April flew by fast, but not without leaving behind some incredible albums from the local scene. Here’s our April 5 albums you must listen to!
Around Joshua | The trees are singing (Rock)
If you’re like me, you’ve been craving a new Placebo record since 2013. Even though that wait is not over yet, Around Joshua is there to fulfill your special needs with their new album The Trees are Singing. From the vocal delivery down to the sound, Around Joshua are wearing their influences on their sleeves. You’d be mistaken to consider them merely a copycat of other Brit Rock groups though.
For this new record, they teamed up with renowned producer/mixer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica, etc.). That, in itself, is a statement on the quality of the band. The songwriting by Dave Talbo (Vocals/Keys) on The Tree are singing is excellent and diversified.
Things start of strong with the first single One Two Three, a straight rocker written from the perspective of someone deceased advising you to enjoy life to the fullest as it goes by fast (see video below). Another highlight is Baby Stardust. Written with keyboardist Marie-Claude Châteauneuf, this one has ultra catchy melody and distorted back vocals adding a nice touch.
The group is also successful when it lowers the tempo on songs like Invisible Brightness (what a crescendo!), Up Here (trading vocals with Marie-Claude) and Tonight Tonight (perfect album closer).
Sounds like a breakthrough to me !
Find everything Around Joshua here.
Must.Listen.To.: One Two Three, First Days, Baby Stardust, Invisible Brightness, Up Here.
K-Man and The 45s | Stand with the Youth (Ska)
Montréal-based, ska-meets-rock band K-Man and The 45s as just released their new album, Stand with the Youth. From the songwriting to the production, everything on this album screams old-school. Each time you listen to this record, you’ll feel like you’ve been teleport in a secondhand vinyl shop! You’ll almost get the smell as well!
Most of the album is concentrated on high-energy ska with great melodies coming from the horn section. Perfect examples are Stand with the Youth, a support song to students movement protesting against gun violence, as well as Watcha doing to Me or Free to go.
K-Man also knows to vary tempos and keep things interesting. Hooligans sees the band going reggae, while Don’t touch it is a pure punk offering. A nice little surprise thrown in is the Chuck Berry classic Never Can Tell, K-Man making it their own by bringing the horns to the forefront and replacing the piano parts with lead guitar.
Catch them on tour with Planet Smashers in a city near you!
Everything K-Man here.
Must.Listen.To.: Stand With the Youth, Watcha doing to Me, Hooligans, Paranoid Panic, Never Can Tell.
Narcisse | Narcisse (E-Pop)
Narcisse is the new musical project of Marjorie Pednault, formerly known as Nature Moderne. For this project, the artist went for a French-inspired sensual electro-pop, with a touch of egocentrism! This is hammered right from the start with the album being self-titled and the first track being the title track. Narcisse, indeed!
Self-described as non-binary and queer, Narcisse wants to give more exposure to this culture on the music scene. Narcisse does give it a prominent place in the voluptuous video made for the title track (see below). This song, with its infectious base line and repeating heavy breathing used almost as an instrument itself is probably the best on the 5 songs EP.
Other high spots include Acte Manqué and its hypnotic synths and Trance_Formation, an English-penned track that would feel right at home in a purple-lighted dance floor!
Discover Narcisse here!
Must.Listen.To.: Narcisse, Trance_Formation, Acte Manqué.
Laurence Nerbonne | FEU (Trap | Pop)
There’s a nice buzz surrounding Laurence Nerbonne at this time. She’s been invited on Tout le monde en parle, interviewed in all major French newspapers, played at the Metro Metro festival and had sold-out show at the PHI Center. And she deserves it all as her new album FEU is one hell of a good record!
Nerbonne really worked her craft for this sophomore solo album, changing her sound from pure pop to a more aggressive style, oftentimes going for a Trap sound. She spent two years working on her beats (she wrote all the beats on her album) and flow. The result is FEU, all caps locked, a big statement on the place of women in society and within the music scene, self-confidence and relationships.
This new sound, also characterized by the use of Frenglish lyrics and Nerbonne singing in a lower range, shines on almost half of the record, including the lead single Fausses Idoles, a song about being let down by your heroes, Back Off, Money CA$H, Ride Alone and closing track FEU.
There are also some pure pop hits on FEU, a true highlight being second single Semblant. The video for this song has almost already hit the 200k mark. Treat yourself and watch it below, this video is HAWT!! Other favorites are On s’en va où, #MeToo (inspired by the worldwide movement of the same name) and Tomber sur nous with its ethno-electro sounds that you would expect from acts like Deep Forest.
Credit must also be given to the production (Nerbonne and Philippe Brault) as the record sounds BIG! Definitely urban with nothing to envy to international productions. On all aspects, Nerbonne truly hit the ball out of the park with FEU.
Feel the burn here.
Must. Listen. To.: Semblant, Tomber sur nous, Fausses Idoles, #MeToo, FEU.
Jipé Dalpé | Après le crash (Pop | Rock)
Après le crash is the newest opus from multi-instrumentalist Jipé Dalpé. Its title, Après le crash, making a reference to a car crash Dalpé was a victim of. The recovery, physical and mental, was a long process. There were even questions about whether he would ever be able to be a professional musician again. That’s one serious setback from someone who was named ranked by Radio-Canada as one of the 10 best trumpeter in Canada. But, With a little help from [his] friends, Dalpé, like a phoenix, was reborn from its metaphorical ashes. Appearing on the album are a list of who’s who from the local music scene (Ariane Moffat, Fançois Lafontaine, Olivier Langevin, Marie-Pierre Arthur, etc.)
Don’t expect the record to be a concept album around the car crash or filled with dark themes. In fact, the poignant title track (with its outro Commotion) closes the record. The nine songs before that are raw, vivid, odes to life’s emotions. Dalpé is at his most effective on the up-tempo tracks where he lets shine his incredible vocals (Avant tes yeux, Le souffle et l’incendie).
As expected, and to our greatest joy, the album is sparkled with trumpets, trombone and flugelhorns that Dalpé masters so well and which give beautiful crescendo to his songs (L’attentat, L’Éden à ses pieds).
Après le crash, qui restera?
Us. Listening to this gem.
You can find more about Jipé Dalpé here.
Must. Listen. To.: Le souffle et l’incendie, l’Éden à ses pieds, Avant tes yeux, L’attentat, Combien d’étoiles.
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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.