Eric Chenaux Trio unveil lead single, ‘This Ain’t Life’, from forthcoming new album, Delights Of My Life

Photo: Sylvestre Nonique-Desvergnes

For huge fans like us of experimental guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter Eric Chenaux, news of new music from him fills us with joy and anticipation. He has consistently captivated us with his striking voice of gold and unique blend of majestic songcraft and improvisation. So we’re thrilled to know he has a new album on the way, now as Eric Chenaux Trio, also featuring fellow Canadian musicians Phillipe Melanson (Bernice, Joseph Shabason, U.S Girls) on electronic percussion, and longtime collaborator Ryan Driver on Wurlitzer organ.

Entitled Delights Of My Life, the upcoming album was recorded at Chenaux’s home studio in rural France, and arrives on May 31st through Constellation and Murailles Music. As the press release describes, Delights Of My Life is somewhat of a follow-up to his previous album Say Laura, “in its subversions of a classic, timeless jazz-inflected balladry, with the interplay of the trio formation indeed unfurling many new delights.” As always, Chenaux’s music is marked by its subtlety and nuance, allowing us to engage with its intricacies in different ways.  He comments:

“I like to make music that continues in such a way that one does not feel the pressure to listen all the time, that does not petition for your attention but welcomes it, and if you drift out and think about whatever it is one can think about in this day and age, when you come back, well it is there, and you have not necessarily missed anything that will hinder your re-engagement: a fidelity to duration in an unearthly sense.”

Clocking in at a sprawling 10 minutes, album opener ‘This Ain’t Life’ is the first sonic delight from Eric Chenaux Trio’s new album to be unveiled. The single comes with an accompanying video, offering a visual exploration of the trio’s creative process and interplay. Experimental filmmaker and longtime collaborator Eric Cazdyn directs.

Eric Chenaux unveils video for ‘Say Laura’ off upcoming album

Photo: Sylvestre Nonique-Desvergnes

Last month Eric Chenaux announced the release of his first album in four years, Say Laura, and enticed us with the beguiling title track. Now he is offering an accompanying video for the single, directed by filmmaker and longtime collaborator Eric Cadzyn. Chenaux wrote a few words about the song and the video:

“Say Laura is the sixteenth music video from Eric Cadzyn and I.
Sweet 16!
When I think about this group of work I think about the chance I get to encounter
the way a dear friend listens.
And how he modulates that listening into a problem.
A problem in the classic sense.
The problem being the form of music video.
And we both take on that form unapologetically.
I know they are a far cry from Beyoncé and Jay Z busting a move in the Louvre.
We are wondering how to encounter this form or propose an encounter with this form
where the image and the song can co-inhabit a space and a time without hierarchy.
Where the image and sound can share a space (perhaps differently) without short-circuiting the other. Where we get to see and hear without one sense exercising control over the other.
Most of the videos we have made (save for a couple) are one non-edited shot.
Say Laura takes a distinctively different approach, using photos (for the most part).

This is a performance video and maybe a sister video to Wild Moon,
which is a video of the performer listening and quietly singing along and dancing.
This is a video of the performer lip-syncing (different than quietly singing along, I don’t know how it is different but it is different. A different zone).
The performer closes its eyes when it is not singing (to listen to the guitar, I imagine, without having to engage with the camera).
In the stillness of the photos we see the gestures, the shapes that the mouth makes to make the different sounds.
A dance of skin, orifice (filter), teeth, tongue, lips, jaw and well, a lot of hair!
The slits, the orifices, the bends in the skin.
The humour of the grotesque of the mouth abstracted and often without context to the surrounding face. The video is a performance of the song and this is a performance video.
There is text coming out of the song onto the screen, out of sync and in sync.
There are pulses in the video: pulsing text, pulsing image, pulsing screen, flashing the beat of the song. And the video performs “Say Laura”.

Watch the video for ‘Say Laura’ below and watch out for the album release on February 19th through Constellation and Murailles Music.

Eric Chenaux announces new album, Say Laura, and shares title track

Photo: Sylvestre Nonique-Desvergnes

Eric Chenaux‘s Slowly Paradise and Skullsplitter, released in 2018 and 2015 respectively, both made it to our Albums Picks of the Year and remain active favourites. Four years on from his last album release, we’re a little bit more than excited to learn that the hugely gifted experimental guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter has a new album on the way. Entitled Say Laura, the album is packed with the singular and skilful guitar and honeyed voice that made his previous records so wonderful. Equal parts intuitive and learned, the album is a mesmerizing affair that “bring[s] Chenaux’s semi-improvised but keenly intentional songwriting to its fullest, clearest, warmest and coolest articulation; uncompromising and generous, hyper-specific and loose, spartan and luxurious, elemental and ornate”, as the press release describes.

Citing various influences such as Sun Ra, Jeanne Lee, Gang Starr, Charlie Parker, Betty Carter, EPMD and Thelonious Monk, on Say Laura Chenaux builds on a foot-pedal technique he’d has previously used. He explains:

“I wrote a lot of the beats to this record while listening to other musics.
Playing a beat along with the recordings on my Boss drum machine.
These rhythms were then used to gate (noise gate) or open the harmony of the chords rhythmically.
To find rhythmic lines to sing and play with.
Sun Ra: The Night Of The Purple Moon with its slow bass driven grooves.
And a lot of hip hop, a lot of Gangstarr and EPMD (the first hip hop I encountered in the late 80’s and early 90’s)
Then these rhythms were repurposed into other forms.
Slowed down, for the most part.
Beats taken out to create space.
To make inferred beats.”

Ahead of the album’s release on February 19th through Constellation and Murailles Music, Chenaux has shared the beguiling title track. Lend your ears to it now.

Eric Chenaux shares new track ‘3 Stars On Mountain of Doom’ for Richard Youngs

Photo: JB Deucher

Eric Chenaux and Richard Youngs have crossed paths many a time. And it’s no surprise that the latest marvellous track to emerge from Chenaux, ‘3 Stars On Mountain of Doom’, serves as a tribute to Youngs. Chenaux explains:

“‘3 Stars On Mountain of Doom’ was recorded for Richard Youngs’ 50th Birthday for a limited edition of 1 compilation CD entitled 50 Years Of Youngs, curated by Madeleine Hynes. This recording is a montage-set inspired by Richard’s 3 Stars CDR and his wonderful song ‘Mountain of Doom.'”

Take a listen now.

Eric Chenaux unveils new video for ‘Bird & Moon’

A marvellous video for ‘Bird & Moon’ is the latest surprise unveiled by the always wonderful Eric Chenaux, lifted from his recently released album Slowly Paradise. Filmed in Toronto and Paris, the video was produced by Chenaux’s longtime collaborator Eric Cazdyn. Watch it below.

In other related news, Eric Chenaux has announced a string of live dates in Europe. Take a look at all his stops below:

Nov 9th Milan (IT), Fondazione Feltrinelli
Nov 23rd Ravenna (IT), Transmissions Festival
Dec 2nd-3rd Madeira, Madeiradig Festival
Dec 5th London (UK), The Islington
Dec 6th Birmingham (UK), The Dark Horse
Dec 7th Bristol (UK), Unitarian Chapel

Slowly Paradise is out now through Constellation.