Tag: Pop Montreal

New Video: Yoo Doo Right Shares Brooding Instrumental “The Failure of Tired, Stiff Friends”

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known — and perhaps most covered — songs, Montreal-based outfit Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band has described as “a car crash in slow motion.” 

Since their formation, You Doo Right have become a highly in-demand live act that has toured across North America, including making a run of the festival circuit with stops at LevitationM for MontrealSled IslandPop Montreal and New Colossus Festival earlier this year. Back in 2018, the Montreal-based experimental outfit was the main support act for Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury StrangersWooden ShjipsKikagkiu MoyoFACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

Yoo Doo Right’s highly-anticipated sophomore album A Murmur, Boundless To The East is slated for a June 10, 2022 through Mothland. After premiering the album’s material for hometown fans at Société des arts technologiques de Montréal, the band knew that there was only one way to record the album — live off-the-floor at Hotel2Tango. The band recruited acclaimed producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh to assist them in crafting their vision.

Last month, I wrote about  A Murmur, Boundless To The East‘s first single, the epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn,” a brooding mix of malevolence and uncanny beauty. The album’s second single, the instrumental track “The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends” is centered around arpeggiated synths, twinkling keys, a relentless bass line serving as a silky bed for a Ennio Morricone-like guitar theme. Much like its predecessor, “The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends” is a brooding and uneasy track that evokes lonely late night walks from the bar or a party in which you’re lost in your thoughts.

Directed and animated by Jared Karnas, follows a bored and lonely guy at a packed party. The night has stretched on, and he has spent a significant portion of the night, peeling the sticker off a beer bottle. He leaves the party and walks through the night streets of Montreal — to me, the video seems set in the Williamsburg-like Plateau Mont-Royal section — lost in his own brooding thoughts, barely noticing the couples in love or a sweet pup.

“The mood from this piece by Yoo Doo Right brings out a feeling I’m well accustomed to, which comes when we walk alone in the city, either very late at night, or very early in the morning,” Jared Karnas explains. “This moment of twilight that comes with sadness and loneliness, as we head back home after an evening that drew on. Time stops, we encounter people along the way, we hear the birds sing, yet we are lost in our thoughts, detached from our surroundings. It is this moment afloat that I set out to illustrate in this video.” 

New Video: Yoo Doo Right Shares Mind-Bending and Epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn”

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known — and perhaps most covered — songs, Montreal-based Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band has described as “a car crash in slow motion.” 

Since their formation, You Doo Right have become a highly in-demand live act that has toured across North America, including making a run of the festival circuit with stops at LevitationM for MontrealSled IslandPop Montreal and New Colossus Festival earlier this year. Back in 2018, the Montreal-based experimental outfit was the main support act for Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour that year — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury StrangersWooden ShjipsKikagkiu MoyoFACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

Their full-length debut, last year’s Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose featured the slow-burning exercise in restraint and unresolved tension, album title track Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose,” and the forceful and trippy motorik groove-driven “Presto Presto, Bella’s Dream.

Yoo Doo Right’s highly-anticipated sophomore album A Murmur, Boundless To The East is slated for a June 10, 2022 through Mothland. After premiering the album’s material for hometown fans at Société des arts technologiques de Montréal, the band knew that there was only one way to record the album — live off-the-floor at Hotel2Tango. The band recruited acclaimed producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh to assist them in crafting their vision.

A Murmur, Boundless To The East‘s first single, the epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn,” features a lengthy introductory section featuring oceanic guitar feedback paired with thunderous drumming before morphing into a brief krautrock section featuring oscillating synths, driving rhythms and glistening guitars paired with punchily delivered vocals. The song ends with a lengthy coda of oceanic guitar feedback and thunderous drumming.
The end result manages to be a brooding mix of malevolence and uncanny beauty.

Mackenzie Reid Rostad created an accompanying short film shot with thermal cameras, which gives the entire proceeding a spectral vibe. “We knew we wanted to explore a narrative or continuity with the film and in the end, this happened to be that of enclosure. It’s both a product and a process of something that itself has no end,” Reid explains. “The track’s title and those for the rest of the album really echo this general desire to transcend this something as manifest in the proliferating enclosures of the visible (fences, power lines, highways, etc.) and non-visible (frontiers, thresholds) world. The entire video was shot with a thermal camera and beyond the materiality of the image (light/heat and visible/non-visible), its very existence is a fragment of the latter, as this kind of technology has been developed and heavily deployed in the service of private property and national frontiers. These are the kinds of things I’m thinking about when listening to Yoo Doo Right anyhow and again this something, of which enclosure is an aspect, is a process. I started with this somewhere in the back of my mind and the music pulled this process out of everything that followed.”

New Video: Tanika Charles Teams Up with DijahSB on a Strutting and Triumphant Bop

Two-time Juno Award-nominated and Polaris Prize listed, Toronto-born and-based Trinidadian-Canadian singer/songwriter Tanika Charles spent a formative part of her life in Edmonton, when energy sector opportunities brought her family there. But whether they were in Toronto or Edmonton, music was a constant presence in the Charles household: Her father would return from two weeks on site with the latest jazz records for Tanika and her brothers to play and jam out along.

Several years later, Tanika’s eldest brother would be the first to coach her on how to sing and how to record a song. As a young adult., Charles relocated to Vancouver, where she picked up gigs as a backing vocalist and got a taste of tour life. When she returned to her birthplace, the Trinidadian-Canadian artist’s long-held dreams of becoming a professional artist began to come to fruition: She assembled her first backing band, and with that band recorded her debut EP What? What! What?! With the release of her debut EP, Charles quickly became a local scene fixture.

Back in  2016, Charles independently released her full-length debut Soul Run within her native Canada. The album was sensation nationally, with the album receiving a Polaris Music Prize nomination and a Juno Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. The following year, Italian purveyors of funk and soul Record Kicks released Soul Run internationally to critical applause from the likes of Exclaim!, Music Republic Magazine and others. Album singles like “Endless Chain,” “Love Fool,” and album title track “Soul Run” received regular radio rotation on stations across Canada, the US, the UK and France.

Charles’ sophomore album, 2019’s The Gumption was released through Record Kicks. The 12-song album picked up where Soul Run left off, further establishing the Canadian artist’s sound and approach in which classic soul is mixed with modern production. Thematically, the album saw Charles tackling moments of vindication, uncertain love, forbidden fruit and the state of the world. “It’s a little more mature,” Tanika said at the time. ““It’s not feeling guilty about being up front, not being afraid to address situations that aren’t comfortable for me. I’m comfortable in my skin now in a way I never was before.” The Gumption was long-listed for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize and nominated for the 2020 Juno Awards R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.

Along with her latest backing band, The Wonderfuls, Charles has toured across Canada and eight other counties to support Soul Run and The Gumption. Those tours have prominently featured stops across the local, national and global festival circuits, including Rennes Trans MusicalesNXNELärz FusionPop MontrealCanarias Jazz FestivalCBC Music FestivalTD Toronto Jazz FestBirmingham’s Mostly Funk, Soul and Jazz Festival, the Pan Am Games and a list of others.

The Canadian artist’s music has appeared on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie BlueThe CW’s SeedCTV’s Saving HopeCBC’s Kim Convenience and Workin’ Moms and a nationally broadcast KFC ad campaign. She also has appeared as a reoccurring guest on CBC Kids and as a lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls. Between a busy schedule as a touring musician, Charles appeared in the touring production of Freedom Singer in 2017. She returned to that role in February 2019’s Now We Recognize

Charles’ third album Papillon de Nuit: The Night Butterfly is slated for an April 8, 2022 release through Record Kicks. The album, which features guest spots from Toronto-based emcee DijahSB and multi-disciplinary artist Khari McClelland was written and recorded during and after pandemic related lockdowns and restrictions. Much like its immediate predecessor, the forthcoming album is reportedly anchored in growth and maturity. 

The album’s title is derived from an unlikely source, a creature that soars after the sun has set, but often goes unnoticed until light is shone on it. Referred to as “papillon de nuit” by some, the animal is more commonly known as a moth, possibly revealing a linguistic bias. “I always thought it was a strange insect,” the acclaimed Canadian artist says in press notes. “Once while in Paris, a friend swatted at one and I asked: ‘Was that a moth?’. I was told: ‘No, that’s a papillon de nuit.’ I thought that was the most beautiful description for this otherwise overlooked creature. When I later learned of the symbolism associated with it, I felt that really spoke to both my own situation and also what we’ve all been going through.”

Last month, I wrote about the funky, old-school soul-inspired bop “Rent Free,” a fiery tell-off to the energy sucking vampires, deadbeats, naysayers, haters, time wasters and other shitty people of life, centered around Charles’ effortless, Motown era-like delivery. We’ve all had those sorts in our lives, and this song is the sort of song that tells you that it’s okay to push those toxic people out of your life for you to feel better — or to succeed.

The album’s latest single “Different Morning” is a collaboration that features Toronto-based emcee DijahSB, whose album Head Above the Waters was featured in Exclaim Magazine‘s Top 50 Albums of the year and landed a Juno Award nomination — and a performance slot at the award show. Sonically speaking, “Different Morning” is a slick and strutting synthesis of Larry Levan-like house and neo-soul centered around twinkling Rhodes, a sinuous bass line, swinging J. Dilla-like beats, and ebullient horn blasts. And over that celebratory two-step inducing production, Charles contributes soulful vocals that gradually build up confidence with a celebratory and triumphant verse from DijahSB.

“So much of our days are spent dwelling on the same mistakes, the same misfortunes. That thing we wish didn’t happen, or what we wish we hadn’t done,” Tanika Charles explains in press notes. “‘Different Morning’ is about starting a new day without that baggage, about finding a way to correct course and move past it. What starts as a pitiful interior monologue evolves into a celebration of getting over that hump by being your biggest cheerleader. DijahSB is someone who was able to carry that triumphant spirit that the second half of the song needed. ‘I’m alive today’ is enough of a blessing, enough of an accomplishment, and enough to be thankful for.”

Directed by Cazhhmere, the accompanying video for “Different Morning” features the Canadian artists in a lush, Alice in Wonderland-like maze at night dancing and rocking out to the song. Shit, I wish I could join them because they’re having fun, and just enjoying the moment.

New Video: Meggie Lennon Releases a Feverish Visual for Shimmering “Night Shift”

Meggie Lennon is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who started her career as the frontperson of acclaimed indie pop/indie rock outfit Abrdeen, an act that received an  Alternative Independent Music Gala of Quebec (GAMIQ) nomination for 2017’s Endless Dreams and Dreamlike Mornings EP.

Abrdeen supported their material touring with a number of indie acts including Good Morning, JOVM mainstays Elephant Stone, The Dears, Julie Doiron, Sugar Candy Mountain and Laura Sauvage. And the band made the rounds of the provincial festival circuit with stops at POP Montreal, M for Montreal and FME. Additionally, Lennon developed a reputation as a go-to collaborator, lending her vocals to material by Debbie Tebbs, Lucill and Super Plage.

Lennon fully steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with the July 9, 2021 release of her Samuel Gemme-produced full-length debut Sounds From Your Lips through Mothland. Featuring guest sports from Elephant Stone’s Gabriel Lambert and her longtime friend and collaborator, Super Plage’s Jules Henry, the album finds Lennon and her collaborators crafting a sound that meshes late 60s and early 70s psych, The Byrds, T.Rex, Melody’s Echo Chamber, MGMT, and Beach House into something that Lennon describes as “make-out dream-pop” with a glowing and infectious sense of optimism.

Sounds From Your Lips’ first single, album opening track “Night Shift” is heavily indebted to Scott Walker psych pop as the track features a gorgeous arrangement of soaring strings, twinkling Wurlitzer and a sultry yet propulsive groove paired with Lennon’s breathy vocals and fuzzy guitars within an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure, a trippy break. And as a result, the song manages to capture the intimate thoughts of late night trips home — but with a cinematic grandeur.

“The first part of the song came to me while cycling home back from L’Esco after a wild night. I was on a Box and the streets were completely empty,” Lennon explains. “I was riding fast through the night and it felt both meditative and exhilarating – this feeling is reflected in the dreamy verses and then heavier guitar crescendo at the end. When we got in the studio, I laid the lead track on the Wurli and it all came naturally. The second part, ‘take a glimpse outside,’ came while doodling on the synth. We were in the studio without windows but we both went outside and the sun blinded us, the lyrics were inspired by this.”

Directed by Marielle Normandin Pageau, the recently released visual for “Night Shift” is a gorgeous visual featuring sequences shot during golden hour, with others shot through dreamy filters to evoke the a feverish and hallucinogenic vibe.

New Audio: Montreal’s Yoo Doo Right Releases a Trippy Motorik Groove Driven Single

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known songs, the rising Montreal-based act Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based sound and approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band describes as “a car crash in slow motion.”

Since their formation, the members of the Montreal-based band have quickly become a highly demanded live act that has toured crossed their native Canada and the States while making stops across the North American festival circuit with stops at  Levitation, M for Montreal, Sled Island and Pop Montreal. Back in 2018, You Doo Right was the main support act during Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wooden Shjips, Kikagkiu Moyo, FACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

The act’s full-length debut Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through Mothland. Last month, the members of the Montreal-based act released the album’s first single, album title track “Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose,” an expansive, slow-burning and carefully sculptured soundscape divided into three distinct parts: a lengthy introduction with atmospheric synths, tribal drumming and shimmering guitars; a towering middle section with scorching dirge-like power chords, twinkling keys and crashing cymbals; and a gentle fade out as the song’s coda. The song is an exercise in restraint, unresolved tension and delayed release.

Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose’s second and latest single “Presto, Presto, Bella’s Dream” is a layered song that finds the team weaving shimmering and angular guitar riffs, twinkling synths, propulsive drumming and bass lines into a relentless, repetitive and trippy motorik groove. The band’s Justin Cober says of the song “Driving, simple, straight forward repetition, built into a psychedelic haze with no apparent meaning. Like the day the clocks struck midnight on January 1st, 1970. The title is an ode to both the tempo and a good friend who indirectly influenced us, helped us write this song.”

New Video: Montreal’s Thierry Larose Releases an Adorable Visual for Grunge Rock Meets Power Pop-like “Cantalou”

Thierry Larose is a young and rising Marieville, Quebec-born, Montreal-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who spent his teen years with a soundtrack of 2000s lo-fi American pop and Quebec indie singer/songwriter records. During the summer of 2018, while in his early 20s, Larose moved to Montreal with the intention of taking a sabbatical from his studies in English literature to focus on music.

Within a few months of his arrival in Montreal, Larose assembled a backing band and went into the studio to record four songs. And with those first four recorded songs, Larose and his backing band were selected to play in Les Francouvertes, an annual music festival that showcases emerging Francophone artists from across Quebec. After an attention grabbing festival appearance, Larose’s profile exploded across the province: he was invited to open for Safia Nolin and Les sœurs Boulay on a handful of dates. He also landed sets at Pop Montreal, Santa Teresa Festival and St Roch XP without having much music released online — and Grosse Boîte Records approached him with a recording contract.

During that period, Larose recorded a two-song EP and then returned to the studio in October 2019 to record his highly anticipated Alexandre Martel co-produced, full-length debut, an album that finds the Marieville-born, Montreal-based crafting material that bounces back and forth between glittering glam-inspired rock, youthful and ebullient indie pop featuring heartfelt yet somewhat ironic lyricism with poignant messages.

“Cantalou,” the latest single off Larose’s forthcoming album is a decidedly 120 Minutes-like alt rock track centered around alternating shimmering verses and rousingly anthemic choruses. Sonically, the song is a slick synthesis of grunge and power pop that reveals a songwriting with both a deliberate attention to craft and an uncanny knack for writing an infectious, mosh pit friendly hook.

Directed by Charles-Antoine Olivier, the recently released video for “Cantalou” follows a young boy — an adorable little moppet if I must say so — who learns about the sturm und orang of human emotion from a TV show puppet by the name of Cantalou. Cantalou’s human friends, Larose and his backing band, teach the puppet about music, which helps Cantalou get in touch with — and control — his emotions. But when the little boy enters the TV world, Cantalou and the boy learn about friendship with the purity, innocence and joy of childhood.

New Video: Montreal’s Les Deuxluxes Releases a Flamboyant and Psychedelic Visual for “Lighter Fluid”

With the release of their critically applauded mini-album, 2014’s Traitement Deuxluxe, the Montreal-based psych rock duo Les Deuxluxes, vocalist and guitarist Anna Frances Meyer and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Etienne Barry, quickly exploded across  Quebec’s music scene. Building upon a growing platform across the province, the Montreal-based duo released, their critically applauded full-length debut, 2016’s Springtime Devil. 

Since the release of Springtime Devil, the duo of Meyer and Barry have released a handful of attention grabbing singles, including the French translation of album title track “Springtime Devil,” “Diable du pringtemps.” Along with that, they’ve made appearances across the province’s major festival circuit, playing sets at Montreal Jazz Fest, Festival d’ete de Quebec, POP Montreal and M for Montreal — and they’ve opened for the likes of Lisa LeBlanc, Marjo, and Jon Spencer. They ended 2016 with a mini-tour of South America that included stops in Santiago, Chile; Valdivia, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Sao Paulo, Argentina. 

Written in the remote Quebec countryside, where the duo isolated themselves and recorded live to tape in a 19th century church, Meyer’s and Barry’s latest album, Lighter Fluid, the duo’s first album in over three years was released last Friday through Bonsound Records. Centered in old school rock ‘n’ roll riffage, the album’s 11 tracks draw from psych rock — while arguably be some of the most eccentric material they’ve written and released to date. Interestingly, the swaggering album title track “Lighter Fluid” is a perfect example of the album’s overall sound and aesthetic: power chord driven riffs, thunderous kick drum and enormous arena rock friendly hooks with boy-girl harmonizing paired with Meyer’s powerhouse vocals. The end result is a song that seems — to my ears, at least — indebted to classic AC/DC, JOVM mainstays White Mystery and The Black Angels. Simply put, this one fucking rips.

Directed by Ariel Poupart, the recently released video for “Lighter Fluid” is a mix of the fittingly flamboyant and psychedelic with the occult, as the band performs the song in front of a boiling cauldron and in front of some trippy and mind-bending backdrops. 

Over the last few months of 2018, I wrote quite a bit about Josie Boivin, a Quebec-based classically trained pianist and opera vocalist, and electronic pop producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, best known in the indie world as MUNYA. Now, as you may recall Boivin had only written one song when’s he was asked to perform at 2017’s Pop Montreal. Ironically, at the time, Bolvin had never intended to pursue music full-time but after playing at the festival, she quickly realized that what she was meant to do — be a musician. So Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio where she wrote every day. These recordings would eventually become part of an EP trilogy — with each EP comprised of three songs — named after a significant place in Boivin’s life. Her self-released debut North Hatley derives its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little villages in Quebec and her second EP Delmano, which was released last year through Fat Possum Records derives its name from Williamsburg Brooklyn’s Hotel Delmano.

Blue Pine EP, the third EP of Boivin’s trilogy derives its name for the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks — and continues the trilogy’s overall theme of EP’s being named for a significant place in Boivin’s life. The EP’s first single “It’s All About You”  is a beguiling pop song centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook, and Boivin’s ethereal falsetto — but interestingly, the song is at best, superficially playful as it focuses on the joy and agony of an all-consuming infatuation that borders on obsession. “It’s about obsession, that feeling when everything you do is about trying to reach a singular goal, an object, or, in my case, love,” Boivin explains. “This song is about my dream – this fantasy and obsession of wanting someone so bad that it hurts and everything I do is for the dream of being together.”

Blue Pine is slated for a March 8, 2019 release through House Arrest/Fat Possum Records imprint Luminelle Recordings, and along with that the three EPs will be combined for the physical release MUNYA, which will also be released on March 8.







Le Couleur is Montreal, Quebec-based electro pop band that consists of Laurence Giroux-Do, Patrick Gosselin and Steeven Chouinard, and with the release of 2010’s debut effort Origami, the trio received attention both across Europe and in their native Quebec for a decidedly French take on synth pop and disco pop. As a result of growing buzz around the French Canadian trio, their debut was propelled to the top of Quebec’s independent radio charts.

Le Couleur’s 2013 French Fox-produced Voyage Love EP found the trio collaborating with the members of French Horn Rebellion on an effort that found the act expanding upon the sound that first caught attention, winning further attention internationally. In fact, the act played a number of festivals across the international festival circuit including stops Pop Montreal, Liverpool Sound City and M for Montreal. The EP was also nominated for a GAMIQ Prize for Best EP of the year. Building upon a run of critically applauded material, the act’s 2015 Dolce Désir EP won the GAMIQ Prize for Electronic Music EP.

The French-Canadian act’s latest single “Le Dernier Noel” is a special (and mesmerizing) Christmas track for their fans, centered around shimmering synths, jangling guitars, ethereal vocals and a slick, radio friendly and dance floor friendly hook. And while being a fairly traditional Christmas tune, the Le Couleur rendition manages to be much more indirect and subtle in its spirit.