FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011 | POSTED BY: MATT HOWARD
Due to the contemporary invasion of pretentious musical beatniks, artists attempt to charm by exercising their sonic experimentation beyond the fringe of recognition. Too often has the perception of "cool" been directed towards audile absurdity. Montreal's Passwords have managed to disseminate divergently chic tunes without apprehensively neglecting their earliest influences. We spoke to Passwords' vocalist/guitarist, Thomas L'Allier, who acquainted us with the band's humble approach to musical eccentricity.
Hip bands don't always discover one another strumming in the catacombs of Penn Station. "We all met in high school, back when I was part of a blues rock band. I eventually got bored of 3 chord riffs, and started to write songs with Emmanuel, who was studying classical violin at the time," said L'Allier. "We sort of combined sounds and influences, to create something more challenging and substantial. The others, Max and Carmel, kind of just tagged along."
Passwords' self-titled debut was released April 26, and it's evidently a fusion of diverse sounds. "Considering that this is our first record, I think that pretty much all our musical baggage is in there," L'Allier said. "From Neil Young to Bowie, the Stones to the Velvet Underground. I guess we can also say we're influenced by the hardships of living in the city versus the loneliness of the country-side."
Alternative sound isn't always achieved via innovative production techniques. Passwords found individualism through simple juxtapositions.
"I guess the way the album came along is pretty unique. Emmanuel (Guitar/Vox) came up with all the drum parts, which is odd considering he's not really a drummer. It gave the whole thing a very "guitary" approach. We then recorded with a 'real' drummer to make everything work. Also, we tend to go all-out with arrangements, no-holds-barred. Finally, I'd say the fact that we fully commit to our folk/rock influences, but without sticking to the standard forms and structures of those genres," L'Allier said.
Passwords' 8-track opus is a scenic and haunting patchwork of sounds. L'Allier's vocals fluctuate from the depths of ethereal, Daniel Rossen lows up to the heights of garage rock, rambunctious bellows. The track, "Life After Summer", follows a Shins-ian tone and cascades through an enchanting melody of gripping riffs.
L'Allier said about the song, "I think it reflects both our dreamy folk side, and also that 'raw' rock and roll which we're all about."
Grab the "Life After Summer" MP3. The debut is out now, via Mercy.
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MP3: "Life After Summer"Article By: Matt Howard