “‘Les Secrets des Ziggourats’ talks about mental health — more precisely schizophrenia and epilepsy — and their roles during ancient times,” the band explains in press notes. “People with such mental illness were often portrayed as they came from the gods themselves.” 

Lyric Video: Montreal-based Pop Artist Thaïs Releases an Ethereal and Shimmering New Single

Thaïs is an emerging Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who specializes in an atmospheric and delicate pop centered around the French Canadian singer/songwriter’s ethereal vocals. Thematically her work focuses on melancholy, loneliness and dysfunctional and confusing love.

“Boréal,” the Montreal-based artist’s latest single finds her further establishing her sound as you’ll hear shimmering synths, thumping beats, warm blasts of looping electric guitar, a soaring hook and Thaïs’ ethereal and plaintive vocals, wobbling low end and skittering beats. Interestingly, the song was inspired by a trip that the French Canadian artist took to Iceland — and as a result, the song evokes the awe-inspiring sense of being in gorgeous, natural spaces, and taking it all deep into your soul. 

Hologramme · Préface (Printemps) – Hologramme

Clément Leduc is a Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, songwriter and electronic music artist, who initially made a name for himself by collaborating with fellow Canadian artists Geoffroy, La Bronze and Dead Obies.  Leduc stepped out from behind the dials and knobs and into the spotlight as a solo artist with his solo recording project Hologramme. Leduc’s self-produced, 2015 Hologramme debut was released to critical applause, eventually landing on ICI Musique‘s Best Albums list an being named GAMIQ’s Best Electronic Album of the Year.

Leduc spent  2018 in Berlin, where he soaked up new influences and new sounds that wound up deeply influencing his critically applauded,  sophomore album last year’s Felicity, an effort that saw him collaborating with Les praises’ and Hubert Lenoir‘s Felix Petit, Gustafson’s Adrien Bletton, Senegalese guitarist Assane Seck, and Laurence-Anne‘s Laurent Saint Pierre to create a dream-like and sensual soundscape that drew from the  music of South Africa and South America.

The Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and songwriter has had an enormous year so far: he released a five song remix EP Felicity tracks with remixes by Fakear, Robert Robert, Ouri and others, earlier this month — and he released his first bit of new material since the release of Felicity with “Alaska,” a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, bubbling electronics, shuffling and clattering beats and sultry vocal samples that’s both dance floor friendly and cinematic.

“Préface (Printemps),” the rising French Canadian producer’s second and latest single of 2020 continues a run of cinematic material with elements of deep house and techno  — but while being a less polished and urgent track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, sultry vocal samples within an expansive song structure featuring atmospheric and dreamy sections. Much like its predecessor, the track will bring comparisons to Bonobo and Octo Octa — but while balancing earnestness with ambition.

 

 

Lyric Video: French Electro Pop Duo Ninety’s Story Returns with an Atmospheric, R&B Inspired Single

Tracing their origins back to when its members — Guillaume Adamo and Florian Deyz — met in grade school, the Nice, France-based indie pop duo Ninety’s Story have developed a warm, sophisticated and sensual music inspired by the French Riviera and the likes of Phoenix, Daft Punk and Air. The duo released their debut single “KIKUKYU” and their debut EP through Kitsuné Musique in 2017. Adding to a growing profile, the Nice-based duo have opened for Archive, Morcheeba, Pale Waves and Puggy among others.

Additionally, the duo wrote the music for Citroën C4 Aircross ad campaign that aired in China —  with the band representing the company at the Paris and Hangzhou Motor Shows. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that I wrote about the rising French duo’s acoustic rendition of the breezy yet anthemic “APO.” The French electronic duo return with the sultry R&B-influenced “Home.” Centered around skittering trap and boom bap beats, atmospheric synths, expressive and bluesy bursts of guitar, fuzzy bass synth, plaintive vocals, a soaring hook and an enormous drop “Home” may remind some listeners of JOVM mainstays Beacon, as well as Montreal’s Seoul and Detroit-based JOVM mainstays Gosh Pith. “The song was composed, produced and recorded in Brussels during the quarantine period,” the rising French duo explain. “Everything was quiet outside and put us into a very inspiring [sic] mood, different than usual.”

Directed by Victor Rahman, the recently released, cinematically shot lyric video features the rising French duo rocking out to the song during a gorgeous purple-red sunset. “For the video, we drove across Belgium and just stop [sic] in a  spot were [sic] the sunset and the sea were beautiful. We just put the music [on] very loud and enjoyed the vibe in front of the camera,” the duo says. 

RockLee · It’s a Feeling (feat. Mel Pacifico & Uness)

 

Born Frantz-Lee Leonard, Montreal-based jazz-trained, drummer RockLee started his music career as a member of Lazy Lee. Since then, Leonard has spent the bulk of his career as a hired gun, who has toured across the globe playing pop and world music.  And as a result, Leonard has shared stages with Corneille and Wesli, Muzion, Claude Dubois, Paul Cargnello, Dominque Fils-Aimé and a lengthy list of others.

Recently, Leonard has transitioned to a life behind the scenes, as a producer. Drawing from his extensive experience as a performer and songwriter, Leonard quickly developed a reputation for being one of his hometown’s best kept secrets — but with the forthcoming release of a solo album, which will find him collaborating with a variety of different artists. Describing his sound as “a fusion of sounds meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia,” his goal as a producer is to offer a new generation of music listeners and fans the chance to sonically reconnect with the most important moments — with the tacit understanding that music is most often the emotional center of our lives.

Co-written by Paul Cargnello, “It’s A Feeling” the album’s first single is centered around a sultry Quiet Storm-like production featuring skittering beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, squiggling blasts of guitar, twinkling keys and an infectious, radio friendly hook paired with a soulful and achingly yearning duet between two of Montreal’s up-and-coming R&B artists Mel Pacifico and Uness. What seems to set RockLee and this particular song apart from countless others  — to my ears, at least — is the fact that the song meshes an ambitious yet accessible production and earnest songwriting with a decided sense of purpose. 

 

 

 

 

 

Blinker the Star · Silent Types

I’ve written quite a bit about Jordon Zadorozny, the Pembroke, Ontario-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind acclaimed indie rock recording project Blinker The Star over the past few months. Zadorozny initially started the project as a solo project but by the time the  act signed to A&M Records, the project expanded into a full-fledged band for their first two albums — 1995’s self-titled debut and 1996’s A Bourgeois Kitten. During those early years, the band built up a profile nationally and elsewhere through steady touring.

In 1997, Zadorozny relocated from Montreal to Los Angeles, where he worked with Courtney Love, helping craft songs for Hole’s acclaimed and commercially successful album Celebrity Skin. While in Los Angeles, Zadorozny began soaking up new influences and became increasingly fascinated with production. Signing with Dreamworks in 1999, the band, which at the time featured Zadorozny, Failure’s Kelli Scott (drums), longtime bassist Pete Frolander and a rotating cast of Southern California-based session musicians recorded and released their critically applauded third album August Everywhere, which they supported with touring across North America with Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Failure and The Flaming Lips. 

Returning back to Pembroke in 2002, Zadorozny built his first commercial recording studio and began working with Sam Roberts, contributing drums and producing Roberts’ breakthrough debut EP The Inhuman Condition. Zadorozny also worked on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Chris Cornell, Lindsey Buckingham and others.

During the Winter of 2003, Zadorozny wrote and recorded Blinker The Star’s fourth album Still In Rome as a duo with Kelli Scott. Following a brief tour to support the album, the Pembroke, Ontario-born multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter quickly settled into the production side of the things working with an electric array of artists, including collaborative projects like Digital Noise Academy, SheLoom,  The Angry Moon, and others.

2012’s fourth album, We Draw Lines was the first Blinker The Star album that Zadorozny wrote and recorded as a solo recording project since he started the project over a decade earlier.  Interestingly, We Draw Lines began a rather prolific period that included 2013’s Songs from Laniakea Beach, a one-off single “Future Fires,” 2015’s 11235 EP, 2017’s 8 of Hearts and last year’s Careful With Your Magic.

After completing a short run of shows last fall, Zodorozny began working working on new material at his Skylark Park Studio. The solitude of his environment helped inform his forthcoming Blinker The Star album Juvenile Universe, which is slated for release this summer. So far, I’ve written about two of the album’s singles — the Station to Station-era David Bowie-like “Way Off Wave,” and the jangling, 70s rock-like “Only To Run Wild.” The album’s third and latest single, “Silent Type” is a decidedly 80s New Wave-inspired track, featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, glistening and angular guitars, a propulsive bass line and an enormous hook that reminds me a little bit of  Yes‘ “Owner of Lonely Heart.” But under the slick radio friendly production, the track continues a run of ambitious and deliberately crafted material.

 

 

Fonkyson is a rising Montreal-based future house and electro funk DJ and producer, who has released a full-length album — 2016’s #followme— and a handful of singles through Lisbon Lux Records. Earlier this year, the Montreal-based DJ and producer released his latest album Falling, which featured “You Got It.” Centered around Vanes’ sultry, come hither vocals, a sinuous bass line, handclaps and finger snaps, shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and an infectious hook, “You Got It” was a summery, club banger that seamlessly meshed ’80s synth funk and ’90s house.

“Giving U Up,” Falling‘s latest single is a a straightforward ’90s inspired house music collaboration featuring Desiire and Kôsa. Centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end, stuttering beats, soulful vocal turns from Desiire and Kôsa and an an enormous hook, “Giving U Up” is an earnest and swooning declaration of devotion that simultaneously further establishes Fonkyson’s unerring knack for crafting infectious and summery club bangers.

 

 

 

New Video: No Joy Releases a Trippy Visual for Shimmering and House Music-Leaning “Birthmark”

Jasamine White-Gluz is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded recording project No Joy. Starting over a decade ago as a series of emailed riffs sent back and forth between White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, the project has been centered around White-Gluz’s  restless experimentation, going through a number of different sonic permutations through the years with subsequent albums showcasing a penchant foe delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion and sludgey drones over disco beats. 

In 2018, White-Gluz collaborated with Spacemen’s 3 Pete Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom on a collaborative EP that saw the Montreal-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist trading the guitars she was best known for, for modular synths on an effort that seemed indebted to Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead. Interestingly, Motherhood, the first No Joy full-length effort in five years, is reportedly sort of return to form with the material echoing the project’s early shoegazer roots, while expanding the overall sonic palette with nods at trip hop, trance and with the reincorporation of guitars, nu-metal.

Slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Joyful Noise Recordings and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada, the Jorge Elbrecht co-produced Motherhood is the culmination of several years writing outside of White-Gluz’s comfort zone and a return to DIY recording with a growing and deepening expertise in production. 

Touring with genre-divergent artists has helped the Montreal-based artist’s genre-defying sound and approach: while touring with Quicksand, No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans and ambient techno fans while touring with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.” “Birthmark,” Motherhood’s first single features atmospheric synths, propulsive boom-bap like beats further emphasized with muscular bongos and other percussion, shimmering blasts of guitars centered around a sng alternating loud and quiet sections and a soaring hook. Sonically, the song is a trippy yet seamless synthesis of Brit Pop, shoegaze, trip hop and house music.

Directed by Jordan “Dr. Cool” Minkoff, the recently released video was shot adhering to social distancing guidelines and features footage that White-Gluz shot at her home and stars Diavion Nichols, a dancer that the Montreal-based artists found on Instagram and a goat named Piquette.  “We made this video while in quarantine. I filmed myself at home and asked my very talented friend Jordan to help build a world around the footage,” White-Gluz says of the recently released video. “Diavion had been dancing to No Joy on his instagram and I was a huge fan so reached out and asked him to choreograph a routine for this song. While in the studio, I wanted to keep the energy fun and throw any ideas at the wall. We ended up watching the video for ‘Puff Puff Give’ by Hannah’s Field, pulled out some bongos, a broken clarinet, drank 12 bottles of sake and did group chants.”