Review- “Expwy in the Sky”- Expwy

reviewed by Michael Thomas

There doesn’t seem to be many musicians as tireless as Matt LeGroulx. His project called Expwy has released a slew of music so far this year, his last being the brilliant “lo-fi bossa nova” record Little Hand Fighter.

Expwy in the Sky is not another bossa nova-esque record, but instead is a double EP. While logically one might assume a double EP would in fact be an album, there’s a reason LeGroulx refers to it as such: both EPs can be played simultaneously.

The EPs themselves reference construction projects in the Montreal area and their effects on populations- tracks 1-6 talk about Plymouth Grove, an area torn down to build an expressway, and tracks 7-12 talk about the Turcot interchange project.

The music itself is oriented in a lo-fi rock direction, with LeGroulx playing all instruments. Filling in vocals are Elliott Kerr and Ian Jarvis, who recently released a wonderful record by the name of chairs.

LeGroulx manages to go pretty wild with instrumentation- no instrument ever really has a small part, from the sometimes ferocious banging on the drums to the groovy bass to the chaotic guitar solos.

Individually, the songs shine with some really great lyrics as well. “Everyday, anyday” starts to build up the tension in Plymouth Grove as it talks of railway tracks, and “Dust will settle into the cracks,” a musically dense song, talks of the inevitable: “Elevated hardened steel driven up to meet the cloud/And in time cars will fly.”

The second EP serves as a good companion piece to the first. “Authenticity, gone” is almost like a stripped-down version of opener “We climbed to play,” with its almost off-beat drumming and hypnotic style of singing. “A militia of anxious eyes” would be completely steady in tempo were it not for one absolutely chaotic bit where LeGroulx goes crazy with his instruments.

“Thunderclouds separated” starts to draw the story of the Turcot interchange project to a close, with the repetition of the phrase “Getting kicked out.” And “Tumble to the grass below” finishes it, with a very descriptive line that talks about “watching metal turn to dust.”

When you’ve finished listening to the songs individually, try listening to the pairs of songs simultaneously. They’re pretty wild to behold, but you’ll notice that as chaotic as they are, the chaos is intentional.

Expwy in the Sky is another interesting experiment from Matt LeGroulx. Now we’ll probably only have to wait a few more months before we get some more great music. The double EP is available from Bandcamp.

Top Tracks: “Dust will settle into the cracks”; “A militia of anxious eyes”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*

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