Review – “The Montreal Sessions” – Midcoast

reviewed by Anna Alger

Be captivated by the improvised jazz and indie rock sounds of Toronto’s Midcoast, and their latest EP, The Montreal Sessions. Full of crisp, yet melodic sound, this short but intriguing pair of songs recorded live at McGill University showcases a group of experimental musicians creating unique songs.

The EP consists of but two tracks, both instrumental in nature. The first, entitled “A Collection of Short Stories,” opens with a curious repeating keyboard line which leads into a wandering guitar melody. The alto saxophone grounds this track further, taking the lead melody and eventually weaving a playful song amongst the sounds of the other instruments. Light, purposeful drumming fills out this track, the bass understated but effective.

Next is “Money is Sad Shit.,” a song driven by the alto saxophone more than in the previous track. The beginning is almost evocative of Björk’s “The Anchor Song,” before building into an improvised celebration between the piano and the alto saxophone. Money is Sad Shit.” continues by slowing down into a more drum lead jam and ending via a fizzled out denouement.

The Montreal Sessions proves to be an interesting couple songs, effectively showing the range of Midcoast in a limited amount of time. The jazz element is strong, but what really draws the listener in is the alto saxophone juxtaposed by more indie rock guitar lines, combined with the music’s improvisational nature. Time can only tell what this band will do next, but I suggest keeping your ears open.

The Montreal Sessions is available via Midcoast’s Bandcamp.

Top Tracks: “A Collection of Short Stories,” “Money is Sad Shit.”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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