The Telepathic Butterflies
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The Telepathic Butterflies


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"Pop Matters Album Review"

The Telepathic Butterflies
Breakfast In Suburbia
(Rainbow Quartz)
US release date: 24 June 2008
UK release date: 28 July 2008
by Alan Brown

With the Beatles, the Kinks and the Who all referenced within the mod-ish pop beats of Winnipeg’s the Telepathic Butterflies, it was only a matter of time before the Canadians stepped up and delivered their own “concept” album. Enter stage left the Butterflies’ third long-player for Rainbow Quartz, Breakfast in Suburbia, a kaleidoscopic cogitation on life behind the lace curtain that mixes crunching power pop, jangly psychedelia and flourishes of Byrdsian folk-rock to excellent effect.
Rejean Ricard’s expressive rock vocals with occasional touches of echo, not to mention his uncanny knack of periodically sounding like Ray Davies ("Mr. Dysfunctionality”, “She Looks Good"), paint pictures of quiet distrust and regret where everyday folk hide guns in their closets ("A Scathing Report") and dream of shrugging off the material ties that bind them to their semi-suburban homes ("The Trouble in Keeping Up with the Joneses”, “A Midlife Crisis"), while sugar-coated melodies and brash pop beats provide a gloss of normalcy. This is literate power pop of the highest order—just what you’d expect from a band who got their name from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Breakfast of Champions.
— 8 December 2008

- Alan Brown

"All Music Guide - Breakfast In Suburbia"

Over 40 years after the Beatles grabbed North America's musical consciousness by the lapels and gave it a friendly shake, their brand of guitar-based pop is still influencing bands here, there, and everywhere, and the third album from Winnipeg's the Telepathic Butterflies, Breakfast in Suburbia, shows that plenty of good things can still be built from the Fab Four's model. The Telepathic Butterflies aren't devoted to the Beatles at the exclusion of all else -- "Telescope" shows flashes of both the Hollies and the Kinks, and "If It's All Too Much" suggests someone in this band listened to a lot of Who records. But the clean melodic lines and energetic guitar figures of the Beatles circa 1963-1965 clearly loom large in the Telepathic Butterflies' pantheon of influences, and they certainly do right by their role models. Réjean Ricard's guitar work is sharp and engaging, and he's a first-class songwriter to boot, sounding equally clever as a lyricist and tunesmith, and Jacques Dubois and Eric Van Buren are an excellent rhythm section, giving the songs plenty of snap and crackle while pushing the tunes forward with just the right degree of force. Though it isn't difficult to suss out this group's influences, the Telepathic Butterflies aren't overwhelmed by them, or living in a bygone era; these are simply bandmembers who understand the virtues of a smart, well-crafted pop tune played with fire and skill, and they have the talent to apply those lessons to their own work. Breakfast in Suburbia is superb pop/rock in the classic style that anyone who still believes in the curative power of the electric guitar will want to hear.

4 Stars

- Mark Dening

"All Music Guide - Songs From A Second Wave"

The Telepathic Butterflies' second album (their first was actually released twice, first as Nine Songs in 2000, then as Introducing the Telepathic Butterflies, with four additional tracks, in 2003) is built on the same power pop scaffolding as the first, and the songs all exhibit a delightfully energetic joy. But first appearances can be deceiving, and Réjean Ricard's songs, for all their bubbly and harmonic surfaces, are actually full of regret, lost chances, and a general longing for the freedoms and familiarity of childhood. The lead track, "Bonhomie," which has all the trappings of a garage band classic, states the theme directly: freedom lies in childhood, the future forces responsibility. Ricard is a remarkably melodic (if occasionally wordy) writer, and coupled with drummer Jacques Dubois' tight, perfectly nuanced harmonies, the Telepathic Butterflies manage to have it both ways, sounding light and free while musing on deeper, sadder truths. The template for this sort of thing -- as it is for most power pop outfits -- comes from the Beatles, the Who, and the Kinks, and the Butterflies have made it their own (as hard as that is to do). Occasionally the influences show through. "Angry Young Man" feels like a Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd track, while "Sickly and the Awkward Gene" seems like a classic early Pete Townshend or Ray Davies social study in mod behavior. Not that either of these songs is blatantly constructed -- much of what the Butterflies do works because of the group's frame of reference. Like the first album (in either version), Songs from a Second Wave feels like a burst of fresh air, and its bright, joyous surface is only made more striking by the depth and substance beneath it. The Telepathic Butterflies continue to be a band to watch.
3 1/2 Stars - Steve Leggett

"All Music Guide - Introducing..."

Every now and then a band comes from out of nowhere and makes a record that leaves you stunned. You wonder why you never saw it coming: Where is the hype, the hoopla, the Hives-esque promotional push? One surmises that when a band comes from a non-musical hotbed like Montreal and records for a teeny tiny label, they are most likely bound to be unheralded. Well, consider this the hoopla, the trumpeting, and the shouting from the rooftops. This is a great record! A really great record! If you like rock & roll music with hooks, guts, and emotion, you really should give the Telepathic Butterflies' 2000 album Nine Songs (there are actually 12!) a listen. To make it easier for you, here are some touchstones: the Kinks; the Creation (and other great British psych bands like the Move and John's Children); Donovan (whose "Epistle to Dippy" they cover in smashing style); the Records; Guided by Voices before they hit a real studio; the Elephant Six bands like the Apples in Stereo, only minus the whimsy; and Sloan. These are all bands who wrote great songs and delivered them with a minimum of fooling around, and that is what the Telepathic Butterflies do. From the first track, the bouncing and joyous "All Very Hoopla," to the last, the duo of Jacques Dubois on drums and Rejean Ricard on guitars, bass, and vocals plays one nugget after the next in charming and powerful lo-fi fashion. The only downside to so many top-notch songs is that, other than the leadoff track, none of the tracks really stand out. Still, it is a very strong record and an amazing debut. You must track Nine Songs down. It is one of the best rock records of the young decade. [In early 2003 pop underground label Rainbow Quartz made it much easier to get ahold of the Telepathic Butterflies' music. They reissued Nine Songs, retitled it The Telepathic Butterflies, and added four new tracks. The four songs were recorded in 2002 and feature a new bass player, Eric Van Buren. The songs are marginally more hi-fidelity but not enough so to sound out of place with the original album's production. They are certainly no letdown quality-wise either. "A Final Word" is a delightfully peppy Byrdsian romp. "Radio Darlings" is a melodically vicious attack on bad bands ("Beautiful boys, smiling toys like the puppets on a string"). The new tracks make a great record even better. Now that the album is more readily available, you really have no excuse not to check it out.
4 1/2 Stars - Tim Sendra

"Catchy As Holy Hell"

The Telepathic Butterflies - Breakfast in Suburbia (CD, Rainbow Quartz, Pop)
The Telepathic Butterflies don't release albums very often. But when they do well...then we're all in for a really cool treat. At this point in their career, one would expect the guys in this band to be overproducing their music and going straight for the bucks. But this is certainly not the case with Breakfast in Suburbia. This is a very stripped down album on which the band uses a standard line-up of bass, drums, and guitars to present their decidedly unpretentious and totally delicious upbeat pop tunes. The band consists of Jacques Dubois (drums), Eric Van Buren (bass), and Rejean Ricard (guitar). Ricard is a master songwriter...this time tossing out fourteen fresh new killer tracks that stick in the mind like glue. Interestingly, this time around many of the songs recall The Jam at the point when Paul Weller began toning down the volume a bit, opting to focus more on melodies and arrangements. The Telepathic Butterflies are one of the most genuine and credible guitar pop bands on the planet. Instead of following trends and selling out, they focus on creating purely entertaining music for discriminating listeners. Killer cuts include "The Trouble in Keeping Up With the Joneses," "Telescope," "Sign of the Times," and "The Caution Slumber." Warning: This stuff is as catchy as holy hell. Recommended. (Rating: 5++) - Baby Sue

"Scene And Heard"

The Telepathic Butterflies
Breakfast in Suburbia
Rainbow Quartz

Alternative hip and 60s retro to the max are what The Telepathic Butterflies offer in Breakfast in Suburbia, a melodic and ingenious journey that evokes images of the Yardbirds and The Strawbs.

True, there are moments when the disc sounds a bit raw and under produced, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s not a truly original sound, but they are thoroughly pro and polished on this, their third release.

The solo guitar riffs by Rejean Ricard are biting, and the beat from Jacques Dubois’ sticks is steady. These two are the current band leads and are supported by a rotating cast in their live shows.

It’s uncanny really, how these two blokes blend new music with a palette of harmonies and chiming guitars that reach into the past. With hooks aplenty and vocal splashes of psychedelia, the recreation of the British Invasion sound is truly compelling.

Those Winnipeg winters have nurtured many a fine band, but in recent years few have offered the compelling mix and unpredictable chord changes infused with energy and might that the Butterflies present from one song to the next.

The Telepathic Butterflies are something crisp, fresh and irresistible.

- Andy Gemza


Breakfast In Suburbia (Rainbow Quartz 2008)
Songs From A Second Wave (Rainbow Quartz 2004)
Introducing The Telepathic Butterflies (Rainbow Quartz 2003)
Nine Songs (Independent 2001)



Their name, inspired by a passage in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Breakfast of Champions, speaks volumes about the sound of this Winnipeg based group.

Where do you go to find yourself?
Think about that as you listen to Breakfast in Suburbia, The Telepathic
Butterflies third and most ambitious full-length recording. You may realize
the answer is right before your ears, as the music of Rej Ricard and Jacques
Dubois is the sort of infectious pop-rock that envelops listeners in a
comforting, familiar glow.
Listen carefully to the songs on this disc and you¹ll also realize that
Ricard and Dubois have crafted a compelling examination of modern life. This
is an album that expounds on the drudgery of everyday life, and expresses the alienation and paranoia that can swallow up the anchorless among us ("There¹s eyes along the way" < The Wishing Invisible).
Written from the point of view of several characters living in a typical
suburb, Breakfast in Suburbia is a matter-of-fact piece of sonic art,
created by young men who recognize that life is a long haul. Yet there is
also redemption in the soaring harmonies, ringing melodies and lovingly
crafted songs of The Telepathic Butterflies.
And maybe that¹s the point.
The warmth of Ricard and Dubois¹ music stems from the players¹ shared
passion for edgy melodic rock and garage pop, an oft-overlooked musical
genre that can be traced from to the earliest Beatles and Buddy Holly
through the likes of Badfinger, The Faces, The Records and all the way up to
contemporary acts such as New Pornographers or Louis XIV. Since 1999,
singer/guitarist/bassist Rej and drummer/vocalist have diligently worked at
crafting guitar-based pop music that has always had more to say than the
latest tuned-down, melodramatic post-grunge act. They¹ve released two
critically lauded, self-produced albums on Rainbow Quartz < Introducing The
Telepathic Butterflies and Songs from a Second Wave < and they have set
bodies a-swaying and gotten feet a-moving on nightclub dancefloors from
Montreal to L.A. and all stops in between.
Rej and Jacques¹ love of songcraft and authenticity is exemplified by their
painstaking, recording process, in which their vintage, 16-track analog
studio becomes almost a third member of the group. When modern pop music is
handmade like this, it¹s obviously a labour of love.
Which is where finding oneself comes into this equation. When Rej and
Jacques convene to play and write and record in their basement studio, it¹s
apparent that this is where their world makes the most sense.
Listen to Breakfast in Suburbia and it¹ll make sense to you, too.
Their music is a blend of equal parts jangle, psychedelia, melody and harmony. Their songs navigate through multi-layered arrangements steeped with avante sonic textures.