The  Past
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The Past

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Psychedelic

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Spastic and melodic chopped chords warmly greet me at the front door of this record. I am met by beautifully arranged vocals, interesting instrumentation and overall psychedelic goodness. This morning I am listening to AIRLESS by group THE PAST, an 8 track record released by Montréal imprint Jeunesse Cosmique on May 13th, 2014.

AIRLESS by The Past is a lethargic orb of ambient pop beauty. Spinning webs of psychedelic wonder by means of soft and lush vocals, churning guitar chords and rhythms swirl the listener into a relaxed state of wonder. Colors and images fly through my head as I play down through this excellent album. Song styles drift back and forth flawlessly from glowing experimental pop to lush ambient/drone, and both styles are pulled off with ease by The Past. The lazy pop feeling really settles in by the 2nd or 3rd track, and by that time I was sold on the whole thing.

The songs on this record are microcosms of pop and drone joy; each self-sustaining with plenty of floating chords and low frequencies churning us along at a steady tempo. I have to give credit that NOTHING sounds out of place, the idea and vibe was totally recognized by the musicians creating a very pleasing listening experience.

All in all, this album is pretty damn delicious. Some favorite tracks of mine are “Sometimes I Feel Like” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, these are perfect feel-good summer songs. Whether you are having a lazy morning or a nice afternoon drive, this album can serve as the perfect low key soundtrack for your day. You can download the album for free or purchase a Cassette Tape edition from the Labels bandcamp page… - ETERNITY TR33 - CHRISTOPHER JACOB


From the psychic missive of Adam Bradley:

This benevolent light-being of the sun beams a smiling, psychic missive to napping cynics. Marching crowds of improvised guitar string micro-loops, collected and expanded, a cadent language overtop. This is Jack Deming at his warmest, slowly drawing out the wistful pop music from humming clusters of would-be noise. A multitracked multiverse of bubbling instances. - Weird Canada


reviewed by Michael Thomas

The music of Montreal’s Jack Deming has always been evolving. Up until now, he’s released three EPs as Ollie North, most recently Bringer, which saw his layered style become a great rumbling. Now, Deming has shed his Ollie North skin and re-emerged as The Past.

AIRLESS is a tricky bastard of an album that demands careful attention. His psychedelic twist on dreamy pop reveals soft synths, the occasional bit of guitar and a hell of a lot of loop pedals, and based on the hypnotic music, it’s already a strong album. Add in the lyrics, however, and it’s wonderfully subversive. With one hand it lifts you up; with the other it stabs you in the throat.

Case in point—the second song on the album, “Laughter.” Never could a more festive, happy-sounding, just-get-up-and-be-joyful melody be composed. Rich Aucoin would have a field with it. But then there are lyrics like “You may be happy now but you won’t be soon” and “Everybody knows it except for you.”

“Peaceful Easy Feelings” positions itself as a calming song with Deming’s looped vocals providing the only audible instrumentation. The lyrics, like “Underwater, I can hear you calling me down” make it the ideal soundtrack to slowly submerging on a hot summer day. But the song could be interpreted as a metaphor for going deep down inside oneself and dealing with unwanted feelings.

The album’s title track seems to be about a situation that’s both airless and timeless—the narrator is only loving the other person “to pass the time.” It’s a dead end, and nothing will change, but it’s again backed by a track that makes you want to move.

There’s definitely a bigger emphasis on lyrics here, and it definitely warrants a name change, since this is Deming’s strongest work to date. But his name doesn’t close the door on Ollie North—”Arabesque II” is a conversation with Bringer‘s “Arabesque I,” and the album’s only instrumental piece brings back to mind the aforementioned rumble of the last EP.

Airless, futurist, whatever you want to call the music of The Past, it’s a delightfully inventive offering in Jack Deming’s continually unique catalogue.

Top Tracks: “Laughter”; “Peaceful Easy Feelings”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop* - Grayowl Point


Discography

Airless (2014)

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Bio

The Past (previously known as Ollie North) is the music of Jack Deming. He released 3 EPs in 2012 under the Ollie North moniker, garnering acclaim from blogs such as Weird Canada and Wavelength and playing shows in Montreal and Toronto with artists such as Maica Mia, Ought, Expwy, Year of Glad, Isle of Pine, and Markus Floats, among others. He then returned as The Past in May of 2014 with his first full length album, Airless. Shortly thereafter The Past was made into a collaborative effort featuring Amy Macdonald (Mands, Nennen) on bass, Eamon Quinn (Harsh Reality) on guitar, and Jon Boles (Maica Mia) on drums.

On Airless:

There is something that grounds Airless beyond its sonic palette. Dream-tones and warm, rolling guitar lines swirl and expand around a central connection.  Deming's unassuming vocals are the startling revelation of this album, like someone whispering something they've been dying to tell you--a confession of love or pain.  Simple phrases rise up like they've been turned over and over, reduced to their simplest parts:  "I'd trade my body/for one thought from your mind".  There is a special kind of intimacy to Deming's music, and he takes this intimacy and builds a world around it.  Combining the richest elements of summery electronic music with the built-organicism of evident layered guitars, Airless is an album of colours, and whether it be red or blue or turquoise, it expands around that confession like a pinwheel or a knit blanket.  "Red Hot, but so blue."  These are bright songs, even when they are heavy, melancholic, lonely.  Homespun and care-laden, Airless is Deming's first release as The Past, and it is not to be missed. - TB

Red hot: "Airless", "Laughter".  So blue:  "Natural Daughter", "Peaceful Easy Feelings", "Arabesque II".

RIYL: Arthur Russell, Brian Eno, Spiritualized

Band Members