Montrealer and indie jazz musician Christian David boasts a musical training background—but I have to confess it was the crooning way he name-dropped Caillou on his solo EP that piqued my interest.
The bilingual singer and member of Union des Artistes has contributed his diverse abilities to a number of bands, including David Giguère, Gabriella Hook and Une Toune Par Jour, as well as being part of the creators of the musical group La Famille Ouellette. As if that weren’t enough, he also dabbles as a comedian and an artistic counsellor on top of his music.
Le bon vieux stock is a quick sample of his dual-language talents—a collection of five songs that he describes as having been kept too long, for the eventual day they might be finished. And while there’s definitely a stripped down feel to the EP, there’s no sense David has shirked his songwriting duties on these tracks.
“Haven of Peace” opens the EP in English and a more indie feel as he eases into a late croon. It’s a peppy number until the last minute as David slows things down, confidently saying, “I hope you don’t care if I close the light.”
That trace of seduction is gone on “Monopole des avions,” a jaunty, whimsical number that strikes a waltzing tone in the intro and plays up more classical routes as the wind instruments explode for the coda.
“Lassé” is a more tempered number, as David’s voice takes on a new, emotive richness for the devastated ballad. As he transitions back into English for “Captain Headache” a new jazzy feel emerges as the notes begin to bounce around the piano—letting go of the weightiness of the earlier track. “It’s a beautiful day/Don’t need to worry/I’m fucking okay/I’m lying, I’m lying to myself,” he quips.
A snapping beat picks up on the traces of a musical that surged through the penultimate track, and “Précipice de l’espoir” rounds out the EP with a haunting closer. The song sways and whirls into a fun interplay between a piano and a trumpet as David revels, vocally, in the final moments of the track.
Top Track: “Lassé”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)