As an ex Montrealer, there are so, so many things I will miss about the city. From all the lovely people I’ve met and love to the gastronomical food to the dep wine to all the hole-in-the-wall places in Montreal that could exist in no other city. Montreal is a home for rascals, a rag tag bunch, and the joie de vivre of the city exudes into such a strong and supportive community for independent musicians and fans of local talent. I was very fortunate in my last year in Montreal to have met some truly wonderful musician friends, particularly the extremely talented and charming This Many Boyfriends Club. And from their monthly WIND DOWN open mic gigs to their live shows, I’ve only been exposed to more and more talent in this wonderful city. General General is a band that opened for the Boyfriends at a show at 3 Minots sometime last year. A foursome stemming from the McGill musicians scene, their music have a folksy pop charm of bands in the vein of Tokyo Police Club and Electric President. Their multi-instrumental (there’s a banjo, a mandolin, and sometimes even some whistling and handclaps!) and layered approach to songwriting and performing not only result in incredibly catchy songs but there’s such an endearing quality to Wyatt Fine-Gagné’s vocals. The man is gifted with such a sincere tone of voice that coupled with their incessantly introspective lyrics turn all their songs into a thoroughly convincing plea. He shares the songwriting duties with Ben Carter-Whitney and props to both of them for writing songs that are more mature than their young band’s life.
Check out their EP The Sea for four lush songs about possibly the apocalypse or atleast a pretty severe storm and subsequent flood. A Better Man is clearly the single out of the four and its repetitive chorus lends itself well to the driving percussion and swelling, built up performance. They did a little TvMcgill session above which is just lovely in its progression into a full blown harmonizing and whistling swell. My favourite track though is probably the first one, Churchmen. It’s a great first song to kick off the EP and there’s a hollowness and urgency to the track that reminds me of a rainstorm; from the drizzle to the thunderclap to the pour. The whole EP is filled with these full and expansive songs that highlight a few unusual instruments with a sharp melody backed by a schizophrenic percussion and perfectly placed harmonies and the arrangements are incredibly tight and thought out. Like a shipwreck in a bottle, General General shakes up the formula for an interesting and distinct folk-pop sound.
General General also have a new EP out called Arms Fall Off that is very enjoyable so please take some time to check it out here. I want to go on record to say these guys are going to be fucking huge. It’s so inspiring to see talented young bands and the potential they have to grow into a full fledged album and probable record deals. Please continue to go support your local musicians by going to live shows (and reading our blog!). There’s nothing like discovering new bands, especially the ones that are truly this talented. I’m gonna miss the shit out of Montreal but I’m extremely excited to venture into the pool of Calgary talent. I’m going to try and write about some up and coming bands from the Mid West in my coming posts so please come back and visit! And lastly I want to thank this blog for continually letting me hit on cute boys that make great music. What a job.