Montreal-based Hologramme’s sound is contemporary “electro-indie”, but created using the power of the retro Moog synthesizer. It’s neither of this time, nor even a previous one. The band is a welcome addition to the already prominent electropop scene in Montreal.
Hologramme released their first record this year – a self-titled album featuring a blend of synths and traditional rock instruments. The band is the brainchild of Clément Leduc and also includes Rémi Chenette, Laurent Saint-Pierre and Dominic Lalonde. Although Leduc does the majority of composing and writing the music, he insists that the group is not just a band backing his vision.
“I record and play the instruments in the studio, but for me this is a band,” Leduc says. “We want to be a band – we want to be teammates. Everyone has the same power as everyone else.”
Leduc believes that Hologramme has what it takes to go international, but admits the decision to go independent can be a hindrance to global success. Although the band has a distributor and a manager, it’s currently without a label. But this doesn’t diminish Leduc’s confidence – he says Hologramme is better off without one: “If you get signed when you’re first starting out, the label can put you on a shelf and do nothing with you.”
At first listen, Hologramme has a danceable, fun and upbeat sound – but Leduc isn’t so sure that’s what the listener should take away. “The beginning is, yeah, maybe happy, but there’s another side…that’s more introspective, darker,” he says.
As Hologramme gears up to record a new album and embark on a tour, Leduc looks forward to taking a more lo-fi approach with the band’s next release – which promises even more retro-style instruments and contemplative themes.
In the ten years since Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg started First Aid Kit, they have been going non-stop. The indie-folk duo got their start when their cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” went viral, and have since released four albums, won five Swedish Grammis awards, and brought two of their idols to tears on live television. Following a brief hiatus, and four years after their last record, Stay Gold, First Aid Kit is back with Ruins, a raw account of losing love and finding yourself. In the middle of a North American tour, Georgie talked to Klara and Johanna about the new album and what brought them to Ruins. G—You’ve said in past interviews that Stay Gold was a more put-together, polished kind of album, and Ruins is a lot rawer. What caused that shift? JS—The production of Stay Gold is very lush and elegant, and I think that’s what we wanted at the time. But we started longing for this rawness, this almost lo-fi aspect that we had on our first records. [For Ruins]…our attitude was that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. If we sing a bum note or there’s a little crack
Charlotte Cardin is on track to having her biggest year yet. The electro jazz-pop singer has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year at next month’s Juno Awards. Along the way, she has performed at Osheaga—an experience she calls “surreal”, having attended for years growing up in Montréal—and Festival d’été de Québec where she opened for Sting and Peter Gabriel. More recently, she has been touring behind her EPs Big Boy (Cult Nation Records, 2016) and Main Girl (Sony Music, 2017). Through this past September and October, she supported Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker), and she’s been on tour with BØRNS since January. This spring, Cardin will headline her own dates. Prior to her full-time career in music, Cardin modelled in fashion which afforded her pocket money and freedom to work on her art. She also competed on the first season of La Voix, a francophone Canadian version of The Voice. But being on television, like modelling, was never her passion. “I never really felt that much pressure when I was on TV. For me, there’s something a lot more real about what I’m doing right now.” She feels more pressure performing her own
Garland Jeffreys’ album, 14 Steps to Harlem, grew out of a soulful period of retrospection late in the artist’s life and career. As a veteran songwriter, Jeffreys started writing provocative, ahead-of-its- time, genre-bending songs in the early 1970s, with lyrics focused on everything from relationships to racial diversity to political turmoil. Now in his seventies, the New York musician is looking back on his life with an album that takes on bold topics and includes a title track inspired by his turbulent relationship with his father. Jefferys spoke with Georgie about his latest release, his relationship with Lou Reed and his somewhat unconventional approach to songwriting. Georgie—14 Steps to Harlem is a great album. Garland Jeffreys—Thank you. I’m very proud of the record. I took some chances in recording it but had confidence that it could be something special. You don’t know a record is good or bad until it’s done – then you know. I worked on the album with my co-producer, James Maddock, who’s a great artist in his own right. G—The title track, “14 Steps to Harlem”, stood out to me. I read that it was written with your father in mind. Did the experience of writing about your dad