0 comments September 25, 2007


Elsiane is the brainchild of Montréalers Elsieanne Caplette (vocals and keyboards) and Stephane Sotto (drums).

You might be tempted, at first, to write Elsiane off as a kind of trip-hop, downtempo throwback.

But their debut album, Hybrid, is a hugely impressive and polished affair, with a sound that is at once textured, lush and atmospheric.

Singer Elsieanne Caplette has a very distinctive voice -- and, I'm hazarding a guess -- it's one that you either love or hate.

Think: Emiliana Torrini, Angela McCluskey from Telepopmusik, or Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife.

If you like any of the above, however, I think you'll love this.

Here's "Vaporous" from Hybrid:

[Elsiane - MySpace]

0 comments September 23, 2007

Tricot Machine

Unique and utterly beguiling, Tricot Machine are partners (and partners in crime) Catherine Leduc and Matthieu Beaumont.

Originally from Mauricie, the two are now based in Montréal. They released their eponymous album in March of this year.

And it's a stunner.

Featuring gentle and (deceptively) simple arrangements of piano and vocals, the album has a warmth and intimacy that's hard to resist.

Check out the video, Introduction to Tricot Machine. (Very cute.)

And here's another single from the album:

Tricot Machine: "L'ours"

[Tricot Machine - MySpace]


Navet Confit

The Universe -- bless her in all her infinite glory -- has bestowed upon me an embarrassment of musical riches in the past little while.

An embarrassment, I tell you.

I am swimming in musical deliciousness right now. And most of those delights are from right here in Montréal.

So let's start the musical odyssey with a band called Navet Confit.

Navet Confit is, in fact, one Jean-Philippe Fréchette.

Monsieur Fréchette is based in Montréal and has just released his latest album, LP2².

He writes in the bio of his website, that his inspirations for the album included hair, shoes, shops, films and modes of transport.

That's right. The really important things in life.

So here's the track "Samsam". Hope you enjoy.

[Navet Confit - MySpace]

0 comments September 19, 2007

Polyphonic Spree

Okay, so they look like a cult.

And they're almost always sickeningly happy (except in their photos).

And -- okay -- a dozen or so songs of "love-is-all-you-need" can wear a little thin.

I agree.

But my god, it's choral symphonic rock. What's not to love?

Polyphonic Spree founder, lead singer (and ‘musical director’) Tim DeLaughter said he was inspired by seventies bands like the Electric Light Orchestra. Who didn't love the Electric Light Orchestra when they were young? Who? Tell me that.

And when the Spree get it right, they give me the shivers. Honest. I get goose bumps, it’s so good.

They could almost inspire me to religious ecstasy. Or conversion. Or something.

Except for the fact that I’m cynical, mercurial and resolutely atheist.

Oh well. Never mind.

Here’s "Light To Follow":

[Polyphonic Spree - MySpace]

0 comments September 16, 2007


Montréal-based band the Stars make music to be romanced by.

If you like your romance tinged with bittersweet, that is.

The Stars are all about dreamy, gorgeous pop. When they're at their best, their sweeping melodies perfectly capture the incredible exhilaration of attraction -- of wanting someone, of loving someone -- and all the excitement it entails.

Lying at the very heart of their compositions, however, is the flip side of that elation: the fear, the self-doubt, the towering potential for heartbreak.

Their deceptively sweet, simple songs mask the workings of a razor sharp intelligence, underscored by a gentle melancholy.

What their songs seem to be saying, over and over, even as they're soaring you to the heavens, is that in every hello, lies the seed of goodbye.

[Stars - MySpace]

0 comments September 7, 2007

Salmonella Dub

Nothing says summer and beers and BBQ like a little kiwi dub.

Dub is huge in the motherland.

I've never really understood why, exactly.

It could be the fact that it accessorizes really well with outdoor concerts, a beer or three, and a lot of weed.

Here in the North our own shimmering chimera of a summer season is disappearing -- fast -- so let's see her out in style with a couple of tunes from two of New Zealand's best:

Salmonella Dub - "Push On Thru" + Sola Rosa - "Sleepwalker"

[Sola Rosa - MySpace]



According to Wikipedia (I know, I know, can we really trust Wikipedia? And yes, this is thorough-going laziness) -- but anyway -- according to Wikipedia Justice are a French electro house duo consisting of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay.

They've been on the scene since 2003, but released their debut album in June this year.

Think: a harder-edged Daft Punk, with the irreverence and playfulness of LCD Sound-system.

I don’t want to reduce the band to subjective comparisons, however, because it’s entirely its own beast.

A lean, hungry, very clever little beastie. Here’s Let There Be Light and Phantom Part II:

[Justice - MySpace]