Solar Year
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Solar Year

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band EDM New Age


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



""When their droning, liturgical chorals blow up (I call it “psalmgaze")... they’re able to reap the sexier benefits""

600 years before pop music, it was the chanting monks that were the rock stars of their day. Of course, they couldn’t reap the benefits, because they mostly involved the flesh and other profane pursuits. Solar Year, on the other hand, are neither monks nor puritanical, so when their droning, liturgical chorals blow up (I call it “psalmgaze,” because it is literally my job to do these things), they’re able to reap the sexier benefits. As far as songs about fraternal connection go, “Brotherhood” evokes one held together by a sacred covenant, one that’s more duty than emotion. Grimes provides an initially understated guest spot that moves from genuflection to sermon on the mount. - CHARTattack

""A new age-y Silent Shout floating up from the ocean floor""

Here’s a new track from Montreal’s Solar Year, taken from the band’s otherworldly new LP Waverly, which was recently premiered underwater in an olympic-sized swimming pool. I’m guessing that was the ideal way to listen to this record, as the hymnal “Brotherhood” sounds a bit like a new age-y Silent Shout floating up from the ocean floor, featuring entrancing/ethereal guest vocals from the duo’s friend Grimes. Solar Year’s David Ertel tells us, “Claire is chanting a dark medieval Nico voice in a duet with me.” Waverly is out now. - Gorilla vs. Bear

""Impeccable production, skillful and progressive compositions" - Album of the Week"

Those who miss Fever Ray and the Knife, take note: this is a Montreal duo who've picked up the torch of dark Swedish electro-pop in a beautiful way. Following the launch of their first EP last year, Waverly is deep, enveloping soundscapes and mournful voices doctored with a backdrop of scattered electronic beats. Employing samples of voices filtered by Auto-Tune (creatively, and not à là T-Pain), the pair manages to breathe a healthy dose of heat into their compositions, affirming their personality over the colder Swedish style. Impeccable production, skillful and progressive compositions... Solar Year deserves the same welcome given to Grimes, who also appears on a track.

Avis à ceux qui s’ennuient de Fever Ray et The Knife: voilà un duo montréalais qui reprend de belle façon le flambeau électro-pop noir des Suédois. Suite d’un premier EP lancé l’an dernier, Waverly est tout en paysages sonores enveloppants, profonds, et en voix trafiquées lugubres sur fond de rythmes électroïdes épars. Usant surtout d’échantillonnages de voix filtrés dans l’Auto-Tune (avec visées créatives, et non à la T-Pain), la paire parvient à insuffler une bonne dose de chaleur à ses concoctions, et ainsi à affirmer sa personnalité vis-à-vis de la proposition suédoise, davantage axée sur la froideur. Réalisation impeccable, compositions habiles et évolutives… Solar Year mérite un accueil similaire à celui réservé à Grimes, qui apparaît d’ailleurs sur un titre. - Voir

""Poster-boys for the wild talent bubbling up from the Montreal underground""

First onstage was Montreal’s own Solar Year, a duo who played to a growing, pensive crowd. As Solar Year plays havoc with looping, reverb and choral vocals by way of doubling and re-doubling, their sonic similarities to a certain Pitchfork-famous indie group will not go unnoticed, but Solar Year differentiate themselves from the Collective with an icier, introspective approach that’s hard to pin down. Based in synths and ethereally distorted male vocals, Solar Year’s sound hints at Enya, darkwave groups such as Lycia, and the black-clad dream-pop of M83. And you thought Solar Year‘s ‘gothic’ label on MySpace was just being droll? At any rate, these guys displayed a minimalist act with a polished sound, serving as poster-boys for the wild talent bubbling up from the Montreal underground. It’s hard enough to get a crowd of urban hipsters moving (even if you pull a fire alarm or a gun, both of which have occurred to me), but getting people moving isn’t the aim of Solar Year. They want you to listen and think, and maybe brood if the mood takes you. And it might. - BankMark

""Solar Year marks a new chapter in [Montreal]’s musical evolution""

Tasty is what the Montreal duo of Ben Borden and David Ertel musically create for yours and mine ears. This here is their first long-player, following the appearance of last year’s Brotherhood EP, a swirling platter of sounds found, real and imagined. While Ertel nimbly coos through megaphonic computer aids, Borden tempts us with cut and paste electronics meet broken beats pop, and a vortex of tornadoed atmospheres that will sweep you up and spit you out smiling. Solar Year marks a new chapter in this city’s musical evolution, creating something audio they can truly call their own. - Nightlife Magazine

"" A ‘really sick Montreal band’ ""

Just a couple of days ago, Grimes posted a tweet about Montreal based band Solar Year, calling them a ‘really sick Montreal band’ so naturally we checked them out and their song Lines is in the same vein of Grimes’ music, to be listened to late at night with good headphones on.
- Sound Influx


Brotherhood EP, 2011
Waverly LP, 2012



Solar Year is the electronic music duo of Ben Borden and David Ertel.

With backgrounds in sound art and popular music, they use electronics and live resampling to make dark, New Age inspired electro-pop.

Their recent album launch featured an underwater sound installation in an olympic-sized swimming pool, during a special co-presentation by Pop Montreal, Suoni Per Il Popolo and CKUT 90.3FM. Check out footage from the underwater launch here.