Since his days as the frontman of cult Canadian garage-rockers The Deadly Snakes, André Ethier has comfortably slipped into an artistic second act. With a similarly smooth touch, sly sense of humor, and a musical palette as subtly vibrant as his paintings, Ethier’s solo musical work sounds like it’s always existed.
He returns this fall with Croak In The Weeds, the second installment in a planned trilogy of albums from Telephone Explosion. Its nine songs were recorded in Ethier’s Toronto studio with producer Sandro Perri, a name that may be familiar to regular AD readers. Expanding upon the sound of 2017’s gorgeously low-key LP, Under Grape Leaves, Ethier continues to layer languid guitars over minimalist rhythm box backdrops and swampy synth-pop. His vocals occasionally recall a friendly Bill Callahan, young Gilberto Gil, or an oddball James Taylor.
Ethier’s lyrical fixations on this song cycle drift into the realm of flora and fauna, with characters ranging from dogs to dragons. On the slowly ambling first single, “Dream On Pig”, he nods to the Doors’ Peace Frog and Grateful Dead’s Jerry Bears. To further increase the cute factor, the song’s video by director Eva Michon features shots of playful puppies romping and running through a majestic sun-lit environment. Keep this one bookmarked for a rainy day when you need a smile. words/j locke
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