Tag Archives: the luyas

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Concert Review: The Luyas album launch @ Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.

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Montreal has a long and storied heritage of indie rock that skews towards the lush and orchestral and as far as staples of this scene go, the Luyas are among the finest. The launch of their latest LP, Human Voicing, was a testament to this fact. The band, comprised of Jessie Stein, Stephen Schneider, Pietro Amato and Mike Feuerstack have spent a decade polishing their sprawling psych-pop aesthetic. The bill was rounded out by openers Opale and Fleece, both proving to be loyal disciples of the headliner’s refined sound.

The Luyas’s set began on an immediately tender note with the song “Fed To The Lions.” A plodding beat propped up gorgeous swells of harmony, highlighted by the delicate vocals skipping through. The crowd was rapt despite the fact that the set was almost exclusively new material; it was striking how these ambitious tracks, sonic monuments to mind and heart, still managed to feel warm and familiar to the ears of the audience. The band’s playful nature was evident: although their songs are dense and complex, they’re fun, too. Throughout the show, I couldn’t keep a wide grin off my face.

Midway through, the band reached a shimmering peak with the gorgeous “Dream Of Love,” dedicated to a friend in the audience. Horns, synth, and guitar coalesced atop a driving rhythm, but never in a way that felt too epic or overdone. This is a defining feature of the Luyas’s music:  no matter how the music towers, shifting layers piling up to the ceiling, Jessie’s voice always manages to keep it achingly intimate, close, urgent. Even as the keys burst out the gate and threatened to break loose on crowd-pleasing closer “Too Beautiful To Work,” the reins were held close and we were masterfully guided home.

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Album Review: The Luyas – Human Voicing

LuyasArt

Human Voicing, the fourth album from Montreal band The Luyas, showcases the band’s ability to play off of the tension between the moody and the playful, the experimental and the structured. The atmospheric opening song, “Dream Time,” is a perfect start for this album that seems to exist in an otherworldly dimension. The band’s use of keyboards and horns give the album a brooding feel, but this darkness is nicely offset by Jessie Stein’s vocals. Although Stein’s range is somewhat limited, her voice has an ethereal, sing-songy quality that provides the songs with a lighter, dream-like tone.

But while Stein’s vocals may lack variation, the instrumentation rarely does. Most of the music in this album was generated through improvisation, which keeps it feeling spontaneous – the listener never quite knows where the Luyas are going to go next. The drums, meanwhile, keep the songs from losing form. The off-the-cuff feel of the drums on songs like “Dream in Time” and “Never Before” keep the album moving, preventing it from being dragged down by more straightforward songs like “No Domination” and “Beating Bowser.” Human Voicing feels like experienced musicians cutting loose and having a jam session, but the Luyas’ ability to put this improvisational sound into the structure of rock songs allows them to make entertaining songs without compromising their desire to experiment.  

Stein’s lyrics are enchanting, playful, and fractured, evoking freeform poems. The psychedelic imagery she paints makes the songs seem like they exist in some dream setting. However, underneath the psychedelia is a very real feeling of vulnerability. Many of the songs centre around the struggle of life as an artist. Stein sings about the fear of loss of artistic power (in “Beating Bowser” she wonders whether “our best work is still up ahead”) and about real concerns of how to support oneself as an artist (in “Self-Unemployed” she sings, “Trouble in the multiverse, when you don’t make money”). She sums up both of these concerns in “Fed to the Lions” by singing, “And all your dreams, your dream of flying, sucking my thumb, for food and shelter.” These lyrics show the tensions artists experience between creative pursuits and survival. This fear and emotional vulnerability give a focus to Human Voicing, grounding the psychedelic, dreamlike setting of the songs. In Human Voicing, The Luyas have created a multi-purpose album – perfect for dancing or contemplative listening, fun but never mindless.

– review by Ella Chatfield-Stiehler

 

Photo by Emily Kai Bock

Concert Listings: July 28th-August 3rd

Written and compiled by Karen R.

The main focus in concerts this week is Osheaga, so in true CKUT fashion we thought we’d bring some of the smaller, local acts on the bill that we think are worth checking out to your attention. And don’t think we’ve forgotten about the before and after. You’re going to need some pre and post festival music to transition you in and out of the big weekend in style, right? Well, we’ve got that covered too. No need to thank us, it’s just what we do.
Thursday July 28

Photo by Emily Kai Bock

Why not start off your long weekend of music with Grimes @ The Sala Rossa (4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent)
If haunting vocals, loop pedals and drum machines are your thing then let Claire Boucher aka Grimes, ghost-child songstress of Mile End and Arbutus Records fame spook and entertain you tonight with fellow hipster darlings Gobble Gobble (Edmonton, AB) and Pat Jordache (Montreal). Tickets $8. Doors 8:30pm.

OSHEAGA PICKS:
Friday July 29

Photo by Greg Abramowitz

The Barr Brothers (Scene des Arbres) 9:10 – 9:55 pm
Recently signed to Secret City Records, the Barr Brothers are joining the ranks of Montreal independent music scene royalty (Patrick Watson, Miracle Fortress) with a self titled album of their deliciously raw and raspy blues meets experimental folk rock set to release on September 27th. But don’t worry if you can’t catch them at Osheaga, because they’ll be touring Québec with Polaris Prize shortlisters Timber Timbre (Toronto) throughout the month of October. Or, if you just can’t wait, you can see them BOTH THIS WEEKEND, as Timber Timbre are also hitting up Osheaga this Friday at the Scene Verte at 8:45pm.

Saturday July 30

Jesuslesfilles. Photo courtesy of the artist

Sex drugs and rock n’ roll en francais  s’il vous plait. Montreal’s Jesuslesfilles will be serving up their co-ed style rock n’ roll in all of its jangly and raucous  goodness at one hour and ten minutes past high noon, get it? Seam ripping and teeth knashing likely. Get ready to sweat. Scene des Arbres 1:10-1:40

BRAIDS. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Braids are annoyingly cool. The kind of annoying that makes you hate them because you secretly want in the band and so you can’t hate them, because their perfectly layered rhythms, glittering textures  and   alternatingly ambient / anxious  get –under- your- skin- melodies are impossible to resist.  So get your love-hate on while you dance (and resist the urge to dance out of jealous spite) at the Scene Verte 3:10 – 3:50

SUUNS. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Pitchfork likes to call what Suuns do a marriage of space prog and krautrock and NME hailed them as the #1 Best New Band New Band of 2011. Journalistic labels and critical acclaim aside, word on the street is these locals puts on one hell of a live show.  If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a nervous alien sing quietly in your ear over a hearty dose of sub bass, hand claps, distortion and glitch, head over to the Scene des Arbres at 5:20-5:55 and check them out.

Sunday July 31

ELEPHANT STONE. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Elephant Stone is psyche pop at its purest.  Feel good melodies? Check.  Sunshine harmonies? Check.  Compelling basslines and crystal clear guitar riffs? Check and check. Oh yeah, and infectious sitar runs feature prominently. That’s right, I said sitar. Need I say more?  They’re the perfect outdoor festival band. Positive vibes and flashbacks to eras you never lived through guaranteed. Scene des Arbres 1:10-1:30

THE LUYAS. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Luyas are former/current members of Torngat, Miracle Fortress, Bell Orchestre, Arcade Fire, and SS Cardiacs aka a veritable arsenal of Montreal indie music heavyweights.  But that’s no reason to be intimated.  Check out their quirky, multi-instrumental folk rock at the Scene des Arbres  4:00 – 4:30

Monday August 1

GARDENS AND VILLA

Ease the Osheaga comedown with Gardens and Villa Monday night @ Casa del Popolo (4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent).   Their self-titled debut is anchored in heavy synths, drums machines and electronic beats as these Santa Barbara natives offer up a solid take on 80’s synth pop, 90’s Britpop and R&B, with a liberal injection of the wooden flute. Sound good? Sounds gooooood.

Tuesday August 2

KALMUNITY. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Improv  Tuesday! Your Tuesdays are about to get a lot cooler and a lot more spontaneous. Check out Mardi Spaghetti Jazz Improv, at Le Cagibi 9pm. FREE Or head over to Les Bobards for Kalmunity Live Organic Improv Tuedays, 8pm, $8

Wednesday August 3

All Star Tour with Emmure and guests

Wednesday looks like it’s going to be a day for metal, screamo and hardcore fans at the Theatre Olympia, courtesy of the All Star Tour with Emmure and guests.  After perusing many a terrifying myspace page, it is safe to say that this extensive lineup will rot your soul and make your grandmother cry. A lot. So I’m pretty sure that means it’s going to be good. $37.18 1:00 pm. (Guess Satan likes to get an early start).

Concert Listings

The main focus in concerts this week is Osheaga, so in true CKUT fashion we thought we’d bring some of the smaller, local acts on the bill that we think are worth checking out to your attention. And don’t think we’ve forgotten about the before and after. You’re going to need some pre and post festival music to transition you in and out of the big weekend in style, right? Well, we’ve got that covered too. No need to thank us, it’s just what we do.

Thursday July 28

Photo by Emily Kai Bock

Why not start off your long weekend of music with Grimes @ The Sala Rossa (4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent)

If haunting vocals, loop pedals and drum machines are your thing then let Claire Boucher aka Grimes, ghost-child songstress of Mile End and Arbutus Records fame spook and entertain you tonight with fellow hipster darlings Gobble Gobble (Edmonton, AB) and Pat Jordache (Montreal). Tickets $8. Doors 8:30pm.

http://www.myspace.com/boucherville

http://www.myspace.com/leatherjowels

http://www.myspace.com/mountainmanpatjordache

OSHEAGA PICKS:

Friday July 29

Photo by Greg Abramowitz

The Barr Brothers (Scene des Arbres) 9:10 – 9:55 pm

Recently signed to Secret City Records, the Barr Brothers are joining the ranks of Montreal independent music scene royalty (Patrick Watson, Miracle Fortress) with a self titled album of their deliciously raw and raspy blues meets experimental folk rock featuring the stylings of local harpist extraordinaire Sara Page, set to release on September 27th. But don’t worry if you can’t catch them at Osheaga, because they’ll be touring Québec with Polaris Prize shortlisters Timber Timbre (Toronto) throughout the month of October. Or, if you just can’t wait, you can see them BOTH THIS WEEKEND, as Timber Timbre are also hitting up Osheaga this Friday at the Scene Verte at 8:45pm.

http://www.youtube.com/barrbrother

Saturday July 30

Photo courtesy of the artist

Jesuslesfilles

Sex drugs and rock n’ roll en francais s’il vous plait. Montreal’s Jesuslesfilles will be serving up their co-ed style rock n’ roll in all of its jangly and raucous goodness at one hour and ten minutes past high noon, get it? Seam ripping and teeth knashing likely. Get ready to sweat. Scene des Arbres 1:10-1:40

http://www.myspace.com/jesuslesfilles

Photo courtesy of the artist

Braids

Braids are annoyingly cool. The kind of annoying that makes you hate them because you secretly want in the band and so you can’t hate them, because their perfectly layered rhythms, glittering textures and alternatingly ambient / anxious get –under- your- skin- melodies are impossible to resist. So get your love-hate on while you dance (and resist the urge to dance out of jealous spite) at the Scene Verte 3:10 – 3:50

http://www.myspace.com/braidsmusic

Photo courtesy of the artist

Suuns

Pitchfork likes to call what Suuns do a marriage of space prog and krautrock and NME hailed them as the #1 Best New Band New Band of 2011. Journalistic labels and critical acclaim aside, word on the street is these locals puts on one hell of a live show. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a nervous alien sing quietly in your ear over a hearty dose of sub bass, hand claps, distortion and glitch, head over to the Scene des Arbres at 5:20-5:55 and check them out.

http://www.myspace.com/suuns_

Sunday July 31

Photo courtesy of the artist

Elephant Stone

Elephant Stone is psyche pop at its purest. Feel good melodies? Check. Sunshine harmonies? Check. Compelling basslines and crystal clear guitar riffs? Check and check. Oh yeah, and infectious sitar runs feature prominently. That’s right, I said sitar. Need I say more? They’re the perfect outdoor festival band. Positive vibes and flashbacks to eras you never lived through guaranteed. Scene des Arbres 1:10-1:30

http://www.myspace.com/elephantstoneonline

Photo courtesy of the artist

The Luyas

The Luyas are former/current members of Torngat, Miracle Fortress, Bell Orchestre, Arcade Fire, and SS Cardiacs aka a veritable arsenal of Montreal indie music heavyweights. But that’s no reason to be intimated. Check out their quirky, multi-instrumental folk rock at the Scene des Arbres 4:00 – 4:30

http://www.myspace.com/theluyas

Monday August 1

Ease the Osheaga comedown with Gardens and Villa Monday night @ Casa del Popolo (4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent). Their self-titled debut is anchored in heavy synths, drums machines and electronic beats as these Santa Barbara natives offer up a solid take on 80’s synth pop, 90’s Britpop and R&B, with a liberal injection of the wooden flute. Sound good? Sounds gooooood.

http://www.myspace.com/gardensandvilla

Tuesday August 2

Kalmunity Collective Photo courtesy of artist

Improv Tuesday! Your Tuesdays are about to get a lot cooler and a lot more spontaneous. Check out Mardi Spaghetti Jazz Improv, at Le Cagibi 9pm. FREE Or head over to Les Bobards for Kalmunity Live Organic Improv Tuedays, 8pm, $8

http://www.myspace.com/mardispaghetti

http://www.myspace.com/kalmunity

Wednesday August 3

Wednesday looks like it’s going to be a day for metal, screamo and hardcore fans at the Theatre Olympia, courtesy of the All Star Tour with Emmure and guests. After perusing many a terrifying myspace page, it is safe to say that this extensive lineup will rot your soul and make your grandmother cry. A lot. So I’m pretty sure that means it’s going to be good. $37.18 1:00 pm. (Guess Satan likes to get an early start).

http://www.myspace.com/emmure

http://www.olympiademontreal.com/en/