Folly and the Hunter
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Folly and the Hunter

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"A young pop-folk group with a warm, rich and orchestral sound, embellished by striking harmonies".


- Rolling Stone France


The difference between good bands and great bands is simple: evocation. Good bands craft songs that you can relate to, but great bands make music that actually evokes feeling in you. There’s a lot of great bands out there, but at the top echelon of those is Montreal’s Folly and The Hunter.

Their debut album, Residents, is an emotional flood of soundscapes that range from folksy to downright artsy (think early Sigur Ros here) and beautifully cinematic. Their instrumental “As I Waited” sounds like something Thomas Newman might have written for the American Beauty soundtrack without sounding contrived in any way.

The real incredible thing about this band is that they’ve only been making music together since 2010. They sound like a much more seasoned group, and truly stand out from the crowd, even in today’s target-rich music scene.

Staying true to their indie roots, they currently have an an Indiegogo campaign underway to finance their second album. So, first check out their “campaign” video, and the video for “As I Waited/Traffic,” then head over to their Indiegogo page and give up a few bucks. The $15 minimum buy-in is a small investment to make to make certain that what I am sure will be a beautiful album comes to fruition. - Unrepentent Music


Best Country/Folk Act

1. Katie Moore
2. Folly and the Hunter
3. The Barr Brothers
4. Lake of Stew
5. United Steelworkers of Montreal
6. The Unsettlers
7. David Simard
8. Bloodshot Bill
9. Bones Malones
10. Ladies of the Canyon - Montreal Mirror


This past Saturday night at Il Motore was a perfect place to hide away from the downpour and enjoy some tunes. I was eager to flex my live-music listening muscles at Folly and the Hunter’s album launch, joined by Brad Barr and Rae Spoon.

The venue was sweetly decorated; with Christmas lights and streamers along the ceiling. The stage had pink-hued balloons – matching the album’s artwork – intertwined with the instruments and performers. This warm atmosphere permeated the crowd and those on stage were warmly received.

First up was Brad Barr with a brilliant set that featured not just originality and skill, but a spool of thread. One of the most interesting things I have seen musically in a long time is how, before beginning his set, he wrapped string around the bridge of his guitar. A curious move, and one might incorrectly assume it is a quirky pre-show ritual of some kind. What a surprise it was when Barr began to play, and slowly pulled on the wound-up thread with his right hand while the left manipulated the fretboard. It produced a captivating sound that I have never heard before, that added distinctive depth to the songs. It makes me think about how new instruments are made: when an artist is not satisfied with the tools available and needs to invent a new way to colour their expression.

Rae Spoon took the stage afterwards, and I could feel more people move towards the front of the room as he engaged the crowd to sing along (and make wolf sounds, of course!). Cute banter towards the audience was interspersed between the folk-pop tunes. I often enjoy when artists introduce their material or explain the story behind it, whether it is silly (“Leonard Cohen’s House”) or serious (“Off the Grid”) in nature. Stage presence and awesome synth aside, what really draws in the listener to this act is Rae’s sweet sincere voice.

Finally, little Il Motore was packed and the audience was excited for Folly and the Hunter to play songs from their debut Residents LP in what was their first ever live performance. And with all members in tow, and they did not disappoint! The cast of this bilingual band is brimming with talent and they were genuine onstage. Their music has a wonderful flowing air-like quality that slowly builds up in intensity. Navigating between the balloons, the members occasionally traded places, voices and instruments like a coordinated little family. Maybe I am biased for certain sounds, but it is such a delight to hear banjo, cello and even a glockenspiel so well integrated into these indie-folk pieces. I am sure the crowd appreciated how well crafted and arranged the material was, because it translated so smoothly in live performance. Each element in their sound was complementary, from the vocal harmonies, to the piano-cello duets, nothing was extraneous and it all came together as a completed puzzle. Folly and the Hunter gave this Montreal audience a lot to be proud of, especially when lovely vocals sang references to 514 locations.

– Joni Shuchat

**Our photographer had his car broken into Saturday night, and his camera stolen. We would like to thank Matthieu Paradis for sending us these photos.** - Meet You At The Show


Fébrile et excité devant une foule plus nombreuse que prévu, au dire du chanteur et guitariste Nick Vallee, le groupe folk et indie Folly and The Hunter a su livrer la marchandise lors du lancement de son premier album Residents, le 5 mars dernier dans la petite salle du Il Motore. La troupe montréalaise en était à sa première performance en carrière.

À 23h15, Folly and The Hunter est monté sur scène, pour le plaisir d’un public qui assurément n’était présent que pour eux. Le public soudain silencieux et attentif, a même intimidé Nick Vallee au moment de ses remerciements d’ouverture. Le trio original de la formation composé de Nick Vallee, Laurie-Anne Torres (elle a déjà fait la première partie d’Amy Millan de Broken Social Scene), et Christopher Fox a performé avec deux nouveaux membres; un batteur et une bassiste, liés à Folly depuis à peine deux mois.

Échangeant leurs instruments d’un morceau à l’autre (guitare, piano, batterie, basse, violoncelle, harpe) dans une douce symbiose, Folly nous a donné un bon aperçu de sa façon de travailler en studio; compositions en équipe, essaies de différentes techniques musicales et passion pour les instruments.

Les jeunes musiciens ont su nous transmettre ce qu’ils avaient essayé de créer sur l’album Residents; des pièces empreintes de nostalgie naïve dans un style folk pop influencé par les noms les plus populaires du mouvement indie de notre époque, tels The National, Sufjan Stevens ou Sigür Ros.

Une performance par moments, maladroite, parfois un rien boiteuse, mais tout de même enthousiaste, agréable, surprenante. Il faut mentionner que tout au long de la prestation la voix de Nick Vallee, à mi-chemin entre Bon Iver et Chris Martin, a été à la hauteur de ce qu’on entend sur Residents.

Pour débuter la soirée, Folly s’est assuré de la participation de Brad Barr, membre du groupe acoustique The Barr Brothers, et de celle de Rae Spoon. Brad Barr, s’accompagnant lui-même à la guitare, a composé avec un public quelque peu bavard qui aurait gagné à être plus attentif. Utilisant la technique de la gypsy chord, il a réussi de belle façon à créer un mood acoustique ressenti, mettant la table pour la performance de Folly. Rea Spoon, quant à lui, nous a réservé quelques-unes des pièces de son album, Love is a Hunter, telles que We Can’t Be Lovers et Love Is a Hunter, pour nous donner un bon aperçu de son style indie/pop, dans la ligné des Beach Fossils et Warpaint.

Les moments forts du lancement ont été les pièces Old Friend et Révolution Drums avec Brad Barr à la slide guitar. Un lancement sans prétention offert par des musiciens polyvalents qui visiblement ont plusieurs années de compositions inspirées devant eux. - Feu a Volonte


In Hebrew: See URL. - YNET


These guys could be filed in the next big thing category. Their debut Residents LP was released only a couple of weeks ago and they have only played one live show but appear to be poised and ready for a good amount of fame and success. Have a listen to the first single from their debut called "Cost". - Baeble Fish


Herkunft: Montreal, Quebec

Line-Up: Nick Vallee, Laurie-Anne Torres, Christopher Fox und diverse befreundete Musiker der lokalen Independent-Szene.

So klingt das: Obwohl es im Refrain des exzellenten „Revolution Drums“ etwas vollmundig „and we´ll take this town / banging on our revolution drums“ heißt, dominieren auf „Residents“, dem jüngst erschienenen, phantastischen Debütalbum des kanadischen Trios, die leiseren Töne. Folly & The Hunter stehen für üppig instrumentierten und liebevoll arrangierten Indie-Folk, der nicht auf Knalleffekte setzt, sondern sich langsam einschmeichelt und dafür umso länger nachwirkt. Mehrstimmige Gesangsharmonien, angeführt von Nick Vallees sanfter Stimme, gedämpftes Schlagzeug, Banjo, Piano und Cello liefern das Grundgerüst der Stücke, die zwischen großer Melancholie und etwas forscheren Klängen oszillieren.

Beste Songs: Eigentlich alle. Aber „Old Friend“, „Traffic“ und „Folly“ sind absolut herausragend.

Das sagen andere: „Folly and the Hunter’s debut LP, Residents, sounds like a Fairy Tale.“ – Jeff McAllister, Grayowl Point.

Steht im Plattenregal neben: The Black Atlantic, Sufjan Stevens´ „Seven Swans“, Evening Hymns, The New Pornographers, Bon Iver - You Sound Great


Le folk-pop à tendance indie de ce jeune trio - dont il s'agit du premier album - n'est pas sans rappeler celui d'un concitoyen, Jason Bajada. Et on ne parle pas seulement du chant doux et rassurant de Nick Vallee: tout comme Bajada, la troupe lorgne fort du côté mainstream, mais avec adresse, tout en conservant son intégrité. Classe, quoi. Il y a du Sigur Rós et du Sufjan Stevens dans la façon de mêler doucement piano et six-cordes acoustique, dans les choeurs éthérés de Prologue, mais les mélodies sentent occasionnellement Coldplay ou R.E.M. Original? Niet. Bien fait? Ça, oui. À preuve: Brad Barr et Sarah Pagé (des Barr Brothers) contribuent. Pour peu qu'on ne soit pas trop puriste de l'approche, Residents fait un univers invitant. - Voir


reviewed by Jeff McAllister

Folly and the Hunter’s debut LP, Residents, sounds like a Fairy Tale.

Residents opens with a prologue—soft keys and ethereal vocals—the type of pallet you’d expect from the hand-drawn artwork reminiscent of early A.A. Milne. The way the album crescendos into a series of rhythmic guitar strums and crashing cymbals by track two, “Leaving Town”, it has a through the looking glass affect. “Those damn rapids will take you far,” Nick Vallee sings on banjo heavy track three, “Cost.” Residents is the type of album that promises to take you on a journey.

Folly & the Hunter is the project of three multi-instrumentalists from Montreal: Nick Vallee, Lauri-A Torres, and Christopher Fox—a surprise considering the group’s large instrumentation. From swollen strings to melancholy organs, Residents boasts a diverse array of sounds. Another surprise: Residents is an entirely independent effort, financed, produced, and recorded by the trio and a handful of local guests—Brad Barr and Sarah Page. The result is surprisingly mature and impressively polished. A combination of folk-pop ballads and ambient interludes—often highlighted by the group’s three way harmonies—Residents is a well thought out debut. Although perhaps that isn’t surprising, as the group list DIY guru Justin Vernon, as a major influence upon the project.

Other influences are lived up to as well: Seven Swans era Sufjan Stevens can be heard on misleadingly sunny “Raising the Dead” and “Snowfields.” I’ve mentioned in the past that the folk genre can be both rewarding and dangerous—it’s a popular niche, but a path well-trodden. It takes subtle deviations that make a band stand out. And for Folly & the Hunter, those subtleties can be found in the layered instrumentation. Spiraling harmonics add depth to what could easily devolve into simplistic strum and sings. The almost spooky screech of minor-scale slide-guitar rescues album late-comer “Revolution Drums” from what could be otherwise cut-and-paste Americana.

If I had to give a single criticism, it would be the length of Residents. Although 47 minutes is nowhere near ground breaking, there are places where the 13 tracks flow together. In revisiting the album, it was tough to recall exactly where my favorite songs were nestled. It takes a few listens to learn just how to navigate the set—something not always granted to a band’s first release. That said, this cohesion is most likely the result of a well thought out musical narrative—a casualty I’m willing to accept. With next to no notable lagging points, a couple revisits are far from taxing. In a high-speed era where first impressions are everything, Residents is a debut that Folly & the Hunter should be proud of.

Top Tracks: “Cost”;“Folly”; “Snowfields”

Rating: Hunting Call (excellent) + *swoop* - Grayowl Point


Folly and the Hunter may live amongst the bustle of Montreal, moving freely amongst the culture, food and love that gives the city its unique pulse, but their sound feels like it was born kilometers from the thumping percussion of the anthemic epicenter of the city. On name alone, you’d assume their debut LP Residents, is a love letter to their home, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The trio – Nick Vallee, Lauri-A Torres, and Christopher Fox – crafts layered folk songs that surge forward with freedom, striding over hurdles like a young Edwin Moses. These songs are nomadic, traveling freely from city to city and home to home, sharing emotion with anyone they happen to meet. They are made to inspire.

For every tender moment – like the harmonious, string laden, finger picked “Chasing Trains” or “Traffic”, either of which could easily show up on countless TV dramas – the trio supplements the experience with drum crashes, banjo, harmonies and meticulously crafted arrangements determined to soar. The choir of voices that opens the record gently floats away, giving way to a a simple, but well executed post-rock inspired surge of piano, acoustic and cymbal washes. The trio may not be the first to experiment with organic collages of sound, but the patient crescendos are incredibly ear pleasing. Amazingly, considering this effort was self-produced and self-released, that spot-on execution of sound flows through the entire record and that consistent quality is the band’s biggest success.

Taken in isolation, you can hear modern peers when you listen to Folly & The Hunter. Residents hints at the percussion and controlled pacing of The National and the chilling slow moving crescendo of Sigur Ros, but unquestionably the band is crafting a sound all their own. Banjo and gentle picks push their sound out of the crowded city, and a sense of whimsy (“Sur Jeanne Mance”) and an optimistic undertone challenge the apathy of youth. Throw in piano, harp and steel – delivered by studio mate Brad Barr – on the beautiful “Snowfields” and the country-ish “Revolution Drums” and you start to understand how remarkable this debut LP truly is. - Herohill


Indie-Folk bands just keep getting better and better this year. And as much as I appreciate the pioneers of this genre, I am excited to see all of the newcomers as well. Folly And The Hunter, who is that you say? This is one of the many newbies on the street that I am completely intrigued by. Their sound is very “I wear my heart on my sleeve”.. I love the simple pleasures each song of their debut album offers. Dare I put them in the “Heart Fail Folk” category? Yes. Yes, I do. You can hear their passion for their music in each note. As new artists, they will surely grow and develop into even more than what this debut album offers… watch out!

Check out their BandCamp site to hear more of their album. For now, here’s a snack! Enjoy! - Ear Plugs Not Included


couple of weeks ago we received an email from the wonderful Folly & The Hunter asking if we could check them out. Being fans of the Canadian music, we instantly headed over to their Bandcamp page to see what they were about, and by track 3 they had us. In a big way too.
A couple of weeks ago we received an email from the wonderful Folly & The Hunter asking if we could check them out. Being fans of the Canadian music, we instantly headed over to their Bandcamp page to see what they were about, and by track 3 they had us. In a big way too.
The band, who hail from Montreal, have a real Sufjan Stevens vibe going for them, which is evident in 'Cost' (which you can hear above). Their harmonies easily match Sufjan and his Illinoisemakers, but I feel it's important to step away from focusing on Sufjan too much as the record is pretty varied.
As their fantastic debut album Residents progresses, you'll start to notice similarities with artists like Bon Iver, though not in a 'locked away in an old pine cabin' sort of way but a 'Bon Iver has left the cabin to have a stroll through the neighboring forest' sort of way.
This record is definitely worth the measly $10 it's going for on their Bandcamp page, so what are you waiting for?
You can visit the band by heading to http://follyandthehunter.bandcamp.com - The 405


Discography

'Residents' (2011): Self-release

Listen to Residents on bandcamp: http://follyandthehunter.bandcamp.com/

New album 'Tragic Care' out April 16, 2013 on Outside Music

Photos

Bio

When a group of friends become a band, they tend to evolve like family. In the case of Folly & The Hunter, they experienced great heartache and loss throughout one year, they relied on each other as friends, as bandmates and as family. Through it all, they persevered and crafted the beautiful album Tragic Care.

Although Tragic Care derives its inspiration from tragedy, Folly & The Hunter also conveys the beauty in the breakdown, and the determination to keep the faith in the face of life’s bittersweet nature. Lyrically, the album explores the process of emotional fallout in the face of romantic rejection and betrayal. The album is not so much about a break up itself, as it is about dealing with its after effects. It details a personal struggle with ones inner demons and the destructive effect of ascribing too much importance to ones romantic interest. This album’s subject matter is inspired by the real experiences of singer Nick Vallee during and before the period of the album’s recording. The music and composition is inspired by a broader perspective, which involves experiences of the whole band. During the album’s recording and creation, a member of the band experienced the physical decline and loss of several family members.

Folly & The Hunter came together in Montreal, made up of Nick Vallee from Vancouver, Chris Fox from Sussex, England and Laurie Torres, a francophone native of Quebec of Haitian/Spanish heritage. They had all shared stages at some point over a brief span and found their individual skills worked very well as a collective. They made the album Residents in 2011, recorded and produced by Fox. Fellow transplants to Montreal, The Barr Brothers, offered their support by lending the band instruments as well as playing on the album. Residents is a raw document of a band coming together and finding their sound. The album made them local favourites in a city that was looked upon at the time as a music mecca.

After Residents, the band focused on honing their craft through live performances, playing at any opportunity and immersing themselves in the vibrant local scene. When it became time to record the follow up, they turned to Jace Lasek and Dave Smith at Breakglass Studios in Montreal. “The recording process with Dave and Jace was short and intense” says Vallee; “We had 12 days to record and mix the whole thing, but we had written all the parts in advance so we were ready for it. Dave was an inspiring person to record with because his approach was so calm, and his experience aided us in making the best decisions when inevitable complications arose. Jace became involved when it was time to mix. The album was mixed on their giant SSL console, which Jace mastered beautifully. Jace’s mixing style took the sound of the album to a new level and his willingness to experiment made the final mix even better than expected”.

Folly & The Hunter attempt to explore the bittersweet; the beauty in discomfort. The name Folly & The Hunter is tied into the subject matter of the songs themselves. Most of the songs explore the ever-present absurdity of searching for a satisfaction that can never be found, and the foolishness of searching for happiness in all the wrong places. Folly & The Hunter make music that instils nostalgia and warmth, but at the same time bestows a haunting sentiment of grief.

Folly & The Hunter signed to the Outside Music Label in the fall of 2012 through an unsolicited email sent to the label director, Evan Newman. “I receive a ton of submissions and decided to give them a listen because of their involvement with Jace (The Besnard Lakes are also on Outside Music), upon first listen, I knew this was something special”. Folly & The Hunter have spent the past few months touring, supporting the likes of Half Moon Run, Elephant Stone and Aidan Knight. They also made their first foray down to South by Southwest as well as playing 5 shows in 3 days for Canadian Music Week.