Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Review of Malajube’s La caverne and giveaway
Joseph YarmushIt’s almost certainly too much to read an excess of meaning into the title of Malajube’s last albums, but when you’ve only got a (very) rudimentary working knowledge of the French language, you do what you can do. That said, there’s something to the fact that 2009’s Labyrinthes was as dark and dense as the title implied – at least relative to the almost giddily carefree nature of 2006’s Trompe L’Oeil (“deceive the eye” in English, if you were wondering) – and a far less immediate listen. Still, it rated highly enough to score the band its second Polaris Prize shortlist placement in as many records and basically confirm the band as the ambassadors of Francophone rock to the rest of Canada, even if it would be Karkwa who would score the first win for French Canada last year.
Those seeking to find similar meaning in the name of their new record, the just-released La caverne, may be disappointed to learn that it comes not from the dark, subterranean underworld of their collective psyches mined for inspiration but more likely the fact that the album was recorded in a house shaped like a geodesic dome. But listening to the new record you wouldn’t have to go very far to imagine that they decked the studio out with lasers and mirror balls, given it’s surprisingly sleek and dance-friendly vibe. Lead track and single “Synesthésie” gives immediate notice that things are different for the band this time out, applying a fresh shimmer to both guitars and synths and mating them with an irresistible rhythm.
While signature elements like Julien Mineau’s smooth/raspy vocals keep things familiar, La caverne is leaner and more focused than either Trompe-l’oeil or Labyrinthes and also possibly their most immediate. So what happens when a band that’s already twice been acclaimed as having made one of the ten best Canadian records in a year makes their big pop move? Three guesses.
Malajube are currently on tour in Quebec and southern Ontario, with a few US dates thrown in, and will be at The Horseshoe Tavern on May 30. JAM, The Montreal Gazette, aux.tv, Montreal Mirror and The National Post have interviews with the band.
And courtesy of the label, I’ve also got three copies of La caverne on vinyl to give away – to enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “Je veux la caverne” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest is open to residents of Canada and closes at midnight, April 28.
Sometime Miracle Fortress-er Adam Waito’s own project Adam & The Amethysts have put out a video from their still-forthcoming second album Flickering Flashlight, due out sometime.
Pitchfork reports that Arcade Fire are going to let their Suburbs sprawl a little more this Summer, by way of a deluxe CD/DVD package due out on June 27. The DVD component will be the Spike Jonze-helmed mini-feature Scenes From The Suburbs and the CD will be their super-hit album with a couple of new songs added on for extra value.
Fucked Up have released the second of four MP3s leading up to the release of David Comes To Life on June 7 via Matablog, who also have details of a “Buy Early Get Now” presale promotion for the record in which you buy early…
Caribou has elected to give away the complete recordings of the live Vibration Ensemble set from All Tomorrow’s Parties in upstate New York circa September 2009 – just hit their Soundcloud and make with the downloading. And while you wait, maybe refresh your memory as to what the Vibration Ensemble was with the writeup of their performance in Toronto the week prior.
Crawdaddy has got a nice live performance video of The Rural Alberta Advantage in a Toronto church. I don’t think it’s an official video, but it’s nice; it could be. They’re playing the Phoenix on April 29.
And though it’s their eighth birthday, Toronto label Paper Bag Records are the ones offering the gifts – in the form of True Blue, a free compilation of Madonna covers by their artists, including the aforementioned Young Galaxy and Rural Alberta Advantage, PS I Love You and more, but my favourite would be the title track by Montreal’s Winter Gloves and guest vocalist Hannah Georgas. And as a sidenote, I apparently don’t know nearly as much of Madonna’s oeuvre as I thought I did. And am okay with that.