New music from nuages is a cause worthy of celebration. Over the past year, the band has grown, evolved, shifted members, challenged sonic boundaries and performed several live shows all on the path to releasing lullabyes, the band’s a seven-track debut.
“The Summer of 2013 was a bittersweet period for me,” says founding member and guitarist/vocalist, Oscar Tecu. “I had moved back from Toronto and got out of a relationship which was really weird, but made a lot of new friends and started getting involved with the music scene here. I also started experimenting more as a songwriter and began to put all these freaky songs together.”
Citing influences like Grizzly Bear, Force Fields, Patrick Watson and French composer Claude Debussy, Tecu and his bandmates Mack Dorion (Floogs), Josh Bravener (The Hypochondriacs) and Penelope Stevens (Motherhood) have forged an atmospheric, augmented and diminished path towards something well-worth a listen. lullabyes is dark and moody but most important, it’s a dynamic recording that leaves room for the band and the listener to breathe, relax and enjoy the ride.
“A lullaby is a quiet, gentle song sung to send a child to sleep,” said Tecu. “In this case, it’s a bunch of songs written to put a period of my life to sleep forever.”
“Silence became a tool I started to use a lot,” he said, reflecting back on the inspiration that lead to forming the band and the songs on the recording. “I didn’t sing back then but had met Nicci Gallant and talked to her about singing in a band with my friend Matt Whipple and I. Later that year, we were joined by Mack Dorion, and Cedric Noel of Laps and Sentimentals. The band had been playing shows with five members but went through some changes in 2015 and is now a four-piece.”
lullabyes places Stevens trusted voice amidst a sea of mighty chords that hang in the air, spiralling around the very rhythmical structure of Dorion’s playing. Tecu’s harmonies offer a steady rise throughout this entire collection of songs before delivering the album’s peak track, the haunting and epic, presley avenue.
Despite the line-up shifts and the inevitable complications common to any praise-worthy endeavour, lullabyes is a strong debut and an important addition to the city’s sonic canon.
“We started the recording process with the new lineup about a year ago but only finished tracking/mixing in the fall,” said Tecu. “Since I did all the mixing all on the album, it took a while because I really had never really done anything big like it before. The album is mostly Mack, Penelope, Josh and I with the exception of most of the bass, played by Matt Whipple, and the back up vocals on weary, tired by Justine Koroscil, Brooke Burns and Emma Johnson. The beautiful artwork is called Under The Ice And Snow by Ron Leger.”
According to Tecu, nuages are currently hibernating but will start working on new material “once their nap is done”. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and give lullabyes a good listen. It’s a gem.