October was a busy month with a ton of releases on the Quebec local music scene. From newcomers to established acts like legends Gilles Vigneault and Ginette Reno, there was a great selection to choose from! Below, we discuss the five records that clearly rose to the top for us. Without further ado, let’s present October’s finest records that you should not miss!
Pierre Guitard – Tuer la bête jusqu’à dimanche (Pop-Rock)
This is Pierre Guitard’s second record and his latest since he finished received the first prize at the 2017’s Festival International de la chanson de Granby. He has since moved from his native New-Brunswick province to urban Montréal. After listening to the opening song Embrasse-moi, you can feel Guitard’s ability to compose catchy melodies and choruses. The arrangements are lively throughout the first half of the album and are a nice way to perpetuate the good summer vibes! We can also hear the infamous track Gisèle (assumed to be pictured on the album cover, with her “deux montagnes d’amour”), the record’s groovier song that includes Guitard’s pristine delivery.
The latter half of the album is a little more eclectic with rockers like Singapour and Je t’aime. This record also has some of the finest introspective lyrics we’ve heard in a while. In fact, the closing song includes a one-two punch in Flancher and Mis à nu (“À chaque fois que j’ai marqué, y’avait personne dans les buts. Même si je fais l’amour, je n’m’e suis jamais mis à nu”). Definite contender for album of the year!
Favorite songs : Mis à nu, Fleur Fanée, Singapour, Gisèle, Embrasse-moi
Maïa – Plus que vive (E-Pop)
Années-lumière (French for « light years ») is the album opener, reminiscent of modern-day Mylène Farmer, and appropriately titled if you’ve been following Maïa Davies’ career. This brand new 100% French album is sonically light-years away from what she has proposed in the past (such as Ladies of the Canyon where she is a singer-songwriter). It’s not a bad thing though, Plus que vive is the perfect collection of e-pop gems to get you through the day!
Helped by Gavin Brown on the production helm, Maïa seems right at home in this new musical style. Songwriting wise, this is as good as it gets and could easily compete among the best of pop stars. Lyrically, she tackles love relationships of all forms, from the aching feeling you get while looking at your phone hoping for a sign from the loved one (Échos) to the blossoming back to life sensation associated with falling in love again (Les couleurs me reviennent).
As good as her former projects were, this album knocks it out of the park! Take a listen and spread the word!
Favorite songs: Échos, Les couleurs me reviennent, Années-lumière, Seule comme une étoile, Ici dans les nuages
Bears of Legend – A Million Lives (Pop-Folk)
The folk band of 7-pieces from Trois-Rivière lead by Vocalist David Lavergne is back with their third album: A Millions Lives. The group, who’s currently on a Quebec tour, are already sold-out on a number of dates and it’s no surprise because their new pop-tinged folk record is one hell of an ear pleaser!
From the opener Any Road to Anywhere and throughout the album, Bears of Legend have crafted beautiful melodies that’ll warm your heart through this early cold autumn. Regardless of the band being a seven-piece, one of their biggest strength is how they arrange and mix each instrument. Each of them getting their shining moments at the right time. You can hear a perfect example during the crescendo in the song Isn’t it over now.
Take the time also to contemplate the beautiful artwork (inside and out) created by Étienne Milette for the record. Even with all the changes in the music industry, here’s a band that took the time to put the effort in proposing a great artful product for the fans. There’s no doubt you’ll have your money’s worth on this one!
Favorite songs: I Need It, Only You, Miracle, Isn’t it over now, Young Me (This Inner War)
Alexandra Stréliski – Inscape (Piano-Neoclassical)
Like many people, I discovered Alexandra Stréliski through her recent presence at Tout le monde en parle. For the rest of the world, she’s been discovered with her songs being included in Jean-Marc Vallée’s movies Dallas Buyers Clu, Demolition, and more recently, in the trailer of HBO’s Big Little Lies’s series.
Close to 15 million streams later, she’s back with a new full-length album, Inscape – Eleven new instrumental mini-movie soundtracks to appease your soul. Delicate, yet powerful, there’s really something unique in Stréliski’s songwriting. Her songs confer an ability to connect with your soul and bring vivid images to your mind. Case in point, every time the song Blind Vision starts playing, there’s this higher power that prevents me from doing anything else but closing my eyes and listen to that pure, raw beauty coming out of Stréliski’s piano. It’s beautiful as beautiful can be.
Favorite songs: Blind Vision, Burnout Fugue, Plus tôt, The Quiet Voice, Overturn
Catherine Durand – Vingt (Folk)
To celebrate her 20-years of career, Catherine Durand decided to revisit some of the best songs of her past repertoire. Those songs have been re-imagined and completely revamped by Durand to become something completely new and unique. A wonderful folk cocoon. You can read our latest interview and feature on the album and Catherine here.
Favorite songs: Coeurs Migratoires, Aujourd’hui, Marcher Droit, Le Loup
CPA (although he doesn’t want people to know about it — oops!). Francophone and Francophile, he has a dream of bringing Québec’s two solitudes together through cultural exchanges. Improv Actor for 15 years. Music lover, from New Age to Death Metal and everything in between.