Solar Year
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Solar Year

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Montreal electronic duo Solar Year first caught our eye with this cool video of the release party for their debut album, Waverly, where they piped the music underwater in a big pool and DJed beside it. Their FADER mix comes on the heels of a new announcement: their “Night & Day” single comes out December 3rd, the debut release of No Fear of Pop’s new 7-inch label Stratosfear Recordings. Download the mix, then read an interview with Ben Borden and David Ertel about making music in Montreal, pool parties and Hell’s Angels. Tracklist at the bottom (worth a look).

Read more: http://www.thefader.com/2012/11/13/download-solar-years-fader-mix/#ixzz2dMajsvJl - Amelia Trask


Montreal electronic duo Solar Year first caught our eye with this cool video of the release party for their debut album, Waverly, where they piped the music underwater in a big pool and DJed beside it. Their FADER mix comes on the heels of a new announcement: their “Night & Day” single comes out December 3rd, the debut release of No Fear of Pop’s new 7-inch label Stratosfear Recordings. Download the mix, then read an interview with Ben Borden and David Ertel about making music in Montreal, pool parties and Hell’s Angels. Tracklist at the bottom (worth a look).

Read more: http://www.thefader.com/2012/11/13/download-solar-years-fader-mix/#ixzz2dMajsvJl - Amelia Trask


Montreal duo Solar Year teams up with director Allie Avital Tsypin to create one of the deepest / most beautiful videos of the year. The band says of the stunning visuals for transportive Waverly highlight “Global Girlfriend“: - Amelia Trask


Montreal duo Solar Year teams up with director Allie Avital Tsypin to create one of the deepest / most beautiful videos of the year. The band says of the stunning visuals for transportive Waverly highlight “Global Girlfriend“: - Amelia Trask


Ben Borden and David Ertel make electronic pop under the name Solar Year. The Montreal-based duo appeared last summer with the song "Brotherhood"—a woozy piece of electronic music that featured friend and fellow Montreal-based artist Grimes contributing backing vocals. Since then, the band has finished recording its full-length LP, Waverly, the 10 tracks of which mix reverb-soaked vocals and spare beats to create otherworldly, often deceptively catchy pop songs.

The two friends originally met in Montreal, where they played in the same scene as experimental pop acts like d'Eon, Braids, Majical Cloudz and, of course, Grimes. For their album, though, Ertel and Borden uprooted and moved to Iceland, where they wrote and recorded in the beautiful Lutheran church that appears on the cover of their record.

Like Grimes, Borden and Ertel obsess over the way they can make human vocals shift, shimmer, and transmute when filtered through machines. Fittingly, considering its recording location, their album has a quasi-religious weight to its sound—though Ertel assures us, "We're not, like, a medievalist band or something." Even so, Ertel's voice, when re-pitched and processed, can come off less like a single human and more like a gathering of Gregorian monks or an occult hymn sung by a roomful of acolytes.

On the eve of the album's release, Interview caught up with Borden and Ertel at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn café. (Borden ordered the quinoa and wild rice salad; Ertel had already eaten). Read on for the interview that follows, along with the premiere of album bonus track, "Pivot." - Amelia Trask


Ben Borden and David Ertel make electronic pop under the name Solar Year. The Montreal-based duo appeared last summer with the song "Brotherhood"—a woozy piece of electronic music that featured friend and fellow Montreal-based artist Grimes contributing backing vocals. Since then, the band has finished recording its full-length LP, Waverly, the 10 tracks of which mix reverb-soaked vocals and spare beats to create otherworldly, often deceptively catchy pop songs.

The two friends originally met in Montreal, where they played in the same scene as experimental pop acts like d'Eon, Braids, Majical Cloudz and, of course, Grimes. For their album, though, Ertel and Borden uprooted and moved to Iceland, where they wrote and recorded in the beautiful Lutheran church that appears on the cover of their record.

Like Grimes, Borden and Ertel obsess over the way they can make human vocals shift, shimmer, and transmute when filtered through machines. Fittingly, considering its recording location, their album has a quasi-religious weight to its sound—though Ertel assures us, "We're not, like, a medievalist band or something." Even so, Ertel's voice, when re-pitched and processed, can come off less like a single human and more like a gathering of Gregorian monks or an occult hymn sung by a roomful of acolytes.

On the eve of the album's release, Interview caught up with Borden and Ertel at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn café. (Borden ordered the quinoa and wild rice salad; Ertel had already eaten). Read on for the interview that follows, along with the premiere of album bonus track, "Pivot." - Amelia Trask


NEW NOISE: SOLAR YEAR
MAY 29TH, 2013

177 41
Chillwave? Shoegaze? Pfft, so over. Are you ready for psalmgaze?


Solar Year Wonderland Interview Press Photo



Arbutus Records has a lot to answer for. The Montreal label behind Grimes and Doldrums has created something of an aural movement that’s attracted its fair share of global attention.

Enter production duo Solar Year – aka David Ertel and Ben Borden – and their self-patented genre, ‘psalmgaze’. (Think fluid vocals blended with collaged production that draws inspiration from Gregorian chants, new age electro and pop.) They even managed to borrow Arbutus labelmate Grimes for vocals on their track ‘Brotherhood’.

Now signed to Splendour in the UK, the boys talk to us about sealing (psalming?) the deal on their debut album ‘Waverly’, out June 24th.

(continued) - Amelia Trask


NEW NOISE: SOLAR YEAR
MAY 29TH, 2013

177 41
Chillwave? Shoegaze? Pfft, so over. Are you ready for psalmgaze?


Solar Year Wonderland Interview Press Photo



Arbutus Records has a lot to answer for. The Montreal label behind Grimes and Doldrums has created something of an aural movement that’s attracted its fair share of global attention.

Enter production duo Solar Year – aka David Ertel and Ben Borden – and their self-patented genre, ‘psalmgaze’. (Think fluid vocals blended with collaged production that draws inspiration from Gregorian chants, new age electro and pop.) They even managed to borrow Arbutus labelmate Grimes for vocals on their track ‘Brotherhood’.

Now signed to Splendour in the UK, the boys talk to us about sealing (psalming?) the deal on their debut album ‘Waverly’, out June 24th.

(continued) - Amelia Trask


Content to float inside the billowing space of a vaguely dour mood, the latest single from Montreal duo Solar Year uses airy synth pads, oscillating pitch shifters, and prickly frequencies to conjure an icy resilience. Producer Ben Borden rounds out the beguiling atmosphere with his beat's motorik tick while singer David Ertel does what he can to inject the plasmatic "Global Girlfriend" with whatever touch of humanity his soft melodies can provide.
And it works. Despite its verses being rendered nearly indecipherable by garbled, Knife-like vocal processing, the song successfully uses even the slightest implication of a quiet, secluded longing to balance out the dense backdrop of statuesque electronics and arctic phantoms. "Global Girlfriend" is lifted from the "revamped" vinyl release of Solar Year's debut album, Waverly, which also features the similarly glacial "Brotherhood" (featuring guest vocals from Grimes) and is scheduled for a June 25 release on Ceremony in the U.S. and Splendour in Europe. - Amelia Trask


Content to float inside the billowing space of a vaguely dour mood, the latest single from Montreal duo Solar Year uses airy synth pads, oscillating pitch shifters, and prickly frequencies to conjure an icy resilience. Producer Ben Borden rounds out the beguiling atmosphere with his beat's motorik tick while singer David Ertel does what he can to inject the plasmatic "Global Girlfriend" with whatever touch of humanity his soft melodies can provide.
And it works. Despite its verses being rendered nearly indecipherable by garbled, Knife-like vocal processing, the song successfully uses even the slightest implication of a quiet, secluded longing to balance out the dense backdrop of statuesque electronics and arctic phantoms. "Global Girlfriend" is lifted from the "revamped" vinyl release of Solar Year's debut album, Waverly, which also features the similarly glacial "Brotherhood" (featuring guest vocals from Grimes) and is scheduled for a June 25 release on Ceremony in the U.S. and Splendour in Europe. - Amelia Trask


Yet another ’90s micro-genre gets the hipster revival treatment on Montreal duo Solar Year’s snazzy debut. New Age-y electronica is reworked as a thing of synthetic sterility in a deliberate affront to the genre’s earthily ethno-wanky inventors (stinky ’90s techno-hippies) and Ben Borden and David Ertel ditch any inspiring mantras in favour of less comforting sounds. It’s packed full of marauding bass synths and pitch-shifted vocals. Album highlight ‘Lines’ is Pure Moods injected with dubstep, while – epitomising ‘Waverly’’s tension between McSpritualism and sharp modernist edge – the Queen of revivalism, Grimes, guests on ‘Brotherhood’, where mysticism is coated in metallic machine noise.
- Rachel Silver


Yet another ’90s micro-genre gets the hipster revival treatment on Montreal duo Solar Year’s snazzy debut. New Age-y electronica is reworked as a thing of synthetic sterility in a deliberate affront to the genre’s earthily ethno-wanky inventors (stinky ’90s techno-hippies) and Ben Borden and David Ertel ditch any inspiring mantras in favour of less comforting sounds. It’s packed full of marauding bass synths and pitch-shifted vocals. Album highlight ‘Lines’ is Pure Moods injected with dubstep, while – epitomising ‘Waverly’’s tension between McSpritualism and sharp modernist edge – the Queen of revivalism, Grimes, guests on ‘Brotherhood’, where mysticism is coated in metallic machine noise.
- Rachel Silver


Discography

Brotherhood EP (2012) - Arbutus Records
Waverly LP (2013) - Splendour (EU), Ceremony (US)

Photos

Bio

Somewhere in between late-night loft parties and off-kilter art installations sits the production of David Ertel and Ben Borden, otherwise known as Solar Year. Praised for their forward thinking and to-the-point pop productions with a touch for the foreboding, Solar Year create music for the globally minded listener. The duo first saw rose to prominence for their single "Brotherhood" which received favorable attention from Pitchfork, Gorilla Vs. Bear, & Stereogum and soon saw release by Montreal imprint Arbutus (Grimes, TOPS, Blue Hawaii).

Solar Year have a knack for pulling samples from wherever they find inspiration. Those are soon matched to pitched-down electronic productions and Ertel's soaring, choir-like vocals, making for an uncanny clash of themes that otherwise sit several dimensions apart. This may stem from the fact that they are never in one place for an extended period of time. Ertel & Borden have a habit of setting up on one coast for a few months only to pack up and move on to the next destination a few days later. 

Most recently, Solar Year were featured as the first release on No Fear Of Pop's newly minted 7" label, Stratosfear. The "Night & Day" 7" received widespread acclaim at the start of 2013 with features on The Fader, The Guardian UK, and a stunning video for b-side "Magic Idea" directed by long-time How To Dress Well collaborator Jamie Harley -- first appearing on London's Dummy Mag.

In June 2013, Solar Year's full length debut, Waverly, was released on Ceremony in North America & Canada and Splendour in Europe. Labeled as a "re-release" of an album that was quietly released in limited quantities during summer 2012 in Montreal. The vinyl release of Waverly is a unique take on bringing a brilliant, forward thinking, LP to a broader audience. As an album and a project striving to set itself apart from the status quo, Solar Year returned to Waverly in late 2012 to give the album a new look and fresh perspective they had felt was lacking last summer. The result pushed Solar Year into a new level of artistic freedom and creativity -- Waverly will now be presented as a revamped experience entirely re-mastered, newly mixed, and re-sequenced with updates on several tracks matched with the addition of new material.