Le Couleur have been making some seriously slick synthpop in Montreal for some time now. You might remember them from their “Voyage Amoureux” video, which ended up as our #1 of 2013. This week, they just released their latest, a five-track EP called Dolce Désir and shocker: we love the hell out of it. We already were very into the first single “Concerto Rock”, but it’s only one of many highlights off this record. Take for instance the next single, “Club Italien,” a more chilled-out electro-disco number in the vein of classic Mylène Farmer:
That remarkably suave and elaborately conceived video was directed by La Barbe Rousse (who also did Gold Zebra’s incredible “Drift Away” vid) and Joseph Heskia. So suitable for Le Couleur’s opulent and glamorous grooves! The EP continues with a couple of solid slower tracks, and then finishes with a monster of a single in “Télé-Jeans.” Highly highly recommended – why aren’t these guys world famous yet?
Dolce Désir is available now on vinyl and digitally from Lisbon Lux Records. If you’re in Toronto, catch them this Thursday at the Piston with Beatmarket and Triple Gangers, and Montrealers, you can see them on Saturday at Cinémathèque québécoise.
It’s crazy that it took us a week to post this. Prince Innocence have been laying down unquestionably the best sleek, dark, and slow synthpop for years now, and every single is a hit with these two. Their latest is a uptempo remix of “I Don’t Care,” that track that seemed to make everyone stop and pay attention back in December. Featuring Kilo Kish!!
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.
Just when we think we’re catching up with New York-via-Montreal underground pop wiz Zoë Kiefl, she’s still keeping two steps ahead of us. It turns out her stellar debut album Young Mom was only Chapter One in what’s shaping up to be a busy 2015. It’s our profound pleasure to premiere the first singles from a brand new project of hers, a transatlantic collaboration with Venice’s Nicola Donà (aka Horrible Present) called Dizzyride. Here’s their first release, a two-track EP entitled Ocean Age:
The two songs reveal quite different aspects of the duo’s music, but both seem to inhabit an ideal amalgam of indie pop, minimal Italo, and psychedelic rock. “Sneaking Kisses” is a lighthearted mid-tempo electropop track, with gently rolling drum machines and warmly blipping synths throughout, but a certain heaviness still seems to pervade, especially in the shoegazey chorus. “Sweet Thing” is darker, slower, and decidedly more melancholic, featuring Nicola’s sinister whisper and organs bathed in beautiful delay. Remarkably, both recordings are the result of a live jam captured by Gary Olson of the Ladybug Transistor. Now we want to hear any b-sides that might have resulted too!
We highly recommend you grab Ocean Age from Bandcamp, and follow everything Dizzyride does in the future.
Make no mistake, the latest Braids is their usual brand of unconventional, weird and incredibly interesting songcraft. Dare we say also say that it is their most “mainstream appeal” piece of work to-date? This sounds like some refined maturation on behalf of the Montreal band.
What starts of a soulful piano ballad that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Fiona Apple record builds upon layers of synth pads and eventually morphs into a fast-paced, twitchy beats-laden freak-out. It’s damn fine and gives us ridiculous anticipation for Deep In the Iris their next record out April 28 on Arbutus.
It’s no secret that we here at Silent Shout have a deep seeded love for the hazy electro of Montreal’s Drug Train. Combine that with a similarly effusive love for all things X-files, and you’ve got a real winner on your hands. The video, directed by Julie Rainville, oscillating between hilarity and sadness, features a human freezing alien looking for love in episodes of the iconic 90’s sci-fi drama.
“Roll With It Scully” comes from last year’s Social Club EP, which like everything else from the project is a densely-packed dreamy experience that’s perfect for these cold winter days. The album is available now from Beko, and will be shipping out at the end of this month.
We haven’t heard from Zoë Ziefl in a little while, not since her wonderful video for “Needs,” but we’re elated to hear she’s been hard at work on new material, and just released her first full-length album Young Mom on Italian label We Were Never Being Boring last week. It’s a perfect winter morning record, hazy, drifting electronic pop that calls her Montreal contemporaries Blue Hawaii to mind. Beautiful soundscapes anchored by catchy vocal melodies, it’s a fantastic record, a must-listen as far as we’re concerned.
You can stream or purchase Young Mom from Bandcamp.
Stop spending your mental energy figuring out how to pronounce this Montreal/Moncton band’s name (it’s Ô-ha-ka), and use your concentration instead to listen to this gem from their new album, Homemade Myth. The vocals are buried quietly under the dark arpeggiator, echoing percussion and general power of the song, and when lyrics about a primal beast peek out, the effect is delightfully menacing.
You can purchase the song or the entire album over at Uaxyacac’s Bandcamp.
There’s a level of anxiety to all Antoine93 songs, and the latest self-directed video from the project really exemplifies that. Here, twitchy euro-dance beats play host to lush Canadian wilderness, guns, cigarettes and very real looking violence. Featuring Mathematique’s (RIP) Pascale as a rival mob boss to Antoine, while also providing some excellent true-to-form backing vocals.
“Extra Strong” is the hit single from Maybe Unlock My Heart, Antoine93’s sophomore album that came out at the very end of last year. Like anything else from the project, it’s well worth your time.
Blue Hawaii‘s Untogether was undeniably one of the best albums of 2013. But if you’ve ever seen the duo live, you know that they can twist their sweet and atmospheric songs into a beat-heavy dance party. Now you can finally capture some of that energy in your everyday life!
In this mixtape of edits, the bass is turned up, the tempos are faster, and Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s unique and powerful voice is mixed into haunting new harmonies. It’s kind of like seeing some dear old friends who have gotten cooler and more confident in the years since you’ve seen each other. There’s some new acquaintances too, like the sexually yearning “All of My Heart” and a fairly faithful cover of Kyle Hall’s “Ghosten” with vocals added on top.
Get over to Soundcloud and download a copy for yourself!