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Black Feelings: Brothers in Arms
Community has always been a strong suit of the Montreal music scene. For all the years when no one was paying attention, musicians played together, prayed together, shared members and resources, built venues and little labels that eventually loomed large foundations that are still evident today and, more importantly, lessons were passed on to a new generation of young guns that make the beautiful noise today.

Let’s use Black Feelings as an example. The trio assembles two-thirds of the once-prominent and genre-defying Les Angles Morts, namely Owain Lawson on drums/vocals and Kyle Fostner on keys and vocals, alongside guitarist/bassist Brian Mitchell. The band drop their highly-anticipated, self-titled debut this month on local tastemakers Alien8. «Owain and I had just come out of the ashes of a band called Who’s the Ghost, named after the best game ever involving bed sheets and drugs, so it only seemed natural to keep churning out gold hits,» says Mitchell of the early days, circa 2007.

Visions of the Future, Visions of the Past
Black Feelings got their start playing Montreal’s burgeoning alternative spaces scene. At a time when the city appears to be cracking down on the smaller spaces in town do a bit of research on what Casa del Popolo, Divan Orange and le Cagibi have been through of late cool, off-the-beaten-path and artist-friendly joints abound: Lab Synthèse, Friendship Cove, Eastern Bloc, La Brique, Squalor House to name but a few. Their brethren/sisters in arms, keepers of the flame, ride the same dark waves they do, creating a new Montreal buzz heavy on the psychedelic doses of rock, punk, pop and electronics: Dead Wife, Grand Trine, Red Mass, Ultrathin and Tonstartssbandht. «I’m really happy about the kind of community happening right now,» mentions Owain Lawson., «There have been a lot of hardworking indie pop bands trying to make it in Montreal for years, for whom I have a lot of respect, and now there’s an energetic new movement of people who are doing what they feel and being rad.»

I throw out the term «psychic rock» to the band, in trying to aptly describe Black Feelings and their compadres’ brand of forward-thinking stomp. «I like the term ‘psychic’ because it hints at that, and because it sounds very strange,» adds Lawson.   «My girlfriend’s mom has ‘music is the sound of feelings’ written in silver cursive above her kitchen table, I think that also sums it up. ‘Psychedelic’ is more of a recognizable genre term.»

Whatever you call it, Black Feelings rock hard and loud. Black Feelings was carefully recorded and put together by the band and engineer Mark Lawson, and it captures the trio elevating their sound to the heavens, pushed by back-breaking beats, far-out vocals, keyboard orchestra and just the right touch of the weird. Pinning down Black Feelings’ hopes in advance of the release is easy, says Owain. «I hope very much that the record goes to the top of the charts and we become famous.» Ha!

October 3rd | Ukrainian Federation | 5213, Hutchison | with Faust
October 15th | Lab Synthèse | 435, Beaubien W.