Montreal’s Duchess Says have announced the release date for their forthcoming third LP, ‘Sciences Nouvelles’. The album, their follow up to their well-regarded 2011 effort, ‘In a Fung Day T!,’ is set to be released via Bonsound and Slovenly Recordings on October 14th. As well as the announcement, they also released their single I Repeat Myself, which you can take a listen to via Soundcloud below.
Recorded in their newly built Montreal studio, the track typifies the LP’s tightly-wound, goth-influenced synth punk, with vocalist Annie-Claude Deschênes delivering a ferocious performance, over a frenetic analog synth arrangement that’s as indebted to the aesthetics of John Carpenter and Dario Argento as it is to the primordial new wave of Devo, the esoteric electronics of DAF, and the anarchic no wave of Teenage Jesus & The Jerks.
In support of the release the band have announced tour dates in North America and Europe with Guerilla Toss, Future Punx and Belgian new wavers Le Prince Harry. Details can be found below.
More about Duchess Says?
Duchess Says was formed in Montreal by members of an obscure religious organization known as the Church of Budgerigars. Composed of Annie-Claude Deschênes (vocals, guitar, keytar), Ismael Tremblay (keyboard, guitar), Phillipe Clément (guitar, gass) and Simon Besré (drums), the group aspire to ensure the faithful representation of the message of The Duchess, their spiritual leader, through “a precise artistic dialogue.”
From the first the band captured the attention of audiences in Montreal with their live shows, vicious and theatrical presentations centered around the uncompromising conviction of Deschênes, whose performances were marked by a devotional intensity, and the primacy she places upon physically contacting the audience and pushing the boundaries of her expression.
The local acclaim these early shows engendered gave way to wider recognition with the release of the band’s first two LPs, 2008’s ‘Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs’ and 2011’s ‘In a Fung Day T!,’ which garnered attention from outlets like Pitchfork, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan and Exclaim, and led to the band touring with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ariel Pink and The Black Lips, and sharing the stage with their no wave heroes James Chance & The Contortions and Teenage Jesus & The Jerks.
In a live review during this period the New York Times described the band as “not particularly mercantile,” a description that understates the fitful existence of a group whose approach has always been subject to the same quixotic whims that guide their live sets. As such it’s been 5 years since the release of their last LP, during which time the band have engaged in a series of collaborations (Deschênes appearing on Fucked Up’s Zodiac singles series, several members releasing an album under the name PyPy with members of Montreal’s Red Mass/CPC Gangbangs, and Duchess Says releasing a split EP with Belgian synth punks Le Prince Harry), and set to work building the studio where ‘Sciences Nouvelles’ was recorded, while keeping up a regular schedule of live dates.
The album itself contrasts the band’s characteristic vehemence with an icy electronic aesthetic, that in places recalls acts like Goblin and Zombi, and takes forays into areas redolent of the more experimental impulses of Mask-era Bauhaus, and LA goth/deathrock acts like 45 Grave and Christian Death. The band’s writing process is generally centered around attempts to interpret visual art musically, and Deschênes describes this album as being “influenced by science, but in an insipid way,” with the band taking inspiration from scientific diagrams and illustrations in the interest of presenting a distorted reflection of “the appearances of science rather than the reality.” This manifests itself in a peculiar balance of tones that sees the band at their most disciplined and at their most aggressive, whether it’s Tremblay’s abrasive guitars and Deschenes’ unhinged vocals tearing at the edges of the tightly sequenced new wave of I Repeat Myself, the gradual disintegration of the lockstep krautrock drive of Inertia Part II, or the the high-tempo Dead Kennedys-esque choruses of Pink Coffin giving way to the synth squalled melt of it’s verses. It’s an approach that blends a freewheeling openness to experimentation with an assuredness of execution that speaks to the band’s experience, and to their devotion to uncovering the possibilities at the edges of their music, both on the record and in a live context.
2. Inertia Part II
3. I Repeat Myself
4. Negative Thoughts
7. Talk In Shapes
8. I’m an Idea
9. Pink Coffin
10. The Family Physicians
10/10/2016 O’Briens, BOSTON, MA ~
11/10/2016 Goldilocks, PHILADELPHIA, PA ~
13/10/2016 TBA, WASHINGTON, DC ~
14/10/2016 Shea Stadium, BROOKLYN, NY ~
15/10/2016 Elvis Guesthouse, NEW YORK
20/10/2016 Latulipe, MONTRÉAL, QC
22/10/2016 Sous Bois, CHICOUTIMI, QC
26/10/2016 DSTRCT, GUELPH, ON
27/10/2016 The Garrison, TORONTO, ON
28/10/2016 Call The Office, LONDON, ON
29/10/2016 This Aint Hollywood, HAMILTON, ON
04/11/2016 House Of Targ, OTTAWA, ON
05/11/2016 Le Cercle, QUÉBEC, QC
10/11/2016 Urban Spree, BERLIN, GERMANY
14/11/2016 Le Botanique, BRUXELLES, BELGIUM *
17/11/2016 Pôle étudiant, NANTES, FRANCE °
18/11/2016 Petit Bain, PARIS, FRANCE °
19/11/2016 Les Trinitaires, METZ, FRANCE °
21/11/2016 Electrowerkz, LONDRES, UK
23/11/2016 Marché Gare, LYON, FRANCE
24/11/2016 Fri-Son, FRIBOURG, SWITZERLAND
25/11/2016 Nov Komma, ESSLINGEN AM NECKAR, GERMANY
26/1/2016 Venster 99, VIENNE, AUSTRIA
~ w/ Future Punx
* w/ Prince Harry
° w/ Guerilla Toss