Posted by: kaleidophonic | November 15, 2011

New Canadian Music: Adam & The Amethysts

Hey all, Happy Tuesday!

Today I thought I’d turn you all on to this great group out of Montreal, Adam & the Amethysts.

I first heard this track on CBC radio, when Brent Bambury filled in for Jian Gomeshi on Q. Bambury used to host “Brave New Waves”, an overnight showcase of new, alternative, and indie Canadian music. So Bambury knows his stuff. The Amethysts’ performance on the show was a little ramshackle, but somehow I found that terribly endearing: in an era of over-produced sterilized-slick pop music, ramshackle whimsical music like this is like a breath of fresh air for my ears.

Their new album is called Flickering Flashlight. Their sound reminds me a little bit of an American group I was once ga-ga for: Beachwood Sparks. Both have a similar earnest hippie-folk-rock sound, but where Beachwood was a bit derivative of old Beach Boys, it seems a bit more difficult to pin down exactly who Adam & the Amethysts see as their musical forebears.

Clearly the Beach Boys would be one of them, along with the Beatles. Some critics have even compared them to the Velvet Underground. But why do we always need to validate new groups by saying “Hey, yeah, they sound like so-and-so” ? Doesn’t that just make the audience expect certain sounds? Why can’t we just listen with open ears and minds, letting the music form whatever impressions they might? Let the music evoke random collections of memories, like the random collection of objects on the Flickering Flashlight album cover.

But I digress. Here’s some more music: the band hitches a ride downtown and performs in the middle of Montreal’s St. Catherines’ street.

How is it that no one seems particularly interested? Oh well, that might just be Montreal: In a city chalk full of musicians, artists, dancers, and creative collectives, things like this are a fairly common occurence. I like this vid because you can hear the ambiance of the city behind the music: bus breaks squeaking, voices of passers-by.

Want more? Follow the link below for the band’s appearance and interview on Q. Enjoy and I’ll see you all again in a few days.

– KJ


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