JF Robitaille
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JF Robitaille

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

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

Calendar

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Music

Press


"8.5"

http://www.indielaunchpad.com/il/2006/08/ep-the-blood-in-my-body-jf-robitaille/ - INDIE LAUNCHPAD


"SIXEYES REVIEW"

http://sixeyes.blogspot.com/2006/06/jf-robitaille-blood-in-my-body-ep.html - SIXEYES


"CHARTATTACK REVIEW - 4 STARS"

http://www.chartattack.com/reviews/51019/jf-robitaille-nxne-2006 - CHARTATTACK


"VOIR REVIEW - 4 STARS"

Né à Montréal, mais récemment déménagé à New York, JF Robitaille lance son premier EP enregistré à l'Hôtel 2 Tango par Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Dears) et Brian Paulson (Beck, Wilco). Six titres témoins d'une douceur rappelant celle d'un Leonard Cohen (il reprend d'ailleurs Famous Blue Raincoat) ou d'un Sufjan Stevens, The blood in my body évite aussi la mélancolie totale. Robitaille y insuffle un peu de gaieté avec les pièces New York et Love the lie. Une pop intelligente, dépouillée, efficace et absolument charmante. En concert le 11 juillet au Divan Orange avec Jason Bajada et Boo Hoo. 4/5

- VOIR MAGAZINE


"HOUR REVIEW - 4 STARS"

People should really stop complaining about the state of music and pick up the debut EP from this Montreal-born, NYC-based singer-songwriter. Founder of The Social Register here, with the help of name producers Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) and Paul Paulson (Beck, Wilco), Robitaille has created five great songs with beautifully melodic lyrics. It's mature, bright and subtly bubbly indie pop that avoids the superficial. Whether it's the album's quietly rolling title track, or the raucous New York, I guarantee you will find something here to obsess over. For someone releasing a debut, Robitaille is clearly already mobbed up: The final track, a cover of Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat, appears here with Cohen's permission, which says something in itself.

- HOUR MONTREAL


"SPILL MAGAZINE REVIEW"

The only possible fault with this album is that it's only an EP. The six short songs that comprise The Blood in my Body come to an end far too quickly. Like a taste of aural ambrosia, they leave the listener yearning for more, a tragedy only compounded by the fact that this is a debut EP - there's not even a back clogue to retreat to until the LP is released. But as Montreal-born Robitaille is a musical debutant, such shortcomings can perhaps be forgiven. His instinct for catchy hooks, intoxicatingly vivid imagery, and softly spoken yet always poignant lyrics, more than compensate for his titillating yet sparse offering of musical gems. With a sound that hovers somewhere between Leonard Cohen, the Velvet Underground, and Nick Drake, Robitaille is a sure bet for anyone appreciative of the singer-songwriter genre. Currently based in Brooklyn, Robitaille is set to release his second album with Rhythmbank later this year.

- SPILL MAGAZINE


"MONTREAL MIRROR REVIEW"

The Blood in My Body (Rhythmbank)
You may remember this former Montrealer as the singer for the Social Register, a band that surfaced now and then as a vehicle for Robitaille’s Britpop-influenced songwriting. After moving to Brooklyn about a year ago, he went solo and scored a record deal, and voila, a six-song EP, to be followed by an LP before the fall. Both the pristine pop tunes and slow-bop ballads are clean and simple, and their light orchestration, pretty harmonies and pleasant melodies are contrasted by often dark, even depressed lyrics, a great device in the right hands, from Del Shannon to Morrissey to Robitaille. 8/10 (Lorraine Carpenter) - MIRROR


"THE BLOOD IN MY BODY EXCLAIM"

By Sofi PapamarkoRobitaille has written some of the simplest and prettiest pop songs to be heard in a while. The Blood in My Body opens with a song of the same title that strikes a delicate balance between optimistic lyrics and melancholic vocals. "New York” is an upbeat track with the opposite effect, toe-tapping melody, sing-along chorus and sad lyrics: "it was a slow death, not much dignity.” This is the first solo release for Robitaille, who cut his teeth doing the rounds on London’s coffee-shop circuit before returning to Canada and forming the Montreal music collective the Social Register. It’s not surprising then, that this EP was produced with the help of Dears front-man Murray Lightburn, Howard Billerman (Arcade Fire) and Chris Wise. Although there are obvious influences from British bands like the Wedding Present in songs like "Love the Lie” and "New York,” Robitaille’s lyrical style is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. In "Morning after Morning” and "Never Forget” Robitaille’s cadence and gentle voice illustrate his superb writing and Cohen influence (closing with a cover of "Famous Blue Raincoat” also leaves a lasting Cohen impression). Robitaille could rise to be a Cohen for the new age; but with optimism, melody and a prettier voice. - EXCLAIM


Discography

Calendar - July 5th - 2011
The Blood In My Body - 2007

Photos

Bio

He’s lived in London and New York City, unfurling his folk-pop intimations across their stages, impressing their audiences (and occasionally their label reps), but fate keeps bringing JF Robitaille back to Montreal. Not only do his hometown roots bind him to family and friends, they lock into a musical landscape that has produced legendary folk poets and world-dominating pop ensembles.

When Robitaille was discovered singing in a New York City bar by Nona “Lady Marmalade” Hendryx in 2006, he’d already made music his career. Montrealers remember his thinking man’s indie rock band, The Social Register, launched at the inaugural edition of the Pop Montreal festival in 2002. Prior to that, he’d released a DIY solo record, and hauled his acoustic guitar across London for a year. But it was only when he reverted to solo work that he began to turn heads across the continent.

Recorded by Howard Bilerman at Hotel2Tango (the Montreal producer and studio behind Arcade Fire’s Funeral), Robitaille’s six-song EP, The Blood in My Body, was released in 2007 via Hendryx’s label, Rhythmbank. Critics were practically unanimous in their praise, comparing Robitaille to such indelible songwriters as Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Jack Johnson, Del Shannon, Morrissey even The Velvet Underground. Between residency gigs at NYC’s Pianos, he continued to write and record in that vein, straddling folk and pop, darkness and light with poetic gloom and melodic beauty.

But the LP that emerged, fully recorded and mastered, will likely never be heard. When Rhythmbank folded in 2008, the album fell into a legal black hole, forcing Robitaille to start over.

His first move was homeward, to Montreal. After penning a dozen new songs, he recruited drummer Chris Wise (Elephant Stone, Sunfields), bassist Tavo Diez De Bonilla (Jenn Grant, Two Minute Miracles) and guitarist Andrew Johnston as his back-up band. Producer and onetime Tricky Woo guitarist Adrian Popovich recorded Calendar, and even strapped on a six-string to play on “The New Girl.” Other one-track cameos include keys by Dears singer Murray Lightburn (“Enemies”), who hosted pre-production sessions in his basement studio, drums by Dears alumnus/High Dials member George Donoso III, and guitar by Jason Kent of Sunfields (“Everything's Broken Here”). Infusions of cello, harmonica and organs that simulate woodwinds and brass bring richness, but not opulence, to a raw-sounding folk record with temporary pop highs and raucous tangents.

For a record mired in romantic discord and loss, existential malaise and nostalgia, Calendar is as easy on the heart as it is on the ears. As smart and incisive as they are tender and vulnerable, and surprisingly light on bitterness and cynicism, Robitaille’s lyrics match the melancholy tide of his music—subject to change with currents, wont to crest and to recede, and guaranteed to return to familiar ground.