zoë and the lost boys
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zoë and the lost boys

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter




"Zoë and the Lost Boys"

Every now and then, a songwriter comes out with an amazing piece of art about something completely simple and unexciting regarding the human experience, yet somehow constructs it so beautifully that it captivates audiences regardless of it’s ordinary topic. There is undoubtedly beauty in the mundane parts of everyday life. It just takes a particular and imaginative individual to tap into said beauty in order to make it resonate with the audience. Unfortunately, for every artist such as this, there are ten more who make this attempt and fall short of inspiring people. Zoë And The Lost Boys’ album, “Love Lives Here”, falls somewhere in between these two extremes.

​Zoë And The Lost Boys are a mixed bag of Ontarians and Montrealers; each member having a style of their own. Varying from Zoë Robertson’s background as a classically trained musician, to Francois Pelletier’s jazz/folk guitar stylings, the group comes together under the umbrella of folk music, with a touch of technical sophistication that won’t be found in just any band. For this reason, the album as a whole doesn’t achieve absolute greatness, but definitely doesn’t fall completely flat.

The actual instrumental aspect to the songs on “Love Lives Here” is brilliant. The folk vibe is strong, even pulling in elements from artists such as Joni Mitchell. The vocals are basic, but are exactly what their sound needs. Anything more would be too much for the down to earth, relaxed vibe that the band exudes. The subtle picking in the background of the album’s opener, titled “Mischief In Dreams” which then leads into a captivating ensemble of violin, guitar, and chorus is a clear demonstration of the band’s strength in song composition. Each piece of the puzzle flows into the next seamlessly, making every song a smooth listen.

That being said, in my first shot at listening to the album, I didn’t feel compelled to upload it to my iPod or hit repeat. It was only upon giving it another chance that I was able to distinguish the nuances that really bring this album together. So in a sense, that fact alone puts Zoë And The Lost Boys on a different level of artistry than most bands, in that their music is only appreciated to the fullest by those who are listening intently for the understated strokes of genius.

​The band’s true wow factor is in their live performance. Robertson’s vocals are pristine, and the band has a certain unified feel that lets the audience know just how much each member’s creative flow compliments their sound. Unfortunately, for this album at least, that all-encompassing magic does not translate to their recorded sound. So while I wouldn’t completely write off this album, because with a few listens it really does grow on you, I would definitely try to make it out to one of their live shows.

​Lyrically, Robertson’s writing is introspective and deals with themes commonly experienced by anyone with a human spectrum of emotions. From the woes of long-distance friendships to the sinking feeling of homesickness, the album tackles it all. The simplicity in the writing style is something that can be done very well or quite the opposite. When it comes to straight-forward lyrics, there’s a fine line between dull and just right.

Zoë And The Lost Boys straddles that line from time to time. With certain lines they inspire powerful waves of emotion using the least amount of wordiness possible, while at other times there seems to be something missing, impeding the verse from impacting in the strongest way it could. ​

​Despite the album’s minute flaws, the album is still worth a good listen. Give it some time with your ears. Let the music in, and try to blend your focus on both the foreground vocals and the background quirks that set the band apart from the generic realm of the folk world. While this may be a band with some room to grow, Zoë And The Lost Boys is definitely on the right track to becoming the alt/folk icons of Montreal. - Scandal Magazine

"Zoe and the Lost Boys - Love Lives Here"

To pinpoint one specific genre to Zoe and The Lost Boys sound is pretty much impossible. There is such a great array of many different genres that are fused together to make each and every song on the album. Right away Zoe’s vocals sprung out and screamed 90’s alternative, Edie Brickell was the first name to pop into my head as Zoe finished her first lyrical line in “Mischief In Dreams”. But there is also a hint of country/folk that is brought out in her vocals as well which is induced by the instrumental aspect of the song. As I listened to the album a few times you I seemed to pick up a hint of Jazz as well, and this is just scratching the surface of the album.

Each song on the album has its own characteristics and personal sound. Just three songs into the album the entire of the album changes as the slow tempo song of “These Ruins” plays out. Now the album has changed and moved into a completely different course, now there are the sounds of Jazz, Gospel and Blues. After the first two words that Zoe sings out Bruce swoops in on the organ and takes this song away. Francois on the electric guitar provides the smooth blues sound to the song. Zoe proves rather quickly that there is much more to her vocals than what you will hear in the opening two numbers. The 90’s alternative sound has all but disappeared and has been replaced with what seems to be a fine blend of blues, soul and folk, but it is the moodiness in her vocals as the song progresses that really stands out. The edgier sound of her vocals hits at just the right time to really make the lyrics stand out in the song.

My favourite song off of Love Lives here is their fifth song “Mysterious Grove”, as the song began for the first time I had no idea what I was about to hear at they played out their quick intro for the song I thought here I was going to hear a rock song in the middle of the album, instead I was greeted with a up tempo alt country song. The lyrics in the song are one of my favourite aspects about the song. I had to listen to “Mysterious Grove” a few times before I could soak in what Zoe was singing(talk about down to earth lyrics).

You can pick up your copy of Love Lives Here by Visiting http://www.zoeandthelostboys.com/ - Kingston Music Reviews

"Showcase - Zoë & the Lost Boys"

Zoë and the Lost Boys provide an intimate coffeehouse take on alt-folk, infusing warms vocals and elements of jazz with those more typically associated with the genre. The group is anchored by Zoë Robertson, who has aligned herself with a quintet of musicians playing a range of instruments from fiddle and mandolin to the customary guitar and drums. This allows Robertson and crew to create music that's rooted in folk and country but expands into places with more depth and a fuller sound than we're accustomed to hearing with this style.
After self-releasing "Joints" in October of 2011, the group hit the road to support the EP, focusing mostly on Quebec and Ontario with a coveted slot at Canadian Music Week 2012 and taking up a second home in Kingston, ON along the way. While "Joints" is sold out of its initial print, the band has made its songs available for free download from their website, leaving anyone who hasn't heard of them out of excuses.
- Canadian Musician

"Zoë & the Lost Boys - Concert Review"

When approached to write a review for this concert, it was really hard to contain my excitement. After a very successful and pleasant interview, the opportunity was handed to once again collaborate with the band and document this anticipated event.
The location was The Segal Center for Performing Arts in Montreal. The band was Zoë and The Lost Boys.
This band held a special place in the hearts of myself as well as Vicious & Delicious, hosts of Guilty Pleasures. They were our first: Our first band to get in touch with us, our first band interview, and now our first concert. So like everyone’s first, we would cheer along our new friends in any adventure they decide to pursue, even if it were spinning plates in front of a crowd.
As the hours passed, the stage was set, the soundcheck was complete and the crowd was starting to pile into the intimate room. It was time to put on the professional hat and be as impartial as possible. Feelings needed to be put aside. We had a job to do. The band asked for an honest review and we were going to deliver.
We were greeted by a man who insisted on being called “just George”. He welcomed the crowd with kind words and introduced the band as the first of a hopefully lengthy series of indie bands featured at The Segal. I must mention how the entire staff was professional and extremely friendly. From the greeters to the barmaid to the information desk, everyone had a genuine smile and was very helpful.
The crowd gave a warm welcome to Zoë and her Lost Boys. Zoë Robertson, lead singer, welcomed her 6-piece band in French referring to her band as “Zoë et les Hommes Perdues” which immediately got a chuckle of this already friendly crowd.
On came the piano flicking intro of Joints (Muscles, Seams) and immediately the crowd was submersed into the tightly knit melody of The Lost Boys. The incredible instrumental rotation of Bruce MacKinnon, Seann Battams and Mike Foster was a memorable sight to see. The three men flawlessly switched from drums to piano to keyboard to other various percussions, all while being complimented by the calming and very professional approach of François Pelletier on guitar and mandolin. The entire band often glanced over to their orchestral chief in Julien Palassio on bass guitar, immersed into the rhythm without fail and setting the tone to his bandmates with great passion.

From the very beginning, Zoë took the crowds hand and danced with them all night.
Sailing through the 18-song setlist with incredible charisma and grace was lead singer Zoë Robertson who was, without a doubt, the starlet of the show. From the very beginning, Zoë took the crowds hand and danced with them all night. The intelligent lyrical flow and rhythmic diversity made it easy for an already intimate crowd to feel like we were sitting around on couches having wine in front of a fire. Friends just having a great time.
The turning point of the evening was the band sitting down side-stage only to leave Zoë on her own. She tells the crowd “we’re gonna be best friends for a minute” as she sits down in front of a Steinway & Sons black beauty of a piano. She declares to have been writing this song for over 12 years and proceeds with a stunning performance of ‘Bound’. So stunning that every single eye was riveted on her and even got the crew and I to stop whatever we were doing as we were transported on a cloud of delight and deep emotion. From there, Zoë and The Lost Boys had everyone in their hand.
They rocked the rest of the setlist, totalling 90 minutes, visiting every avenue of country, folk, jazz, blues and rock. Ending the evening with a swinging and foot stomping rendition of ‘Don’t Wait Up’, the band grinned ear to ear, visually satisfied of their performance.
But the crowd wanted more.
Not one person left their seat. They clamoured and demanded an encore. A vision of the times of old where bands didn’t come back on stage because an encore was part of the show, this time they came back because the crowd wanted them back.
Robertson and Palassio came out together visibly emotional. After chuckles from everyone following the declaration “Well we gave you all of our songs so we only got covers left” the duo played a smooth acoustic rendition of 1000 MPH by Ok Go. We were in for one last treat. Now running on cloud nine and as the rest of the band was coming back on stage, Palassio re-strapped his bass guitar and grooved into a 15-second solo of Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’, much to the delight of a few obvious classic metal heads in the crowd. After giggles from all, the band then closed the evening with Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ (also made famous by The White Stripes). A fitting end to what was already a great evening.
Emotions were running high after the concert.
“I had a blast!” said a grinning Seann Battams.
“The monkey is off the shoulder! Wow! That was…wow!” exclaimed Palassio.
“I’m so proud of them.” declared a very emotional mother of Zoë Robertson who stood beside a - The Radio Station

"Zoë & The Lost Boys prove indie folk can, in fact, grow up."

Zoe and the Lost Boys prove indie folk can, in fact, grow up.

Montreal, QC - November 2011

Remember when you first discovered Fiona Apple or Tom Waits, and that one album lived in your CD walkman for like a thousand years? Then you grew up and your heart opened outwards to embrace a host of other artists all wonderful in their own ways: moody singer-songwriters, whisky-soaked country crooners, deeply authentic folk goddesses, smokey bluesmen, and the strutting irreverent kings of rock'n'roll. All this and more is Zoë & the Lost Boys, an earthy and energetic new folk-rock animal from Montreal set to break the hearts and open the minds of Canadian music lovers sea to sea.

Fresh off the much-anticipated release of their debut EP, "Joints (Muscles, Seams)", frontwoman Zoë Robertson and her bandmates can already sight a miniature tour of Ontario and Quebec on this winter's horizon. Ranging from playful to soulful, "Joints (Muscles, Seams)" features six compositions that muse and groove on everything from late-night existentialism to bittersweet country nostalgia to twentysomething romances of an entirely unexpected ilk.

Songwriter and vocalist Zoë Robertson is currently pursuing a master's degree in classical saxophone at McGill; her partner in crime, music, and life in general, Julien Palassio works at Steve's Music Bookstore, and plays the guitar like no one's business. Together with fiddler Seann Battams, guitarist François Pelletier and drummer Dan Garmon, Zoë & the Lost Boys are an intellectual, sonically diverse acoustic experience that's way grown up but never ever old.

Zoë and the Lost Boys can be heard at the Free Times Cafe (Toronto, ON) on December 15th, 2011. To get your ears on their sounds, visit www.zoeandthelostboys.com For bookings, call 438.764.9792.
- Sample press release, unpublished


Still working on that hot first release.



Meet Zoe & the Lost Boys, Montreal's answer to loveable country-folk with an alternative twist. Their songs often defy genre, but each one shares heartfelt lyrics, captivating melodies and a general dalliance with the folk/country/blues universe that makes their music rootsy and relatable. In 2011 they began their musical journey with the release of the EP "Joints (Muscles, Seams)" and in the past two and a half years have slowly started to make space for themselves in the Montreal/Kingston folk scene. Since July 2013 they have been promoting their first full-length recording, "Love Lives Here" with shows from Oshawa, ON to Edmundston, NB and many stops in between. 

Zoe Robertson is the song-writing force behind the music, and the affable singer in the front. A Kingston, ON native who now lives in Montreal, her song-writing style is influenced by her twenty years of training as a classical musician, as well as her devotion to artists like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. With the help of Julien Palassio, bass player and go-to guy for arrangements, demos and other handy contributions, she has created a unique voice in Canadian indie music, with a folky style all its own. These two are joined by the powerhouse of talent Franois Pelletier, a jazz/folk guitarist and composer whose lead guitar playing adds a layer of sophistication and sass to the mix. And as of January 2014, the Montreal foursome are joined by Elijah Baker on drums, holding down the groove and keeping everybody together. 

Zoe & the Lost Boys have many plans simmering for 2014! Zoe will be headed out to Halifax in May for her first solo East-coast adventure, and there is talk of an Ontario/Quebec tour with the whole band this summer. To keep up with their projects and plans, like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter. Coming soon to a bar in your town!

Band Members