We listened to all the new releases and here are our choices! Here are the 5 albums you MUST listen to that released in November 2018.
Alex Henry Foster – Windows in the Sky (Psych/Art-Rock)
Unexpected. That’s the word you’ll read on almost every article written about Alex Henry Foster’s first solo release Windows in the Sky. Since the album came out, it has chart topped Québec sales even reached #3 on Canadian sales. Its first video, Summertime Departures is still the most watched video in Quebec per palmaresADISQ. No small feat for a record that has been released without any promotion!
Magnetic. This is the word I would use. The album is hard to describe but there’s an unseen power that attracts you to it. And forces you to play the album again and again. It’s an intimate, cinematic voyage often led by Foster’s spoken-word delivery. The guitars, airy, are majestic. From The Pain that Bonds (The Beginning is the End)’s first lyrics “I just don’t know how it feels anymore” to The Love that Moves (The End is Beginning)’s final ones “I will conquer darkness and make it shine”, the poetry, dark, reflective, often repetitive, will captivate you all the way through.
The Hunter. This mammoth of a song (14 min 36 secs) is the masterpiece of the album. With “The Hunter is coming” as its leitmotiv, the song, structured like a crescendo, changes perspective halfway through and unfolds like a short story. Haunting!
Must. Listen. To: The Hunter (By the Seaside Window), The Pain that Bonds (The Beginning is the End), Snowflakes in July, Winter is coming in, The Love that Moves (The End is Beginning).
Carotté – Dansons donc un quadrille avant de passer au cash (Trad/Punk)
3 years after Punklore et trashdition, Carotté is finally back with their new offering of punk/trad. You probably have heard of them through their first single and video “Chant de Pot”, which has garnered more than 600k views already on their Facebook page. Really impressive for a local band!
It’s no wonder they’re having such a success, their music blends two of Québec’s most beloved genres: Folklore and Punk. Mixing heavy music with traditional folk songs is more frequent on the international scene (e.g. Finnish Metal Scene), but Carotté is pretty much the only local band to do it in French. And they’ve found the perfect balance. Just listen to “L’Agro punk”, based on La Bolduc’s “Le Commerçant des Rues” to see how the heavy elements really benefit this ageless classic!
All musicians are on top of their game on this release. But, the “it” factor comes courtesy of Éric Roberge’s vocals. Grainy and powerful, it gives the songs their much-needed rough edges. And the icing on the cake, some impressive guests like Keith Kouna and Denis Bélanger (Voivod) show up.
Definitely the best trad soundtrack for this holidays season!
Must. Listen. To.: L’Agro punk, Tourne tout le temps, Tapageurs, Klondike, Ti-Jos Rochon.
Ghostly Kisses – The City Holds my Heart EP (Dream Pop)
A year and a half after the release of her earlier EP (What you See) and the success that came with it, Ghostly Kisses returns with a new EP, The City Holds my Heart.
You’ll still find her soft trademark, ethereal voice, but this time around, the songs are more organic and melodic. The piano’s more present and the use of violins and harp really lift the songs to new heights. The perfect soundtrack for the upcoming winter and its black and white scenery. The City Holds my Heart will envelop you like a warm blanket.
The EP’s climax comes from the record Closer, Zombie, originally from The Cranberries, which Ghostly Kisses truly makes her own. Stripped-down and much slower, it’s like the song unveils its true self, naked and vulnerable. I still get shivers when I hear the chorus every time I listen to it!
The short format leaves you wanting for more. Is it 2019 yet?? Soon enough!
Must. Listen. To.: The City Holds my Heart, Héloïse, Zombie.
Black Moon Boys – Nuthouse (Rockabilly)
Let’s play words association. What’s the first word you think of when I say “Rockabilly”? Chances are you didn’t say “Montréal”! But, no need to plan a trip down the Bible Belt to hear some quality Rockabilly. Look no further than the Black Moon Boys and their first LP: Nuthouse!
I’d be lying if I said I’m the biggest Rockabilly connoisseur out there. However, this album is just perfect. Pure fun all the way through! There’s no way you’ll resist singing the Billy Bob chorus and you’ll for sure want to do the Sharkbait dance with all your friends (“You put a fin on your hair / You put your ass in the air […] and you swim the whole way through!” ).
From the album’s eleven songs, 10 are originals from the band. You can feel the humor in the songwriting from the get-go (just watch the “Nuthouse” video) to the very last lyrics of “Time to Go”. For the purist in you, you’ll be happy to hear Jack Scott’s I Never Felt Like This played to perfection. And, YES!, the album is available on vinyl!
Must. Listen. To.: Billy Bob, Sharkbait, I Never Felt Like This, Three Little Babes, Time to Go.
Elliot Maginot – Comrades (Pop)
Freshly signed to Audiogram, Maginot returns with his sophomore album Comrades. Instead of recording everything by himself, the singer-songwriter worked with other musicians this time around, focusing on his singing and guitar playing. This results in an album that feels more mature, complete and cohesive.
Really cool to hear the saxophone (courtesy of Nick Ferraro) used so prominently on songs like Common Place (Comrade I) and elsewhere on the album. Common Place has also been chosen as the lead video single, a poignant showcase of the current #metoo movement in show-business. With its melody and delivery reminiscent of Julien Baker, lifted by the harmonica and strings, Maginot provides another moving moment with The Weight, a fine example of his improvement as a songwriter and storyteller.
The devil’s always in the details. The gentle guitar playing of (Am I Here Now?), the snappy bass line of Purging Days, the high-pitched vocals on Heart of Beauty. Comrades do all the little things right. The sky’s the limit now for Maginot. Fly Elliot, fly!!
Must. Listen. To.: The Weight, Common Place (Comrade I), Cross (Comrade II), Heart of Beauty, Eugene.
Don’t forget to read about our October albums highlights in the link here.
Francophone and Francophile, trying to bring 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.