Montreal duo Alexia Avina and Nick Schofield, aka Best Fern, have been stealthily cementing their rep as one of the best emerging ambient dream-pop acts in the country, and last year’s self-titled debut EP remains a frequent visitor in our tapedeck. Today we’re excited to premiere their latest, a four-song covers EP featuring classics by Jessy Lanza, Four Tet, Panda Bear, and Majical Cloudz.
These are no casual cover versions. Thoroughly and creatively reimagined all, it’s often a feat to behold, such as their condensing the Four Tet epic “Morning Side” into a stunning 4-minute ambient pop treasure. And we’ve already communicated our affection for their wonderfully airy take on Lanza’s “It Means I Love You”. Rounding out the collection is a heavenly rendition of Panda Bear’s “Comfy in Nautica” that might even be more reverbed-out than the original, followed by a delicate and harmony-laden take on Majical Cloudz’ “Bugs Don’t Buzz”. It’s a superb track selection, none of them easy or natural candidates for covers, and each taken to wondrous places by the Best Fern magic touch. We can’t wait for their next move, be it original or re-interpretation.
The Best Fern EP is available now from Bandcamp via Oh Hi Records. They’re playing several shows this month, with performances in Montreal on June 7 and at Suoni per il Popolo at June 17, as well as a June 22 appearance at Sled Island in Calgary.
UPDATE: the Covers EP is now also available from Bandcamp, with all money going towards helping Syrian refugees in Montreal.
Jessy Lanza‘s “It Means I Love You” was one of our favourite songs in 2016, and we’re so excited to share this new rendition by Montreal‘s Best Fern.
It hits the cover sweet spot: translating everything great about the original song into a brand new feeling that stands on its own legs. Made with analog gear (true to Lanza’s original vision), this new version has softer vocals, silence liberally woven into the beats for dramatic effect, and a distinctive, dreamy playfulness.
The duo, Alexia Avina and Nick Schofield, have been playing it as part of their live show, which you can catch in the coming weeks in Montreal (with former-Majical Cloud Devon Welsh!) on January 25 or in Ottawa on February 2.
There’s something special about fall. The leaves start to turn, the humidity goes away, and the air is full of new beginnings. It also means that we’re back from vacation and settling into our Silent Shout offices, humming with excitement over all of the music we get to share with you. Welcome back!
This calming bit of dreamy pop from Best Fern, a Montreal-based project by Alexia Avina and Nick Schofield (from Saxsyndrum, among others), is a perfect way to ease into the season. Avina’s repeatedly sung mantras–“Are you well?”, “You know you can do anything you want to”–are a reminder to check in, take care and dream big for yourself. It’s all wrapped in a delicate melodic swirl and a baseline that gently bobs up and down as you breathe in and out, and we’re in love with it.
It’s from their debut EP, which you should absolutely check out.