By thismusicwins | April 16th, 2010
Trips and Falls hail from Montreal, and became the latest Song, By Toad Records signing at the end of last year. After a six month wait, their début album ‘He Was Such A Quiet Boy’ came out on my 18th birthday, March 22, 2010. As is so frequent with the Scottish label (a long-standing favourite of mine), the band play music which is as strangely compelling as it is odd-sounding, featuring often times directionless vocals set loosely over clanking semi-ambient sounds. For me, the band strike a more organic similarity to High Places in vocal style – displaying mild twee elements above the mist of psychedelic brass sections. But despite all of this, structure is retained into something vaguely catchy, into cold-hearted pop songs whose chilling nature will come back to haunt you.
The band’s myspace page begins to expose the secrets of their sonic unpredictability. They label themselves progressive/bluegrass/pop and Jacob Romero plays an ambiguous set of ‘various instruments’ as well as vocals and guitar. Ian Langohr contributes percussion. Backing vocals, shakers, bass and keys are shared between Ashleigh Delaye and Amanda Caron – who incidentally also play ‘Estrogen’. But the band certainly don’t allow themselves to be limited by such a standard set-up.
The two tracks which I am allowed to share are two of the denser arrangements, the strangeness of the titles is far more representative of what Trips and Falls are really like. Drawing elements from psychedelic pop bands in the vein of High Places, as well as an eery, and perhaps oversimplified similarity to Ben Gibbard in vocal delivery, Trips and Falls are as ambiguous as their band name. Almost progressive changes in tempo appear designed to pre-occupy rather than confuse, and the background sound-pallete remains as creepy and impersonal as Menomena‘s or indeed Brighton band Esben & The Witch‘s eccentric arrangements. If my aim has been achieved, you’ll be intrigued enough to press play/download.