reviewed by Elysse Cloma
Gifted with the ability to communicate emotional gravity and feelings of lovelorn anguish, Winnipeg indie pop act À La Mode makes music for fragile twee hearts. The project of artist Dominique Lemoine, À La Mode’s self-titled EP is like the score to a coming of age indie film that’s set in the springtime. Bouncy synth-based indie pop is A La Mode’s canvas to paint beautiful nature imagery that also describes deep emotion. À La Mode takes us through the various phases of a relationship pining for love; to the promise of a new crush; to the beginnings and ends of the chapters of life.
Dainty, melancholic twee anthem “Mountaintop” begins with a poignant whisper that asks: “what’s lonelier than reaching the top alone?” Trekking into the lonely territory of pining for love, À La Mode’s music is honest and heartfelt. Soprano synth strings, hints of glockenspiel, and playful guitar melodies are mixed in an ideal balance with airy vocals reminiscent of the musical stylings of Nico, Au Revoir Simone, or Tiger Trap. On the EP, the voice is treated like an instrument in the soundtrack-esque synth scape, blending and mixing perfectly with the reverberating sounds.
“To The Wind” is a mid-tempo song about puppy love, with a lightly swung chorus and gentle beat that’s carried by a light ride cymbal. On “To The Wind”, the vocals are sung in a bossa nova style, going slightly off key in a pleasing, haunting, soulful way.
For all those who are lovelorn, or have ever been heartbroken, consider À La Mode’s EP a gift- an endearing glimpse into an artist’s heart.
Top Track: “Mountaintop”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent)