Hear new music from Chloè Breault, Nurture Nurture, Querious and the new Sackville duo, Flour.
Chloè Breault – Plage des morons
Whenever I write about music from New Brunswick’s French communities, I can’t help but feel somewhat inadequate. My French comprehension is subpar to say the least, so in a lot of ways I’m at a disadvantaged right out of the gate. That said, I spent an afternoon listening to Chloè Breault’s new album, Plage des morons, and after the second go-around, I mustered up the courage to include it in this week’s Midweek Music Mix. Something about a universal language…
If you look back at Breault’s recorded output, Plage des morons fits perfectly within her development trajectory. While perhaps distanced from her earlier work in its production and instrumentation, this album follows closely with the growth and creative ambition displayed on her previous releases. Her 2015 debut single Dans un pot mason offered an introduction to her voice, her songwriting and her comfort zone that exists somewhere between folk and pop territories. Her 2017 EP, Love, was an extension of these qualities introducing more complex song structures and instrumentation without losing track of where her voice belongs, and the function it plays as the grounding element that ties all of her work together.
Enter Plage des morons with its broad arrangements, heightened pop characteristics and all-around momentum – it’s a big statement and an absolute pleasure to listen to thanks in part to the ultra-catchy guitar, bass and keyboard work of Benoit Morier and Matt Boudreau who float effortlessly between hip-shaking 70’s disco and infectious dream pop. Everything about this album works, and it does so without feeling like Breault cut her past loose. Those early elements – her voice, her songwriting and her folk/pop foundations – are still in place but Plage des morons takes everything up, way up, with an obvious leaning toward poppier territory.
Also, does the album title really translate to Moron Beach? If so, I’m saving Breault a post-COVID high five.
Nurture Nurture – Heart and Panic
As Nurture Nurture, Jim Cook and Scott Dincorn have been writing beautifully, hyper-techincal songs for the past year and change. Math Pop? Is that a thing? This latest single, Heart and Panic, sounds like upper-tier alternative prog rock mixed together with elements of musical theatre and emo. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it? It’s complex stuff, full of rhythmical play and clever vocal phrasing. And to describe this recording as sound “clean” would be an understatement. The sound is spotless, which only serves to highlight the complexity presented. Heart and Panic could be the most enjoyable four minute listen you’ll have this week. But be warned, this four minute track could easily turn into eight, or twelve, or sixteen minutes, depending on how long you try to dissect all that’s happening here. Oh, and there’s a fun instrumental remix and a video too. Wild stuff.
Querious – Who’s got the funk?
The thing I love most about this type of music (call it experimental, call it noise, call it industrial soundscape) is the range of complex emotions that wash over me after a first listen. That’s always been my basis for reviewing or evaluating or simply enjoying a little dose of obscurity such as this. If, when it’s over, I find myself wondering, “what did I just listen to and why do I want to listen to it again”, I consider that a success. Querious, you get another gold star.
Also, Who’s Got The Funk? is THE best title for a collection of music such as this.
Flour – Tire Fire
Have you ever scrolled to the bottom of a band”s Bandcamp page to see what tags they used to aid search algorithms and categorizations? I always look at that stuff, especially when an album defies the parameters of common music. Flour is a project by Sackville’s Jon McKiel and Geordie Miller. Freak Folk is one of seven tags they chose to attach to this, their debut release. And it works. Like the album itself, the term Freak Folk is unusual, baiting further investigation.
Musically speaking, McKiel’s sound is unmistakable. There’s no questioning the fact that the guitar providing the base melody for the six tracks on this EP is the same guitar that helmed McKiel’s last two records – both giants in tone and originality. But it’s what sits above this distinctiveness that separates Flour from McKiel’s past work. The words and delivery of poet Geordie Miller are at times complex, clever, funny, comforting and off key. Switching between singing, crooning and the bombastic delivery of a beat poet, Miller’s words seem to somehow occupy a greater space than if he were simply attempting to sing each of these songs in a familiar format. But that’s poetry right? The words of a poem are supposed to carry a greater weight. Right?
And how ‘bout that name? Flour is a basic ingredient. It’s words and melody. You can go anywhere from there.