reviewed by Michael Thomas
Deux Trois are the kind of act I immediately kicked myself for not having heard the instant their Health EP hit the world earlier this year. Right out of the gate, I’m just going to go out and say it: there has not been a more emotionally fulfilling rock record so far this year. I’m not going to be able to put this more eloquently than Mac Cameron already has, but it’s gorgeous, enrapturing, beguiling…the list of positive adjectives could go on forever.
Now, I would already be listening to a band led by Nadia Pacey (who, as Konig, put out one of the best albums of 2015); she has such an economy with words and sounds, hitting you in the gut with minimalism. I would already be listening to a band involving Benjamin Nelson of PS I Love You. When they joined forces with Ben Webb, Deux Trois became an unstoppable force.
There is not a single song that does not exude white-hot goodness. When it’s not blazing away (like in “Salt” or “Don’t (Be Good To Us)”), it’s breaking your heart (like in “Roy”). Pacey feels equally at home being emotionally intimate and all kinds of badass, often in the same song. There’s such a satisfying contrast in the way she delivers confessional lines like “Do you like the smell of my sweat as much as I like yours” in “Caves In My Cheeks,” followed a few lines later by loud guitars and vocalizations.
Clearly the album was born of an immense darkness, as Pacey describes on the album’s Bandcamp page, but it simultaneously feels inviting. “Late Night Girls” has a uniquely fiery energy in the way the drums follow Pacey’s vocals. Few things get me more than group vocals, and they energize “Don’t (Be Good To Us).” But they take the title track to a new plane of existence. You’ll be positively hypnotized as Pacey et al. sing “Feels so good for my health, good for your health, good for our health.”
With “Dave” you can really feel Pacey’s sense of humour, as seen through vivid images like red spacesuits. And though it’s about a lost love, you get the sense that Pacey is more than over it. Then there’s “Roy,” which takes things down several notches and feels positively heartbreaking every time Pacey’s voice cracks singing “The words they fail me.” Even in “Blur,” which is a bit more electronic than the other songs, there’s a sense of catharsis every time Pacey yells.
Sorry in advance:
This album is good for my health, good for your health, and therefore, good for our health.
Top Tracks: “Late Night Girls”; “Health”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*