You and Me
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You and Me

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada | SELF

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Press


"Artist’s Cookbook: Date and Orange Muffins and Chai Tea Courtesy of You and Me"

I recently was introduced to another pronoun driven band, You and Me. You and Me is a Montreal based folk blues band spearheaded by Valerie Giroux and James Lemay. These two have been making the rounds since 2001, playing in places as varied as Santa Monica, San Antonio, New Orleans and Key West. Along the way they nurtured a fan base that includes the likes of Jeb Brien a producer/director at Sony. It wasn’t long before a demo was requested. The two took the DIY approach and turned their Westfalia van into a solar powered recording studio. Ultimately they weren’t signed to Sony but the experience of completing every part of the recording process on their own opened their eyes to talents that they didn’t necessarily know they had. You and Me have just completed their debut album all on their own taking great pain to make sure the producing, engineering, mixing, arranging and performing are exactly how they want it.


“Head Up High” is the second track on their album and it features bongo drums, sexy grooves and some quiet attitude. None of this takes away from the happiness one feels while listening along. While it isn’t my favorite track on the album (that would be “Today is Gonna Be a Better Day”) it is the one that demonstrates what You and Me can be the best:
...
With all this going on it is amazing that the band still finds time to bake (let alone eat). One of their specialties is Dates and Orange Muffins. Pair it with their Home Brewed Chai Tea and you’ve got, just like James and Valerie, an amazing and complimentary duo. - Tender Branson


"Album review : You & Me"

The self titled and entirely self produced album from Montreal duo and childhood friends You & Me is made up of ten solid tracks that are full of versatility and very kind to the ears. Made up of James Lemay, the front man along with skilled guitar and harmonica player, along with Valerie Giroux who sings backup and plays drums, You & Me has been playing music together for over ten years now, and their experience along with their chemistry really shines through their music.

The songs on this album contain a number of elements, from the Latin beats of “Head Up High” to the strong horns and saxophones in “Born A Nightmare” A constant is James’ smokey and soulful voice that can do just about anything, whether it’s singing a sad love song like “Lost”, or wailing the blues in “Running Like Hell”.

The album does have a setback, and that’s the lyrics that are at times lacking creativeness. You & Me‘s work shows, though, that you don’t need to be forced to ponder the meaning of life in order to enjoy music and the other things it has to give.

There are a couple key tracks on this release. Track six, my personal favourite called “My Special One” is a definite feel-good and somewhat lovey-dovey tune. The words are happy, the music is happy, and there’s some wonderful harmonica that delights me to no end. It seems suitable to play while skipping over chalk-scrawled sidewalks in the good ole summertime. ”Woman You’re Doing Right” is another highlight track, defying what I said earlier about lack of introspective lyrics. It is almost painfully raw, and provides some really spooky imagery. It also shows off James’ impressive vocal range and knack for the blues.

Finally, we get to hear a spotlight on Valerie as she sings eerily in a sweet voice above the minor harmonization of strings, harmonica, and the quiet picking of a guitar. She is joined by James after singing “My heart is weeping the tears of a dream that’s been lost”. Dark, yes, but they saved the best for last.

The duo of You & Me definitely has some interesting elements and no doubt stories to their music that are waiting to be discovered audience. This self titled release is available digitally here, and will be physically released later this year in October. You & Me and all their info is located on their website.

Here’s the aforementioned favourite track of mine, “My Special One”. - Shawna Naklicki


Discography

Singles playing on internet radio:
-Head up high
-Tell me why
-Today is gonna be a better day

Albums:
-You and Me
-You and Me live in California
-A present moment

Photos

Bio

You & Me is a Montreal pop-folk-rock-bluesy band, which shines as much by the beauty of its music as by the charisma of the two musicians who compose the band.
Front stage, you have the mysterious and talented James Lemay, singing his soul out, while playing skilfully his guitar and harmonica. Then, just a bit behind him, we discover Valerie Giroux, looking like a little star that just fell from the sky, glowing behind her drums. Her playing style on the drums and the percussions is all about subtlety and her backing vocals blend perfectly with James’s voice. On stage, as in reality, they have a palpable complicity; we can feel the connection between those two true friends just by looking at them. With their hypnotic energy, their incredible musical talent and their fascinating beauty, James and Valerie cast a spell almost instantaneously over you, making them a captivating, one of a kind band.
The story of You & Me officially starts in 2001, in the eastern part of Montreal, while 2 musicians and childhood friends, James and Valerie, left the city in a victorious blue Volkswagen filled with musical instruments to begin an epic road trip all across North America which would last almost 3 years. As they traveled, the two friends perfected their art and offered live performances in many American cities including Santa Monica, San Diego, Los Angeles, Venice, Hollywood, San Antonio, New Orleans and Key West. They charmed their audience nights after nights, so much that while performing in the south of California, they had to record a live album to please their growing fan base. The album, simply titled “You & Me live in California”, which was only available at their gigs, got a very good response, they sold about 2 thousand copies of it in only a few months.
After nearly 2 years on the road, they caught the attention of Jeb Brien’s fiancée, who overheard their live album playing in a sign shop in Santa Monica. Jeb Brien is a well known producer/director at Sony, and you can imagine the excitement of James and Valerie when they received an email asking them for a demo of original music to be sent to him! So, for this occasion, they decided to literally turn their Westfalia van into a mini recording studio to record and produce some new songs. They were completely new at the art of recording...they bought themselves a little digital multitrack recorder and drove near Zion national park in Utah to find a quiet place for the recording sessions. Their little studio was entirely solar powered, they would charge the batteries during the day with a solar panel and record when the sun was down, taking advantage of the silence of the night. It took almost a month to finish that demo, and at the end they didn’t get sign by Sony, but they discovered in themselves an interest and a real talent for the art of recording and producing, which was the beginning of another learning adventure! Today, in addition of being great musicians, James and Valerie can wear with grace the hats of producer and sound engineer and they are proudly getting ready to launch their debut studio album which have been totally self produced from the writing of the songs, to the final mixes passing by the arranging and producing as well as the performing (of course!). The result is really impressive and it is twice as impressive when you think that all the credits go to only You and Me. Enjoy!