Back in 2014, Montreal‘s Low Factor reimagined her sound and became our favourite alternate universe pop star with “Icicle.” When we found out that she released her second album during our summer vacation, we jumped into action: it’s so worth the wait, and definitely worth catching up on.
It opens with “The Closet,” a layered groove that sounds like the best after-hours party in outer space. The lower ends groan and growl as the upper melody lightly jumps around, and the words are sung with a relaxed snarl. When you’re ready for more, join us over at her Bandcamp to hear the whole album.
One can be forgiven for not being familiar with the work of Montreal’s Johnny Couteau. He’s still pretty much an underground phenomenon, despite releasing one of the finest albums of last year, the unforgettable From the Infamous Mind of a Psychoactive Runner. Set in the post-Fukushima dystopia of Tchernobeach, the album’s towering ambition brought an entire radiation-poisoned world to life, while remaining true to its electronic post-punk roots with simple-but-killer synths and melodies.
So, after a record like THAT, what does one do next? The answer: a Valentine like no other. We’re honoured to premiere the first-ever Johnny Couteau video, for a new single entitled “Is My Baby Love Real or just a Hologram?”
The video reveals M. Couteau to be a dark, menacing figure clad in black, white and red, wearing heartbreak-line sunglasses, and living in a windowless basement located at the edge of the world. A perfect visual persona, over-the-top and suitably appropriate for the conceptual nature of the project. It was directed by Kaspar’89 who also made the remarkable video for “Icicle” by Low Factor (who makes a brief cameo here). The song itself is a post-punk epic featuring skronking sax and phased bass, one that rises to a chaotic frenzy only to switches gears into a deadpan spoken chorus. Co-produced and mixed by Pierre Guerineau of Essaie Pas fame!
Apparently we can expect two EPs from Couteau this spring and they’ll probably be incredible given his track record so far. Can’t wait.
We’ve long been a fan of Montreal dark pop persona Low Factor, but it seems like she’s entering a whole new era with her latest single, “Icicle”. Her previous work was characterized by lo-fi recording values and experimentalism, which was wonderfully chaotic, but she’s tightened up her approach and gone full-on pop. Well, full-on pop in an alternate universe.
The video, directed by Kaspar’89 and Rubin, captures Low Factor in her natural alien habitat, a dark, strange place, with an amazing set, costume, and video effects reminiscent of Geneva Jacuzzi’s wonderful clips. Inspiring stuff! Her album Leçon de Tonnerre: Comment Créer un Orage is coming soon, but not soon enough.