Ferriswheel – Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion [Review]


It’s been awhile since I last heard from Ferriswheel, which I assume is mostly due to their busy schedules with touring/working with other bands.
So, I fell off my chair when news came out about the long awaited second album called Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion (translation: A little in North and Without Distortion).
The album will officially drop on November 29, 2011.

For a refresher, Ferriswheel is a instrumental band from Montreal.
The band consists of:

  • Simon Trottier (Timber Timbre) who plays guitar and lap steel
  • Mathieu Charbonneau (The Luyas and Torngat) who plays piano
  • Philippe Charbonneau who plays double bass
  • Pietro Amato (The Luyas, Bell Orchestre and Torngat) who plays the French Horn
  • Olivier Fairfield (J’Envoie) who plays drums
  • Joshua Zubot who plays violin (a member who I haven’t seen during their live shows)

Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion has seven tracks and is filled with luscious instrumental pop tunes.
It’s not new age (please don’t call it that!), but has more of an indie pop orchestra sound.
Having seen them live a few times, it’s nice to have the tracks made into a album and into studio-sounding form.
Songs I recognize are Feed Your Lion and the album title track Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion.
I remember in Pop Montreal 2010 when they played Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion and Pietro walked out near the stage.

It’s nice that they included Dusty Gentle Creature, which was on the B-side of Timber Timbre’s Black Water single, however I wish they had re-recorded it for the album.
When I listen to Dreams and Dots, Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion, Les Marionnettes Analogues and Dusty Gentle Creature, I feel like they should be used in a musical score for a film or some play.
The whole album is filled with nice layered textures of piano, acoustic guitar, lap steel, double-bass, french horn, drums, and violin.
I find this one is set apart from the first album Woodsongs from the Backroom.
The first album had more of a naturistic woodsy feel, while Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion has more of an imaginary creative and emotional feel.
When I listen to this album I have my own vision of what kind of music video I would like to make for each song.
Despite being about 30 minutes, I really want more from them.
I think it’s great that the band has expanded, it brings a great dynamic to their sound.
I’m glad they have something out this year.
This is such a beautiful record!!

Best tracks:

  • Dreams and Dots
  • Un Peu au Nord et Sans Distorsion
  • Feed Your Lion
  • Les Marionnettes Analogues
  • Dusty Gentle Creature

I’d give this 9.5/10
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