Time flies doesn’t it? It’s been already two months since our last albums You Must Listen to! feature. This means plenty of new releases from local artists to enjoy and we’ve filtered for you la crème de la crème! Highlights from all these records are available on our Spotify playlist down below, make sure you check it out!
Tina-Ève | Entre deux éboulements (Pop|Folk)
It’s bold for an artist to start a record with the longest track. It’s even bolder when said track is a 12 minutes poem on what a woman goes through during the abortion process! And that’s Tina-Ève in a nutshell, a brave artist who’s powerful folk/pop will knock you down. Still dazed after your first listen of Entre deux éboulements, you’ll be left wondering what just happened!
Her songwriting is full of poetry and imagery. All of the songs on this album grab you and pull you in the middle of the story. It’s a testament of the chemistry between Tina-Ève and Marcus Quirion, who’s credited for the music on almost every track. Transsibérien is probably the finest example, miles away from the usual break up song. This song also has of the finest chorus from 2020:
Je prendrai le Transsibérien /
Avec un autre gars que toi /
Et entre deux verres de vodka /
Je me sentirai vraiment bien /
Je serai comme la Volga /
À la fin du froid Sibérien /
Quand elle se déchaîne enfin
The lyrics throughout the record are sublime. Never forced, cheesy or posey. Simply smart, beautiful lyrics. No wonder she’s been accepted in the playwriting program of the National Theater School of Canada. Another personal favorite comes by the way of the title track. See for yourself the sheer power of the chorus yet again:
Tu m’trouverais belle comme Charlevoix /
Quand tu y vas pour te retrouver /
Le coeur au bord des lèvres /
Entre deux éboulements /
Tu m’trouverais belle comme Charlevoix
The album closes with another gem, Hôtel W, an intriguing tale of a woman meeting a lover at the Hotel W. With it’s sensual melody, the song indeed brings a heat wave in December. The main protagonist however acknowledge that nothing is rational in this relationship and leave some suspense as to whether it will end up in a #metoo scenario. I guess we’ll never know!
Discover Entre deux éboulements on digital platforms!
Must. Listen. To.: Transsibérien, Hôtel W., Entre deux éboulements, Waterloo, Un amour qui dure.
Gros Soleil | Occulture Populaire (Hard Rock|Metal)
Rising from the ashes of Les Truands is Gros Soleil, a late 70’s rock/metal influenced band that just released their first album Occulture Populaire. This record, equal part catchy and rocking (you’ll definitely have a wide smile while flashing those devil horns!), should please fans of early-Sabbath (Dante) and Maiden (Le Temps des Monarques). The band is not a pale copy of those aforementioned legends though, it’s solid rock infused with greatness!
Heavy music can be hit-or-missed when sung in French, but this one knocks it out of the park. Whether he’s singing about having a crush at Dante’s park, the monarchs’ migration or just wanting to get away in a rocket ship, Dominic Lamoureux’s lyrics are always witty and sing-along worthy.
A big fucking sun shining bright on this shitty 2020! Occulture Populaire is available on digital platforms and vinyl!
Must. Listen. To.: Le temps des monarques, Dans une fusée, Dante, Tigre debout, Cercle de sel.
Neige | Neige (Dream Pop)
I must admit I got blindsided by this one. A small independent release, with no label promotion machine behind it. Still, it’s often when you least expect it that you make the most enjoyable discoveries. Neige‘s self-titled first EP is one of those records and an excellent reminder as to how powerful piano-driven songwriting can be.
She describes her music as being cinematic dream pop, but nightmare pop could be a fitting moniker as well. The moods created by Neige throughout the album have a darker edge to them whether it’s through the symbolism of a mermaid drowning you in her troubled water or a Guru worship. Carried by Neige’s pristine vocals, the result is mesmerizing. There’s no reinventing the wheel going here, nothing out of left field, but it’s quality songwriting, especially for a first album. These melodies will definitely haunt you (in a good way, obviously!). We’re definitely eager to hear more.
Drown yourself in Neige’s troubled water on all digital platforms!
Must. Listen. To.: Mermaid, Guru, Burn Me, Fly, The Bright Side.
San James | San James (Folk | Pop)
You might know San James from her two previous English EPs, No One of Changes Overnight (2016) and Bridges (2018), which included two singles that cracked the charts of CBC Radio 3 (One Hundred Faces and Danger is No Friend of Mine). She’s now back with a new self-titled EP entirely sung in French. And whereas her previous work was definitely on the pop side, this new record sees the singer-songwriter slowing everything down. An intriguing twist in San James musical journey!
From the first subtle piano notes of Courte Fête, you get the feeling that you stumbled upon something timeless, secret and precious. The soft, almost whispering vocals, the crackling noises of piano pedals, the melancholic viola from Melanie Venditti… this album wraps you up in a soft blanket and ease your pain.
Chanson d’hiver …à demi-voix.
Personal favorites include Courte Fête and Nos corps qui se longent, a moving song about fighting against fading desire between lovers (video below). Les enjambées, up-tempo and putting the spotlight on Charles Blondeau’s drumming work, is probably the closest track to her previous musical output and will please to longtime fans of the artist.
The San James EP is available on digital platforms and Bandcamp.
Must. Listen. To.: Nos corps qui se longent, Courte Fête, Que je ne le brise pas, Les enjambées, Petit feu.
CRi | Juvenile (Electronic)
French-Canadian producer and live act CRi is a rising electronic music star. He is signed to prestigious London label Anjunadeep, label that released his Initial EP last year, which had already caught our attention. He has now released his first LP, Juvenile, a coming of age album that reaffirms CRi’s flair for catchy electronic music. The album draws influences from and should appeal to fans of fellow Montrealer and international star Jacques Greene (whose latest album was included in our October 2019 feature). Much like Greene, CRi manages to channel dancefloor energy on certain songs, while also creating a perfect soundtrack for that post-party numbness feeling on others.
Speaking of local artists, all of CRi’s collaborations on the album are from Québec, and there are many. Jesse Mac Cormack, Sophia Bel, Robert Robert, Bernache and even Daniel Bélanger, one of his idol. While Bélanger’s has shown his love for electronic music in the past, this collaboration on Signal feels both fresh and one-of-a-kind. The song is a definite highlight from the album. It brought an excitement similar to when power pop legend Matthew Sweet was featured on electronic act Delerium‘s Daylight song.
Other standout tracks include From Me, a catchy mid-tempo with delightful airy vocals from Bernache, as well as Friends in Secret which is has already reached more than 2.5 million plays on Spotify, no small feat!
Discover CRi’s ode to youth on digital platforms, vinyl or bandcamp!
Must. Listen. To.: From Me, Signal, Friends in Secret, Runaway, Proud.
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.