Here are the new musical releases that caught our attention in May.
Thirteen years after Les chemins de verre, Karkwa announced his return on Wednesday evening with the song Perfect on the screen then his video directed by Charles-Antoine Olivier and Xavier Bossé. This one features Quebec actress Pascale Bussières. Louis-Jean Cormier, Stéphane Bergeron (drums), François Lafontaine (keyboards), Julien Sagot (percussion) and Martin Lamontagne (bass) have concocted a powerful piece with a catchy crescendo melody which, combined with the clip, fills the heart of emotions. The poetry of Louis-Jean Cormier paints images of great clarity: “A long passage between two waves / Who seek to bite / She passes and slides with exploit / Just in time”. Quebec will have the scoop on Karkwa’s stage return since the group will be there on September 8, the day of the album’s release. Sherbrooke (November 24), Saguenay (November 25), Montreal (November 30, December 1 and 2) and Toronto (December 7) are the next stops.
Two and a half years after the very beautiful Encounter, Beyries is back with a new song which is released simultaneously in its English (What About Hiding) and French (Seule sans toi) version. In both cases, the singer-songwriter has worked with renowned collaborators Aben Eubanks in English and Doriand in French, and the result in both languages is a tightly wrapped folk pop song, a scintillating ode to freedom. and escape. Good news: now on a label with Audiogram, Beyries will release an all-French album in 2024.
When Quebec producer and DJ Kaytranada and then American rapper Aminé get together, what do you get? KaytrAminé, of course! The duo’s first single, titled 4EVA, has already had nearly 9 million streams on Spotify since its release on April 7. The presence of Pharrell Williams on the chorus and behind the console – he co-produced the track with Kaytranada – certainly contributed to the success of the song, but from the first percussions, we are hooked. Then, three minutes later, you press “Back” and start again…forever, as Pharrell sings so well. The duo’s album, which promises to be perfect for the summer, is due out on May 12.
Rescue marks the return of Alaclair Ensemble. Although Claude Bégin, KNLO, Eman, Ogden, and Vlooper have remained musically busy over the past few years, they haven’t released music collectively since America, Vol. 2, in 2019. This meeting has a very specific objective, according to the press release that accompanies the song: “Responsible fathers who have decided to take the rescue of this Quebec culture into their own hands”. We will see on September 1, the day of the launch of the new album, if the group manages to accomplish its mission, but this first extract is encouraging. First, the beat of Vlooper is very well constructed: the western intro, the gradual layering of elements, the brilliant mixing; hat ! Claude Bégin sings “The elephant is so big / There’s a coin inside” to open Rescue. The possible interpretations are numerous. Some passages of the verses that follow are also fun to decode. KNLO “I was wearing my seat belt / I was with my safe guy / We crashed the car / He was the one who managed it”. Eman: “You want squares, you got circles / What do you want I tell you? / Geometry is to go out / The best of us”. Ogden: “Surroundings scare people / So I try to surround myself well / Ladies I’m like a museum / You can look without touching”. Alaclair Ensemble has also announced shows in Quebec City on September 7 and then in Montreal on September 29 and 30.
Three years after her very nice first album Objets perdus, Evelyne Brochu is back with a new piece that is less “French song” and ventures a lot on the side of pop and trance, with more enveloping arrangements. What has not changed, however: the actress who deeply moved us last fall in Chouchou still works with her friend Félix Dyotte, whose musical universe corresponds perfectly to hers, both sensual and delicate. Evelyne Brochu is taking advantage of the release of Another Life to announce her second album, Le Danger, coming September 15.
Nothing to do, we succumb once again to the charm of P’tit Belliveau. In addition to releasing his frankly nifty version of Edith Butler’s La 20 this week, the very productive Acadian singer offers a new piece entitled Ej m’en fus. We find his innate sense of catchy melody and his taste for simple pleasures, while he dreams of fleeing the constraints of life and disappearing, no matter where, with “not a reception bar” on his “phone even though his conscience reminds him to “think about the future”. Summery, happy, and as usual less light than it seems, here is a new earworm signed P’tit Belliveau, and that’s good.
The Montreal duo Chromeo, who have just given a seemingly breathtaking performance at the Coachella festival, offer Replacements, the second extract from their next album, scheduled for the summer season. For this contagiously groovy piece Patrick Gemayel, aka P-Thugg, and David Macklovitch, aka Dave 1, called on British singer Elly Jackson, better known as La Roux. If you like, the beautiful funk of Words With You, launched last month, should also please you.
The chilleur from Quebec is doing the same thing for us as Tokébekicitte with this new song that revisits the codes of traditional song. Tomato Sandwich is a powerful alloy of violin, brass and a huge choir of voices, which speaks of Quebec identity with a hip-hop attitude, devastating humor and cultural references that jostle. The singer-songwriter, whose debut album La hierarchill was released five years ago, promises us a new one for the fall. We tend to answer him… that it was about time.
Our (yes, yes, our) 2022 discovery, Alabaster DePlume, is back in our ears with a vibrant ode to life on this track announcing a short EP to be released in a few weeks. The first original piece since the release of the acclaimed Gold album last spring, the saxophonist has surrounded himself with his touring acolytes to offer the most energetic and explosive piece in his repertoire. If the artist’s instrument is always at the center of the work, there is also a very strong bass, as well as eclectic aerial sounds. Think of Kamasi Washington, a certain influence of the English artist.
Aliocha Schneider offers a very sensitive and very sensual new song, with a gentle pop style. After two albums in English, the singer-songwriter also sings for a rare time in French, which announces a turn for his third album which will be released in the fall. Things are going well in France for Aliocha, who plays in the Salade grecque series, by Cédric Klapisch, following the successful trilogy of The Spanish Inn. It is also the famous French director who made the pretty clip of Avant elle.
We now know a little more about what Half Moon Run’s next album has in store for us, which is announced for June 2. The trio have just released a new single, Alco, a song that began over 10 years ago. The riff was composed on the ukulele by frontman Devon Portielje during a trip to Thailand. While the band still ran into the arrangements in developing the piece, they eventually managed to finish Alco. The piece has a mystical aura, the percussions are omnipresent, while the strings captivate us as much as the harmonies of the three musicians. A new taste that makes you look forward to what’s next.