Ahead of a European tour in November, Montreal’s Corridor will release ‘Junior’ on CD/LP/DL/CS October 18th, 2019 worldwide through Sub Pop with the exception of Canada through Bonsound. With ‘Junior’, the group make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiralling vocal harmonies, and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon.
You can now watch the new Monty Python-esque animated video for “Topographe”, which stars the band themselves. Corridor’s Jonathan Robert directed the visual, commenting: “While I’ve explored and mixed many different techniques in my past music videos, it’s the first time that I took the process this far, blending all of them together in one place. It’s a melting pot of stop motion, green screen, illustration, animation, collage, and live video. It’s the visual equivalent of the progression of the song, a simple idea that takes amplitude through repetition.”
Check out the video for ‘Topographe’ – BELOW:
About Corridor’s ‘Junior’:
Never before, in their 31-year history, have Sub Pop signed a Francophone act. Maybe the Corridor‘s magic springs from their ingenious hooks, their topaz-tinted vision. Maybe it’s the panache of Québec’s insurgent underground scene, or the camaraderie of co-frontmen Dominic Berthiaume (vocals/bass) and Jonathan Robert (vocals/guitar/synths), who have played together since they were 14. Maybe it’s their name—a hallway crossed with a toreador. Probably it’s all of these, and none of them: Corridor’s grand unveiling is an easy joy, a hasty miracle, because it’s pure fun to listen to. Ten songs, dazzling and inventive, tempting as a grove of raspberries.
Like Corridor‘s previous releases, ‘Junior’ was made with the band’s friend, producer (and occasionally roommate), Emmanuel Ethier. However 2015’s ‘Le Voyage Eternel’ and 2017’s ‘Supermercado’ were languorously recorded, their songs taking shape across whole seasons. This time Berthiaume, Robert, Julian Perreault (guitar) and Julien Bakvis (drums) permitted themselves no such indulgence. The band had vowed to release an album every two years, and for ‘Junior’ it required a blitz. “If you want to release something this fall, we need the masters by the 10th of May,” Sub Pop warned them. Winter was already in its last throes: on March 1, Corridor went into studio; in mid-April, Corridor came out. They had somehow created ‘Junior’—and it was, if we may be so bold, spectacular.
Singers, two guitars, bass, drums: the timelessness of the setup underpins the timelessness of the group’s sound, a rock’n’roll borrowing from each of the past six decades—punk and pop, psych and jangle, daydream and swoon. It’s at once intricate and muscular, full of love, with riffs like a kind of medicine. Whereas Corridor‘s past work could sometimes seem overstuffed, twenty ideas to the same song, the new work is hypnotic, distilled. “Part of the beauty of the thing is that we didn’t have time to think about it,” says Berthiaume. Six of Junior’s tracks were conceived during a single weekend. The words to “Bang” were written on the eve of the sessions, as Robert began to panic: “Je payerai tôt ou tard,” he sings: I’ll pay, sooner or later. Fewer jams, fewer overdubs—no fortnight in the countryside, secluding themselves in a chalet. Even the artwork came in the nick of time: in spite of other, meticulous, masterpieces, Robert’s “shitty last-minute collage” (of an egg saying hello) was the one his bandmates went for.
That might be Corridor‘s best trick—their mixture of seriousness and whimsy. Songs like “Miscroscopie” and the standout “Domino” are purposeful, full of songcraft, even as they let loose, slip their collar. “Topographe”‘s all call and answer, like rival Cupids shooting arrows at each other across a ravine. “Pow” and “Goldie” are like hurtling racecars, or teams of horses, accelerating towards a memory. And Junior’s title track—by turns twitchy and anthemic—is in fact a tribute to Perreault, their “joueur étoile,” star player: in spite of his disappointed parents (“parents déçus”), he’s Corridor’s VIP.
‘Junior’‘s ten tracks are filled with tributes like this, impressionistic portraits of characters in the band-members’ lives. Their tone is affectionate, the meaning fuzzy—even if you’ve been brushing up on your French. Corridor lean into a sort of puzzlement, a kind of risk—that slippery, pleasurable feeling of falling in love with something you don’t entirely understand. It’s made them touring bedfellows for bands like Crumb, Snail Mail and Shame; it turns their ravishing, hooky rock’n’roll into something that demands repeat listens. Don’t worry, we already did the math: Junior lasts 39 minutes; each day has 24 hours; you can hear it 258 times/week.
Corridor live dates:
Oct. 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Oct. 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
Oct. 25 – Washington, DC – Comet Ping Pong
Oct. 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso (Upstairs)
Oct. 31 – Nyon, CH – La Parenthese
Nov. 02 – Nantes, FR – Soy Music Festival
Nov. 04 – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
Nov. 06 – London, UK – The Waiting Room
Nov. 08 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
Nov. 09 – Berlin, DE – Westgermany
Nov. 10 – Kortrijk, BE – Sonic City Music Festival
Nov. 20 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison*
Nov. 22 – Montreal, QC – M for Montreal Festival (Le National) *
Nov. 28 – Quebec City, QC – l’Anti
Dec. 04 – San Francisco, CA – Milk Bar
Dec. 07 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar #
Dec. 08 – Vancouver, BC – Astoria ^
Dec. 10 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
Dec. 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Moroccan Lounge
* w/ Absolutely Free
# w/ Woolen Men
^ w/ N0V3L
‘Junior’ track list:
5. Agent double
7. Grand cheval