Sunday, 13 December 2015

Local Sounds: Volume 4.0

Christmas is near even if there's snow decorating the streets of Montréal and I felt it was time to deliver the fourth volume of this Local Sounds series. It's a series of short reviews about the best and most interesting non-metal music of Québec and its surroundings, sometimes it's artists in French, sometimes they sing in English but it's always meaningful and deep music. Also, I always try to focus on up and coming bands offering their music for free or pay what you can online. This edition has 4 unique projects all living in the province of Québec.

Le Pélican Noir - Le silence tendu au dessus de nos têtes comme un orage en suspens (2013)

The debut EP by this francophone collective is some sort of highly atmospheric instrumental indie rock/post with slight electronic touches. There's a lot of piano, accoustic guitars, synths, violin and a bunch of other weird instruments. They have the rich, entranced feel of Sigur Ros, the song “La quadrature du cercle” really reminded me of the renowned icelandic band with its subtle keys arrangements. Highly recommended release, it's relaxing in a strange way.

I'm excited to hear their 2015 record that I'll get on Christmas due to the very cool initiative of Poulet Neige. The platform is basically a bunch of local artists giving their music, you pick the number you want and you'll receive the files on the 25th.

More info here : POULET NEIGE

Free download : Le Pélican Noir on Bandcamp

Les Passagers – Le ciel est noir (2014)
Speaking of Poulet Neige, it's because of this website that I've discovered this next band! This quintet led by Andréanne Muzzo (vocals, synths) et Nicolas Ferron (guitars, synths) plays a form of ethereal indie pop with soft and cute vocals by Andréanne. The lyrics in French are lovely, poetic and full of imagery (especially “Acheter ta peau” or “Buy your skin”) but the band is never kitsch or too much despite the 80s synths influence. This will make you feel good in less twenty minutes. It's sunny but not overly so and fits all the seasons we can experience in Montréal.

Free download: Les Passagers on Bandcamp

Barricade – Rapide Sept (2015)
From Rouyn-Noranda (7 hours north of Montréal), this instrumental trio is quite interesting. They're groovy, atmospheric somewhat metallic post hardcore with a lot of feel and a solid, airy production. The songs, almost all titled with names like Tony, Max or Cindy are all quite short and never waste any time getting their point across, they're not a meandering band like many of the post-whatever acts we can encounter nowadays. They remind me a bit of Karma the Burn but without the stoner metal elements, just blistering instrumental energy thrown at you for a short while.

Free download: Barricade on Bandcamp

Nüshu – EP 2014

Sharing two members with Politess (a band featured on Local Sounds volume 3), this unisex project is also fairly weird. The noisy punky alt rock band has shouted, piercing vocals, flowing post punk riffs and groovy drumming. The lyrics in French are absurd or amusingly vulgar (like the surprinsingly aggressive song about the color blue). Fast paced blurbs of controlled insanity is what you'll find here and it's pretty enjoyable! This 10 minutes or so EP is promising and Nüshu is currently working on something new based on their Facebook page

Free download: Nushu on Bandcamp

Stay tuned for volume 5.0 due in early 2016!

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