Boomkat Product Review:
Montréal's Mathieu David Gagnon pinpoints an idiosyncratic mood on 'Volume I', taking inspiration from Quebec's first environmentalist Brother Marie-Victorin, and fusing 1950s orchestral emotionality with hazy contemporary production quirks and flickering post-rock momentum.
There's a cinematic grandeur to "Volume I" that radiates from every nook and cranny, and while the backbone of Quebecois post-rock (think A Silver Mt. Zion or Godspeed) is undeniable, Gagnon's treatments are more whimsical - less guided by the radio chatter of squat politics than the familiar crackle of dollar store vinyl and daytime romance movies.
This ability to juxtapose unfussy nostalgic melancholy with smart orchestral arrangements is Gagnon's real skill, and what puts "Volume I" in its own category. There's a familiarity that balances well with his synth flourishes and unusual avant-inspired treatments, and somehow these prog-nodding compositions actually reflect the environmental subject matter well. In 1935, Brother Marie-Victorin wrote a record of biodiversity in Quebec's Laurentides region, and titled it "Flore Laurentienne" - almost a century later, Gagnon pays tribute with an emotionally resonant set that sounds a few steps wide of our unsettling times.