Tag: Montreal QC

Live Footage: Lisa LeBlanc Performs “Dans l’jus” at Francos de Montréal 2023

Lisa LeBlanc is an acclaimed Rosaireville, New Brunswick-born, Montréal-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (banjo and guitar), who proudly claims Acadian heritage — and comes from a family of passionate music lovers. (In case you’re curious — as I was — Cajuns are often described as descendants of Acadian exiles, who went to Louisiana during Britain’s Great Expulsion of Acadians from what is now known as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, parts of Eastern Québec and Northern Maine. To simplify it a quite a bit, Acadians and Cajuns are historically very deeply connected, although it’s kind of confusing.)

LeBlanc can trace the origins of her professional career to when she turned 14 and stared to write her own original songs. She played her first shows at O’Donaghues in Miramichi with her mother accompanying her because she was underage — and couldn’t be legally in the bar by herself. But despite her relative youth, she quickly received recognition for her guitar playing and for being a promising singer/songwriter when she won 2010’s Festival International de chanson de Granby – singing material in French.

The juried award brought her to the attention of the country’s Francophone media. And as a result, she wound up playing Coup de cœur francophoneFrancoFoiles de Montréal and at Festival d’été de Québec by the following year.

Building upon a growing profile across Francophone Canada, LeBlanc’s full-length, self-titled debut was released in 2012 by Montréal-based label Bonsound. Primarily written while she was still living in her native Rosaireville, studying at L’École nationale de la chanson with portions written in Montréal, where she eventually relocated, the album was recorded by Karkwa’s Louis-Jean Cormier at Studio Piccolo. The album is best known for the single “Aujuord’hui ma vie c’est d’la marde” (“Today My Life is Shit”) – and because of the success of that single, the album eventually was certified platinum by Music Canada. 

2014’s Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted, her critically applauded and commercially successful English-language EP debuted at #7 on the Canadian Album Charts. 

LeBlanc’s sophomore album, 2016’s bilingual Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? featured songs both in English and French, as well as a thrash-folk cover of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” which helped to establish what she has dubbed as thrash-folk. The album was on that year’s shortlist for the Polaris Music Prize

Back in 2020, LeBlanc, under the pseudonym Belinda released It’s Not a Game, It’s a Lifestyle, a five-song EP of disco songs specifically about bingo – yes, bingo.

The Canadian artist’s third album, last year’s Chiac Disco is a glittery, dance floor friendly tribute to disco, funk and Lee Hazlewood with colorful lyrics sung boldly, loudly and proudly that was released to critical acclaim from CBC Music, La Presse, Le Journal de Montréal, Montréal Gazette, KCRW, Exclaim!, and countless others.

Today, the acclaimed Rosaireville-born, Montréal-based artist announced a Stateside tour in December that will include a December 6, 2023 stop at Café Wha? (Tour dates are below. But you can get more information, including tickets here.)”I recently dug up some photos from our last East Coast tour in the US from 2018,” LeBlanc recalls. “I remember during our New York show, there was a record snow storm and the city was a total ghost town with subways canceled and everything. Despite this, about 300 people came and I couldn’t believe my eyes and kept pinching myself that we were playing NYC for a room full of beautiful people. Needless to say, I’m really excited to come see you all again on my upcoming US tour in December!
Along with the announcement, LeBlanc shared live footage of her and her backing band performing “Dans l’jus” in front of 45,000 people at this year’s Francos de Montréal, an annual, eight-day Francophone music festival with 250 shows in venues across Downtown Montréal, including a massive, outdoor festival stage in the city’s Quartier des Spectacles section.

“Dans l’jus” is a bombastic dance floor banger that’s roughly one-part Talking Heads, one-part Blondie, one-part glam rock and three-quarters glittery disco funk grooves built around a hypnotic, hook-driven arrangement paired with lyrics that openly discuss the seemingly omnipresence of burnout, frustration and dissatisfaction in our society.

The footage is a small portion of an entire show that was originally broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, but it reveals a super tight band that can quickly get into an irresistibly funky groove, fronted by a high-energy, dynamic frontperson. LeBlanc and her backing band headlined an M for Montréal showcase at Darling Bowling last year, and it was one of the most memorable and downright fun sets of that year’s festival. So trust me on this, if she’s playing at a city near you, don’t fuck up and miss her.

Montréal-based psych rock outfit Population II — Pierre-Luc Gratton (vocals, drums), Tristan Lacombe (guitar, keys) and Sébastien Provençal (bass) — can trace their origin back a long way and are inextricably linked to their teenage memories. After years of jamming to the point of developing a unique sense of telepathy, the trio began recording independently released material that caught the attention of Castle Face Records head and The Oh Sees‘ frontman John Dwyer, who released the band’s full-length debut, 2020’s À la Ô Terre, an album that saw the band displaying their mastery of improvised and sophisticated composition. 

The Montréal-based psych outfit then spent the better pat of the next two years touring to support their full-length debut, which included stops at SXSWPop MontréalToronto, NYC, and Quebec City

This past winter, Population II signed with Bonsound‘s label, booking and publishing arms. The taste making Montréal-based label will be releasing the Canadian trio’s highly anticipated Emmanuel Èthier-produced sophomore album Èlectrons libres du québec. Slated for an Friday release, Population II’s sophomore effort is reportedly much more straightforward than its predecessor, and sees the trio crafting heavy psych rock infused with feverish punk rhythms, a burst of early punk energy, a hint of jazz philosophy and a love of minor scales that channel the early roots of heavy metal. The album’s material also sees the trio continuing to showcase their deft musicianship and expertise of their instruments with the material effortlessly balancing between challenging compositions and memorable melodies. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I’ve managed to write about two of its singles:

Beau baptême,” a song built around a fairly traditional and recognizable song structure — verse, chorus, verse, bridge, coda — that’s roomy enough for buying power chord-driven riffs and mind-melting grooves paired with Gratton’s ethereal crooning. The song sees the trio deftly balancing jazz-inspired improvisational sensibilities with the tight restraint of a deliberately crafted composition. 

The song explores the psychological journey around inspiration and focuses on the very genesis of ideas — namely how ideas are actually born and the opinions they generate. Throughout the song, the band’s Pierre-Luc Gratton sings about how writing can sometimes happen with ease and spontaneity and sometimes requires deep, long reflection. Fittingly, the song is rooted in a lived-in specificity.

C.T.Q.S,” a song that begins with a driving rhythm, dissonant 70s jazz fusion/prog rock organ with a slightly menacing, off-kilter vibe and a relentless punk rock-like urgency before veering into a krautrock-meets-psych ripper around the song’s halfway point. Featuring tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the band’s Gratton taunts those who are too passive and have surrendered in the face of the world’s current, turbulent state. 

“‘C.T.Q.S’. is the manifestation of the tribulations of the past among today’s youth,” the Montréal-based trio explain. “It’s the calm after the storm, the law of suburbia, the boomer’s victory lap. It’s searching the ‘Local business” category on Amazon.”

Èlectrons libres du québec‘s third and latest single “Pourquoi qu’on dort pas” features Caribou‘s and Born RuffiansColin Fisher contributing forceful saxophone lines, which manage to add soulful harmony and chaotic dissonance to the affair. The trio manage to quickly lock into a scuzzy and forceful Stooges-like groove with dreamy and campy bursts of organ paired with Gratton’s dreamy falsetto. The song manages to evoke the fuzziness brain fog and detachment of insomnia.

With a title that translates into English as “Why Aren’t We Sleeping,” “Pourquoi qu’on dort pas” can trace its origins to a number of late-night strolls through the streets of Montréal’s Ahuntsic neighborhood. “During the time we wrote that song, Pierre-Luc (singer/drummer) used to go running at night when he couldn’t sleep, explains the trio. As the flora and fauna of Ahuntsic is very diverse, he often came across geese.” Fittingly, the song thematically explores birds as symbolic figures.

Tour dates
21/10/2023 – Saint-Hyacinthe, QC – Le Zaricot ° 
° Double bill with Yoo Doo Right

New Video: La Sécurité Shares Bouncy Dance Punk Anthem “Serpent”

Montréal-based art punk quintet La Sécurité features a collection of acclaimed local players, with the band featuring current and past members of Choses SauvagesLaurence-AnneSilver Dapple, DATESPressure Pin, and others. Since their formation last year. the Canadian quintet have quickly developed and cemented their sound and approach: Meandering around the fringes of punk, New Wave and krautrock, the quintet’s take on art punk pairs jumpy beats, off-kilter arrangements and minimalistic yet melodic hooks, run through an insomniac filter. And while their music is razor sharp and danceable, their lyrical content is rooted in the feminist community-centric ethos of the Riot Grrrl movement. “It’s not just fun and games… it also bites. It’s catchy earworms delivered with a punk attitude,” guitarist Melissa Di Menna says. 

In a relatively short period of time, La Securité has quickly made a name for themselves in both the national and international scene: They’ve been invited to play at SXSWFMEPhoque Off, Taverne Tour and DISTORSION Psych Fest, and they’ve shared stages with AutomaticOrchestre Tout Puissant Marcel DuchampTVODMargaritas PodridasCIVIC, and Duchess Says. Building upon a growing profile, the French Canadian quintet’s highly-anticipated Samuel Gemme-produced full-length debut, Stay Safe! is slated for a June 16, 2023 release through Mothland

Recorded at Gamma Recording StudioStay Safe! reportedly features songs that are manic yet surprisingly laid-back, empowering and urgent, reflective yet melancholy — all while mischievously flouting stylistic form every chance they can get.

Last month, I wrote about album single “Anyway,” a scorcher built around buzzing and slashing power chords, a chugging motorik groove, bombastic hooks and choruses paired with a cooler-than-you swagger. But underneath the frenetic energy is a song informed by a deeply personal yet universal and super heavy subject: “This song was written in the early stages of dealing with grief related to miscarriage and pleads a sort of surrender to the strain it can put on a couple processing it,” La Securité’s vocalist Éliane Viens-Symott explains in press notes. 

Stay Safe!‘s second and latest single “Serpent” sees the Montréal-based post punk outfit quickly locking into the sort of dance punk groove that brings Echoes-era The Rapture and early LCD Soundsystem to mind paired with insistent shaker-driven percussion, twinkling keys, the collective’s unerring knack for dance floor friendly hooks and choruses and lyrics — in French — describing friend group drama. The song is a cheeky and sarcastic ode to complicated friendships that despite the language is very familiar. As the band puts it, The person it is directed towards loves dancing. It’s a pretty dancy song. We hope they dance to it.” 

Directed by the band, the accompanying video for “Serpent” features lo-fi, vintage camera shot footage during their most recent run SXSW that showcases the band’s adventures around Austin — and the snarky and playful joy at the heart of the song.

Sôra is an emerging Paris-born, Montréal-based singer/songwriter and composer. After completing studies in Modern Languages, music and jazz vocal, the Paris-born, Montréal-based artist sang in a number of different bands before stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her debut EP 2018’s Number One.

Her full-length debut, 2021’s Long Life to Phil was written as a tribute to her father Phillipe — and was released through Colligence Records.

“You Love Me,” is the first bit of original material since the release of Long Life to Phil is a slickly bit of contemporary R&B/soul built around skittering trap beats, woozy and wobbling low end paired with the emerging Canadian-based artist’s sultry delivery. Inspired by the likes of Brent Faiyaz, Snoh Aalegra, and Jorja Smith, the new single is a wildly accessible bop but rooted in seemingly lived-in experience with Sôra expressing longing and frustration. “It reflects the difficulties one encounters in a relationship where love isn’t expressed the same way,” she explains.

New Audio: Habitat Canada and Druzy Team Up on a 80s Funk-Inspired Bop

Habitat Canada is a rising yet mysterious Montréal-based solo electronic music project that’s inspired visually by 70s and 80s noir, the sounds created by the beloved Prophet Synthesizer, and electronic music artists and composers like Vangelis, Kavinsky, and HERO. Since emerging into the scene back in 2021, the Canadian artist has released a growing collection of work that’s been well received by music cognoscenti, landing on a broad range of playlists and blogs. Building upon a rapidly growing profile internationally, Habitat Canada has had his work featured in a New York Post news docuseries, a Ford Motors commercial, and other film projects.

Over the past couple of years, the rising Canadian artist’s work has increasingly paid homage to 70s and 80s horror and sci-fi movie soundtracks, complete with the familiar — and perhaps prerequisite — grit and palpable tension. Slated for a June 2023 release through DRRT Records, his forthcoming EP, Lunar Spectrum is reportedly informed by “Scarecrow,” his collaboration with Rush Midnight that saw him delving deeper into retro-futuristic sounds, while also showcasing the rising producer and artist’s skills.

“Fascination,” Lunar Spectrum EP‘s latest single features a sultry and yearning and sultry pop starlet turn from Los Angeles-based funk duo Druzy, and fittingly is a breezy and funky bit of 80s nostalgia that immediately brings Prince, Control and Rhythm Nation-era Janet Jackson, Let’s Dance-era David Bowie, Nile Rodgers, Rio-era Duran Duran and others to mind — but with a clean, hyper modern sheen. It’s a fun, party-starting bop meant to get asses out of seats and moving.

“I started working on the track not long after meeting with Druzy for the 1st time (our first collab was entirely virtual due to the pandemic and being based on opposite sides of the country). We kicked it off on a rooftop in Downtown LA and I had a sound and image in mind,” Habitat Canada explains. “The song structure came pretty fast, the heavy drum and bass groove added with some industrial effects gave us a nice jolt of brightness to the darker sound palette on the EP. The team at DRRT sent it quickly to Druzy in hopes of doing a second collaboration together. We were all super excited about the result and couldn’t have asked for a better fit.”

“We love Habitat Canada‘s music and our previous collaboration, ‘Speed of Light’, was a pleasure to work on so it was an immediate yes to doing another collab with Nico,” Druzy explains. “Especially when we got sent a track this good to write on!”

New Video: Acclaimed Inuk Artist Elisapie Shares a Gorgeous Adaptation OF Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”

Acclaimed Montréal-based singer/songwriter, musician, actor and activist Elisapie Issac (best known as the mononymic Elisapie) was born and raised in Salluit, a small village in Nunavik, Québec’s northernmost region. In this extremely remote community, accessible only by plane, Issac was raised by an extended, yet slightly dysfunctional adoptive family. Growing up in Salliut, she lived through the loss of cousins who ended their lives. experienced young love, danced the night away at the village’s community center and witnessed first hand, the effects of colonialism — i.e., poverty, hopelessness, alcoholism, suicide, and more.

A teenaged Issac began performing on stage with her uncles, who were members of Sugluk (also known as Salliut Band), a famous and well-regarded Inuit rock band. She also worked at TNI, the village’s radio station, which broadcast across the region. And while working for the radio station, the teenaged Issac managed to secure an interview with Metallica.

Much like countless bright and ambitious young people across the world, Issac moved to the big city — in this case, Montréal to study and, ultimately, pursue a career in music. Since then, her work, whether within the confines of a band or as a solo artist, her unconditional attachment to her native territory, its people, and to her language, Inuktitut is at the core of her work. Spoken for millennia, Inuktitut embodies the harshness of its environment and the wild yet breathtaking beauty of the Inuit territory. Thematically, her work frequently pairs Intuit themes and concerns with modern rock music, mixing tradition with modernity in a deft fashion.

She won her first Juno Award as a member of Taima, and since then Issac’s work has received rapturous critical acclaim: 2018’s The Ballad of the Runaway Girl was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, earned her a number of Association du disque, de l’industrie du spectacle Québeécois (ADISQ) Felix Awards and a Juno Award nod. She followed up with a performance with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal — at the invitation of Grammy Award-winning maestro Yannick Nézet Séguin — at Central Park SummerStage, a NPR Tiny Desk Session and headlining or festival sets both locally and internationally.

In her native Canada, Issac is also known as an actor, starting in the TV series Motel Paradis and C.S. Roy’s experimental indie film VFC, which was released earlier this year. She’s also graced the cover of a number of nationally known magazines including Châtelaine, Elle Québec and a long list of others. And as a devoted activist, she created and produced the first nation-wide broadcast TV show to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day.

Slated for a September 15, 2023 release through Bonsound, Issac’s forthcoming album Inuktiut features inventive re-imaginings of songs by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica and more. These are all acts and artists that the acclaimed Inuk artist received permission from. Elisapie has imbued each song with both depth and purpose, an act of cultural reappropriation that reinvigorates the poetry of these 10 classics by placing them within Inuit traditions. The album’s first single “Uummati Attanarsimat (Heart of Glass),” caught the attention of the legendary Debbie Harry.

The album’s second and latest single is a gorgeous and fairly faithful Inuktiut adaptation of Cyndi Lauper‘s 1983 Rob Hyman co-written smash hit “Time After Time” that retains the familiar beloved melody of the original paired with a percussive yet atmospheric arrangement and Issac’s gorgeous, achingly tender delivery.

Much like her previous single, “Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time)” was inspired by a childhood memory of Elisapie’s aunt Alasie and her cousin Susie:
“I was able to get through my pre-teen years, thanks to my Aunt Alasie, as my mother had neither the knowledge nor the experience to give me a crash course on puberty, fashion or social relationships,” Isaac recalls. “In addition to entering a new chapter in my life, we were in the midst of the 80’s and modernity was shaking up our traditional methods. My mother’s generation had lived in Igloos, and the cultural changes were too swift. 
Despite her struggles, my aunt ensured I felt accepted and exposed me to new and modern things like TV, clothes, dancing, Kraft Dinner and make-up! 
Whenever I went to my aunt’s house, I was in awe of my older girl cousins. They were all so cool and stylish, and they loved pop music and the crazy makeup of the 80s and early 90s.  One of my favorite memories is listening to the radio with them and hearing Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ for the first time. It was like a lightning bolt, and I couldn’t separate the song or the artist from my older cousin Susie. For me, the song was all about her search for beauty, connection, love, and rising above pain.”

Directed by Philippe Léonard and edited by Omar Elhamy, the accompanying video for “Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time)” features home video-shot footage of dances, performances and games at her beloved community center, of kids just being kids and a slow yet steady encroachment of modernity as we see at least one kid popping and locking like Crazylegzs or least trying to do so. The video is a lovingly nostalgic look at the acclaimed Inuk’s community and of her childhood, making the video a meditation on the passing of time, and in some way the impact of pop culture on a young person trying to find their place in a changing world.

New Video: Montréal Art Punks La Securité Share Frenetic Ripper “Anyway”

Montréal-based art punk quintet La Securité features a collection of acclaimed local players, with the band featuring current and past members of Choses Sauvages, Laurence-Anne, Silver Dapple, DATES, Pressure Pin, and others. Since their formation last year. the Canadian quintet have quickly developed and cemented their sound and approach: Meandering around the fringes of punk, New Wave and krautrock, the quintet’s take on art punk pairs jumpy beats, off-kilter arrangements and minimalistic yet melodic hooks, run through an insomniac filter. And while their music is razor sharp and danceable, their lyrical content is rooted in the feminist community-centric ethos of the Riot Grrrl movement. “It’s not just fun and games… it also bites. It’s catchy earworms delivered with a punk attitude,” guitarist Melissa Di Menna says. 

In a relatively short period of time, La Securité has quickly made a name for themselves in both the national and international scene: They’ve been invited to play at SXSW, FME, Phoque Off, Taverne Tour and DISTORSION Psych Fest, and they’ve shared stages with Automatic, Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, TVOD, Margaritas Podridas, CIVIC, and Duchess Says. Building upon a growing profile, the French Canadian quintet’s highly-anticipated Samuel Gemme-produced full-length debut, Stay Safe! is slated for a June 16, 2023 release through Mothland.

Recorded at Gamma Recording Studio, Stay Safe! reportedly features songs that manic yet surprisingly laid-back, empowering and urgent, reflective yet melancholy — all while mischievously flouting stylistic form every chance they can get. The album’s latest single “Anyway” is a scorcher built around buzzing and slashing power chords, a chugging motorik groove, bombastic hooks and choruses paired with a cooler-than-you swagger. But underneath the song’s frenetic energy is a song informed by a deeply personal yet universal, and very heavy subject: “This song was written in the early stages of dealing with grief related to miscarriage and pleads a sort of surrender to the strain it can put on a couple processing it,” La Securité’s vocalist Éliane Viens-Symott explains in press notes.

Directed by the members of the band, the accompanying video for “Anyway” was shot on VHS and follows the band in what has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the world. We see the band playing in joints around town, hanging out and goofing around. It’s exuberant, mischievous and stylish as hell. The video and album announcements come on the heels of the band’s SXSW appearance this year. So this year looks to be a big year for the Montréal-based outfit.

New Audio: Bodywash Shares Woozy and Buzzing “Perfect Blue”

Montréal-based JOVM mainstays Bodywash — Chris Steward and Rosie Long Dector — can trace their origins back to when the pair met while attending McGill University. But when they met, the pair didn’t immediately share a common musical language: Steward grew up in London listening to celestial dream pop while Dector grew up in Toronto listening to folk and Canadiana. The music they began writing together saw the pair bridging their influences. With the release of 2016’s self-titled EP and 2019’s full-length debut, Comforter, the Montréal-based duo firmly established their sound — slow-burning and dreamy material centered around ethereal vocals, intricate guitar lines and pulsating synths. 

The Canadian shoegazers’ sophomore album I Held the Shape While I Could is slated for a Friday release through Light Organ Records. When touring to support Comforter was cut short by the pandemic, the duo used the unexpected hiatus to write new material, which was darker, more experimental and more invigorating than its predecessor. The new material also manages to reflect on Steward’s and Long Dector’s separate and shared experiences of losing a sense of place, the way something once solid can slip between your fingers, and their attempts to build something new from the psychological and emotional fallout. 

Over the past handful of months I’ve managed to write about the forthcoming album’s first three singles: 

Kind of Light.” the sophomore album’s expansive first single. Beginning with a slow-burning and elegiac intro featuring glistening organ and a skittering yet propulsive kick pattern that slow builds up and breaks into a high energy boom bap-like breakbeat paired with scorching guitar squealing and wobbling bass synths. Long Decter’s ethereal and achingly plaintive vocals expressing profound, heart-wrenching despair — and hope. The song suggests that while loss is natural and sadly expected there can be hope; that there are only a handful of things in our lives that are truly permanent. And that ultimately for the most part, it can get better. 

“I wrote ‘Kind of Light’ in bed,” Long Decter says. ““It was the fall of 2018 and Chris and I were both going through experiences of learning not to trust what feels like home. He sent me a plugin for a new organ sound, suggesting it might provide inspiration. I sent him back chords, a kick pattern, and some vocals about trying to pull your legs back; trying to take your energy out of the wreckage and put it into yourself. The process of deciding what’s worth keeping, what can be reworked and what gets tossed in the fire. A process that is devastating and also weirdly invigorating, because you can see new possibilities opening up in front of you. And you can start to look for light somewhere else.”

Massif Central” a woozy track that features glistening synth bursts, shimmering and angular post punk-meets-shoegaeze-like textures paired with a relentless motorik groove, stormy guitar feedback and Steward’s ethereal whispers recounting an experience of Kafka-esque, bureaucratic purgatory: a typo in a government letter caused Steward to lose his legal work status in Canada. The song manages to evoke the sensation of having your life flipped upside down, then being hopelessly stuck and having no say or agency in your situation. 

“After eight years living in Canada, in the Spring of 2021, a government clerical error caused me to lose my legal status here,” Steward explains. “As a UK national, I lost my right to work. My savings trickled away during months where I could do little but pace the corners of my apartment. I was prepared to pack my bags and leave as the life I’d hoped to construct for myself seemed to vanish into a bureaucratic abyss.”
“‘Massif’ is the sound of wailing into a cliff and not knowing if you’ll hear an echo,” continued Steward. “The spoken word is inspired by a squirrel that was trapped in the wall behind my bed, clawing its way to salvation. With the help of friends, family, music, and a few immigration lawyers (and the rest of my savings), I’m now a permanent resident here. But this song remains as testament to my experience with an exploitative institution.”

No Repair” is a slow-burning and melancholy ballad featuring strummed acoustic guitar, Long Dector’s achingly tender, bruised delivery, Country Western-tinged percussion by Ryan White, atmospheric synths and swelling bursts of lap steel by Micah Flavin. The end result is a song that’s a gorgeous mix of classic country and brooding shoegaze rooted in the lived-in, confusing experience of heartbreaking loss — in particular, the lingering ghosts despite their newfound absence. 

“In my early 20s I found myself in a disastrous love triangle,” Long Dector explains. “It was a mess of bad decisions and repressed queer longing and those things you chase because you hope they will prove you are real. I found myself writing repetitively about light and air and the absence of tactility. ‘No Repair’ came from the decision to let all that go…”

I Held the Shape While I Could‘s fourth and latest single “Perfect Blue” is arguably the most My Bloody Valentine-like song of the entire album. Built around bursts of fluttering synths, buzzing power chords and paired with a chugging motorik groove and Steward’s aching falsetto, “Perfect Blue” is a tumultuous storm, evoking the churn and wooziness of a deeply internalized conflict; the sort held by those who share a part of different cultures and are never fully fit in either.

“‘Perfect Blue’ takes its name and its inspiration from Satoshi Kon’s 1997 animated film,” Bodywash’s Chris Steward explains. “The themes of internal conflict and losing one’s sense of self really resonated with me when I first watched it during the winter of 2021. ‘Perfect Blue’ (the song) is an exploration of the many facets of my own cultural identity. Being both British and Japanese has often felt like a compromise. While it might be easy to romanticize this duality, the reality is that it’s impossible to wholly belong to either culture. What has brought me some solace in the past is their shared appreciation for shoegaze and ‘Perfect Blue’ is an ode to this common cultural heritage. We stacked breathy digital synths (inspired by Masahiro Ikumi’s ominous soundtrack) atop a wave of viscous fuzz guitars, in search of a “perfect blue” – a color the shade of renewal.”

New Video: PRIORS Shares Riotously Upbeat “Daffodil”

Led by singer/songwriter, creative mastermind, and producer, Chance Hutchinson, Montréal-based punk outfit PRIORS have been wildly prolific, dropping six releases, including three full-length albums since 2017. Each of those efforts have seen the Canadian punk outfit firmly cementing a melodic and dynamic punk sound. During that same period, PRIORS have developed a reputation for a wildly energetic live set that they’ve toured across Canada, the States and Europe, while sharing stages with The Mummies, Oblivians, Quintron, and Simply Saucer.

Adding to a growing profile across the indie and punk scene, the members of PRIORS have made the rounds of the international festival circuit with stops at Goner Fest and M for Montréal. (Their M for Mothland showcase set at last year’s M for Montréal was a personal highlight of a week-long trip of highlights.)

The Canadian outfit’s Max Deshernais co-produced Daffodil is slated for a June 2, 2023 release through Mothland. Serving as the band’s seventh release and fourth album overall, the album which features Sonic Avenues‘ Sebastien Godin (guitar), The Famines‘ Andrew Demers (drums) and Tabarnak’s Alan Hildebrandt (bass) is reportedly one of their most hopeful and uplifting efforts to date. Sonically, incisive rhythms serve as the basis for clever arrangements centered around fuzzy guitars, propulsive bass lines and analog synths are paired with Hutchinson’s punchily delivered vocals fed through a bit of reverb, and occasional sax blasts from CIVIC’s and The Steve Adamyk Band‘s Dave Forcier.

“I’d say Daffodil is a pop-heavy punk record with a lot of positive outlooks. I have spent the last six releases kicking the shit out of myself and it was time for a new vibe. A little sprinkle of positivity amongst the angst,” PRIORS’ Chance Hutchinson explains in press notes.

Daffodil‘s latest single, album title track “Daffodil” is built around a chugging and insistent buzzing electric guitar, strummed acoustic guitar, and blasts of wobbling Farfisa paired with an insistent backbeat and Hutchinson’s distorted and punchily delivered vocal. Although it’s more of a bounce and shout-along with the band sort of song, “Daffodil” manages to retain a feral yet joyous mosh pit friendly energy that’s infectious.

“’Daffodil’ is one of those songs that happened very quickly,” Hutchinson recalls. “All the parts just kind of wrote themselves including the vocal ideas. In the studio we opened it up a little more with the Vox Jaguar and acoustic guitar and Max added that wild ‘beach sound’ ending with the birds which I really feel pulls it all together.”

Directed by Studio Del Scorpio and featuring additionally photography by Billy Riley, the accompanying video for “Daffodil” captures a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road, including footage of the band playing sweaty, riotous shows across Canada, the incredibly same looking hotel rooms and roads and more.