Calling ALL fans of Joy Division, The Cure, or any legendary pioneer of the post-punk movement; I bring to you, CO/NTRY – icons of Montréal’s underground music scene.
Bold, exhilarant, and a blast from the past; this adult-contemporary duo was devised by the unique artistries of Beaver Sheppard and David Whitten. Sheppard, already known in the Montréal underground music world at the time, met Whitten while coincidentally dating his then roommate:
“We kind of formed because of the POP Montréal band lotto, where you workshop songwriting in one night. Everyone I was supposed to work with had dropped out. I didn’t even know if he was any good or anything; I just asked him. He had a weirdness to him.” tweet
It turned out that this quintessential “weirdness” is exactly what attracted fans to bands like Joy Division and The Cure, and is clearly recognizable within this duo’s avant-garde, non-traditional sound. ‘Failure’, their first album, recorded during a three-hour studio session with the Montréal-based label, Turbo Recordings, was merely a small taste of what was to come and what listeners get with their newest record, ‘Cell Phone 1’.
‘Cell Phone 1’, a carefully thought out masterwork, was released on Montréal’s Fantôme Records on April 14th. Their first single ‘Cash Out’ (my favorite tune), completely reminds me of ‘Disorder’ by Joy Division mixed with ‘Fascination Street’ by The Cure, providing an electronic garage rock melody, accented drumming, and high pitch vocals comparable to Robert Smith (The Cure). Their second single ‘Living In A Body’, incorporates an amazing saxophone instrumental melted within the deep bass guitar. Another one of my favorite tracks ‘Beyond Belief’, reminds me of the dramatic electro-pop sound that Depeche Mode absolutely mastered in the 80s.
Audio for ‘Cash Out’:
Music Video for ‘Living In A Body’:
Needless to say, this band does a remarkable job of grasping the post-punk genre as a whole and representing it in a way that would make their predecessors proud. Just like CO/NTRY was inspired by artists that came before to create their own unique sound, future musicians will do the same for them.
Love them as much as I do? Listen to some more innovative tunes like ‘Second Life’, ‘Too Much’, ‘Gold Standard’, and ‘Who Cares’ on CO/NTRY’s ‘Cell Phone 1’:
Headed to the Distortion Fest in Montréal on May 13th? Pick up your tickets here to catch CO/NTRY live with the band, We Are Wolves! Be sure to also keep up to date with CO/NTRY by following them on all of their social media linked below!