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The best kept secret in music


"Statue Park EP1 (independent)"

Now that they've had "their first big break" playing Divan Orange, as CBC's The National so insightfully put it in their recent Montreal-scene report, what's next for Statue Park? Well, this five-track EP won't lead to superstardom, but it's a banner debut nonetheless. With gothic melodies and luridly crooned vocals, they strike a chord akin to Britain's new romantic bands, minus the pop excess and puffy shirts, plus meaty synths, beats and dabs of dissonance. No, this isn't your mother's synthpop - if anything, Statue Park's bleepology recalls '80s video games more than '80s music, pushing nostalgia buttons on a whole other console. (Lorraine Carpenter) - Montreal Mirror

"Statue Park brings an emotional weight to hums and beeps"

"Statue Park is yet another one of the fabulous hip bands that seem to be popping up in Montreal. These boys take music quite seriously, not only when performing, but also when just talking about it. But how can you really talk about Statue Park’s music? Well, you can’t easily pigeonhole them into any well-known genre; rather, their style takes elements from many different genres. “Our idea was to mix Boards of Canada type IDM electronica, with more conventional songwriting like The Smiths,” is how front man Toby describes his songs. Personally, I think that they have a more complex sound, like a merging of Postal Service, Radiohead (Kid A) and Hood (Outside Closer). However, everyone seems to hear different roots when they listen to Statue Park’s music.
When I saw them, they were playing at the Main Hall, a new venue that doubles as the Mile End community center. As I ventured into the deep blue high-ceilinged space, a very cool vibe took hold. With everyone settling in and the DJ playing crowd-pleasers like Interpol, Death From Above 1979 and Morrisey, I found a seat and enjoyed some of the film clips that were being projected onto a nearby wall. Finally, at about 10:30, Statue Park sauntered onstage and immediately filled the room with their distinctive sound. With only a laptop, a keyboard, a guitar and a bass, the three musicians got the crowd in a solid groove with their eclectic mix of blips, bleeps and guitar riffs.
As interesting as Statue Park sound in their recordings, they sound far better live. Rather than simply reproducing their recorded material, they used the live show as a means to experiment and play with their songs. As good as their recorded material is, the music they produced at their show seemed to have a more earnest, almost desperate quality. The immersive, all consuming nature of their songs seemed to almost envelop the audience. With an enthusiastic good-bye, the band modestly stepped offstage, ending what had truly been an experience, much more so than a typical show.
By and large, Statue Park is a band of juxtapositions: rock and electronica, traditional and experimental. Regardless of the contrived mish mash of musical notes these combinations might bring to mind, Statue Park manages to pulls off the blending of genres very well. The diverse styles are arranged in such a way that they complement each other rather than clash. The best examples of this are in songs like “Paper Thin” and “Sex Batteries”, in which the group brings a certain emotional weight to the robotic hums and beeps that populate the musical landscape of their work. Overall, Statue Park’s innovative sound is a difficult listen but fairly easy to appreciate. With news of an upcoming EP, I’m only hoping that they’ll be able to capture the intense sound that they produce live."



statuepark (self-released EP)
statuepark EP1 (Dry and Dead Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Toby, a songwriter/singer/guitarplayer since his early teens, started working with Sabio in the 2000 incarnation of his alt-rock band Phaedrus. The pairing of the experienced frontman and the then-shy keyboard player was a smash, but Phaedrus bit the dust when a discouraged Toby hung up his mike in acceptance that their sound had plateaued, and he ran away... thus disappearing from the Montreal scene for 3 entire years.

During his exile, Toby schooled himself in electronic music. There was pain, distress, and confusion, but Toby's mastery of all things musical ultimately prevailed. As new sound visions formed in his head, lonesome Toby ached for adventurous playmates, and grew excited at the possibility of a fresh start that would bring the surge of indie-tronica to Toby's beloved city. If only Sabio was on the same newave-length…

Meanwhile, back at le ranch… Sabio had found refuge in the arms of french electro-pop band Echo Kitty. His keyboard skills expanded and refined, and his stage persona emerged. Indeed, Sabio's initial shyness matured into the coy aloofness of the true punk diva. Yet in him, trying to get out, were melodic synth-lines, creations almost painful in their beauty… In praise of all things good and pure, Sabio was ready to become a star.

But alas, something was missing from their union... as with many an estranged pair…the two had not sensed the need before, but they lacked a beat programming genius.

And so the heaven-sent Ben Cooper came into the picture, still smoking from vitaminsforyou's latest LP. Applying vigorous creativity and hard-pumping coolness to Toby and Sabio's tunes, they flourished in each other's presence, and their product was statuepark... Montreal's gift to the new era of electro-pop.

All was well, until the ever-greedy Toby said: "3 multi-instrumentalists in one band? are we mad?! …can we have more?" And was recruited a fourth, the supersonic Mathieu, former Phaedrus bass player, now live show groovester.

From great to mind-blowing, ladies and gentlemen… statuepark.