Population II is a rising Montreal-based psych rock trio that has developed and honed an improvised songwriting approach that meshes elements of rock ‘n’ roll, free jazz and linear rhythms to create an incredibly nuanced yet trippy sound.
The rising French Canadian act’s Emmanuel Ethier-produced full-length debut, À la Ô Terre was released last month through Castle Face Records, and the album has received attention across Quebec and elsewhere for featuring material that’s a mind-melting mesh of hard psych with a punk sentiment — while featuring some exploratory free jazz-inspired moments.
Clocking in at a 7:38 À la Ô Terre’s latest single, “Ce n’est rêve” is an atmospheric Doors meets Thee Oh Sees-like number centered around alternating quiet verses and loud choruses held together by a sinuous bass line and propulsive jazz-like drumming. featuring shimmering keys, slashing guitars and ethereal falsetto crooning before closing out with an explosive and noisy freak out. In Montreal’s scene, they’re one of the most buzz-worthy acts out there — and this track will further cement that growing reputation.
Directed by Ëmémôr and Tristan Lacombe and featuring typography and animation by Laurence Martin, the recently released video for “Ce n’est rêve” is a trippy and murky visual that seems to nod at Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face:” we see the band members faces superimposed over kaleidoscopic colored projections and the other band members’ faces, as well footage of mysterious figures playing the various instruments in the song.