This Montreal band has been making waves in their home province for years but have just landed in my lap for the first time here on the West Coast. This is probably due to the fact that the band is Francophone. Karkwa, consisting of Stéphane Bergeron, Louis-Jean Cormier, François Lafontaine, Martin Lamontagne and Julien Sagot, are now known across the country because they have gone where no other francophone band has gone before – they have won the coveted Polaris prize. The prize is awarded to the year’s best Canadian album and was given to them for their fourth studio album Les chemins de verre, released September 3rd. Previous winners of the prestigious award include Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (2006).
While my non-existant French language skills make it impossible for me to understand the lyrics, the catchy melody is enough to interest me. Their form of introspective folk and atmospheric rock kind of remind me of a Francophone version of Turin Brakes, one of the best small indie bands I picked up from my days in Scotland.
Here’s the english version of their website for everyone who, like me, ditched French right after Grade 8 and never looked back. For many, many reasons I wish I hadn’t and now Karkwa have giving me one more. Stream and buy the album here!