Dear Denizen
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Dear Denizen

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Eight Best Acts Of Passovah Festival"

Dear Denizen: These guys gave one of the most polished and professional performances of the weekend, proving that sometimes the best, loudest, grittiest rock comes from lots of practice. Lead singer Chris Ngabonziza has the kind rough of voice that so many artists try to emulate with little success, and about-town drummer Bucky Wheaton knows exactly how to compliment him. Their polished precision in most places brings out their rougher edges in others, and it's a thrill to watch. - Noisey / Vice Magazine

"Pop Montreal - Dear Denizen at Club Balattou"

The scene in front of the stage looked like something out of a Robert Palmer video (think Addicted to Love or Simply Irresistible) with an uncommon ratio, in the 8-to-1 range, of women to men dancing up an early autumn storm on Balattou’s narrow dance floor. An odd, if not unwelcome, kick-off to Pop Montreal’s twelfth edition Wednesday night.

Onstage were relative newcomers Dear Denizen, a Montreal four-piece fronted by charismatic Congolese-Canadian Chris Ngabonziza, a young man whose gifts are clearly not limited to musicianship. Indeed, when God was handing out good looks, it seems Ngabonziza went back for seconds, an observation that could be extended to the whole band, actually.


Dear Denizen exist at the crossroads of evocative, early-’80s post-punk and primal, deeply groovy dance music. And, for the most part, it works. Ngabonziza is the band’s principle songwriter, crafting songs on his computer before bringing them to the rest of the band to be fully realized, which accounts for the repetitive electro feel that underpins the writing. It got people into the club and out of their seats.

“Five minutes ago there was nobody here, and wow, look at you guys!” said a surprised Ngabonziza a couple songs into the set, noting the largely female traffic jam in front of him.

Though the pacing between songs needed a lot of tightening on this eve, the same couldn’t be said for the band itself. And no wonder: backing up Ngabonziza are Victory Chimes frontman/keyboardist Jeff Louch on synth-bass, former Kill The Lights guitarist Alex Hackett and in-demand sticks man Mark “Bucky” Wheaton, all Montreal music scene veterans. In fact, Wheaton fairly quarterbacks the band, his deep, repetitive groove-heavy rhythms propelling the whole. And when they got it right, they got it really right.

At times, however, they seemed a little too locked into an idea – there’s not much done in the way of risk-taking, and there aren’t a whole lot of parts so the dynamics can be a little monotone. Ngabonziza falls into the same trap with a vocal styling that stayed, through the early part of the set in particular, squarely in his safe zone. Which was too bad, because he’s got a great falsetto and an under-used upper range which only became truly apparent in the latter part of the performance.

To wit, while the first half of the show was characterized by a more darkly-shaded, earnest type of writing reminiscent of a lot of Cold Wave bands of the ’80s, the second half gave way to a more emotional, tribal-style party as Ngabonziza started to let go. And so did the audience. In fact, one enthusiast let go of her bra, which she flung at Hackett (which he politely, if somewhat red-facedly, tossed back).

Dear Denizen are a work in progress, but certainly one worth watching. In more ways than one, evidently. “Where’s he going?” asked one young lass outside the club post-show as Bucky made his way out of the building. “I wanna go where he’s going!”

’Nuff said. - Montreal Gazette

"#MTLMoments: Dear Denizen at Divan Orange"

... But it’s the headliner, whose members are all new to us, that does us in. Dear Denizen’s arranged a lot like any band you’d see at a club like Divan Orange: drums, bass, synths, guitar, vocals. They’re also proof that the spirit of something is not in the structure. The singer’s all charisma: wild, combustive charisma, eyes fixed on every spectator, hands everywhere. He sings beautifully but that’s not what breaks through to us. He is staring down into us and fighting so hard to get us to feel what he’s feeling.

Dear Denizen’s lyrics flicker from love to fear to desire but the ones that stick out for me are the ones I can wear around my own feelings. “I wish I could be a better son. I want to be a perfect friend.” He sings it so fiercely you can’t mistrust the sentiment.

The best live acts get you thinking about what performance is and how it can work. Here, I’m struck by the danger in Dear Denizen’s show. They’re blasting this crazed vulnerability; anything could go wrong. But by the end, even the casual drinkers are up by the stage, transfixed. I don’t dance and I’m dancing. We’re won. - Consequence Of Sound

"Music in Montreal - Dancing To Dear Denizen"

We had no idea what to expect from this local electronarock outfit Dear Denizen when we went to check them out at Divan Orange, a rad little venue on St. Laurent. It wasn’t so much the music that was so compelling – though it was strong, catchy, and kind of reminded me of very early days Tragically Hip only with keyboards. Weird, I know. It was Chris Ngabonziza, their singer. Songs pushed out from his body frantically, he shadow-boxed the lyrics, threw down his cap and had us all dancing. Plus, we ran into two people we’d already met earlier in our trip that night, proving that Montreal’s English music scene is its own little tight community unto itself. - The Backstage Rider

"Six Musical Bands To Look Forward In The New Year"

Dear Denizen will trigger your indie-rock and post-punk envies with some heavy dose of electro-rock groove and their vibrant energy. The group’s debut EP, led Congolese-Canadian singer-songwriter Chris Ngabonziza is crafted off solid riffs and baritone voice and released solid riffs and engaging songwriting; they are also really good-looking boys, but you would have to see them live to acknowledge the fact. - Naked Underground Montreal

"Dear Denizen Brings A Spectacular Performance To Toronto"

Lead Singer, Christian Ngabonziza of Dear Denizen holds a red lightbulb to his face as he sings the haunting lyrics of “Spectacular Man” to a loving crowd at Smiling Buddha on Feb. 24.

Native Montreal band Dear Denizen, formed in 2012 brings a fresh sound to the music scene, being compared to progressive 80’s great David Bowie, Rush, Paul Simon and even “an exotic Johnny Cash”. The variety of comparative reviews ultimately tells the audience that Dear Denizen is completely in its own element, working with flairs of musical genres from across time and space.

Congolese-Canadian, Christian Nganonziza is the frontman, accompanied by Jeff Louch, Alex Hackett and Bucky Wheaton. The band’s instrumentation is tight, the vocals are off the charts and yet Dear Denizen still brings more to the table with a “spectacular” performance style. Ngazbonziza says, “I think performances have to be spectacular, fantastic and surprising.”
Dear Denizen definitely delivers a fantastic performance, with Ngabonziza’s interesting props, choice of attire and puppeteer-like dance style. The band released their E.P this past July and the track, “Senator”, is a really moving piece. Ngabonziza’s beautiful voice cuts across a music composition reminiscent of marching and sings,“tell me Senator, is there something wrong with my luck?/I tremble from trepidation as I walk the plank”. The song later erupts into a chaotic howl that reflects the meaning of the song in a way that words cannot.
Ngabonziza says upon reflecting “Senator”, “these songs are my own travelogues. Senator is especially my observation about being a millennial in today’s society. When I juxtapose our lives with that of our fathers before us i feel we are a different species. Everything they valued most, like religion, family, education, serious careers… these things are not priority for us. And therefore I find young people increasingly incompatible with the system's pillars.”

Dear Denizen is looking forward to potentially releasing an album in 2016 and is excited to promote their e.p and play shows in the coming year.

Link to check out songs and download the amazing e.p here: - (IX) Daily





Led by Congolese-Canadian singer and lead songwriter, Ngabonziza Kiroko (also known for his solo French project, NGÂBO), Dear Denizen’s music melds electro-rock grooves with shades of post-punk to provide a pulsing canopy over which Ngabonziza's vocals dance and soar. Formed in early 2012, the band has built its dedicated fan-base on the strength of energetic live performances and the shamanic charisma of Ngabonziza’s frontman persona.

Dear Denizen released its debut, independently released and self-titled EP in the summer of 2014. Engineered and mixed at Breakglass Studios by Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes, the EP received glowing reviews, earning the group  “top band discoveries of 2014” and “EP of the month” in several local blogs as well as “acts to look forward in 2015” by BRBR TFO and The Naked Underground Montreal.

Dear Denizen has been playing shows across North America while working on their first, full length record. The album promises to expand upon their anthemic, electro-tinged aesthetic, driven by Ngabonziza’s singular creative spirit, which is rooted in both his homeland and his post-punk, dance floor influences.

During Summer/Fall 2015, Dear Denizen will be performing at numerous music festivals, including Fringe Montreal, Pop Montreal, Passovah Music Festival, M for Montreal, La Grosse Lanterne, and more.

Dear Denizen is also Alex Hackett, Jeff Louch, and Bucky Wheaton

Band Members