Recommended If You Like: The Wombats, Arctic Monkeys, Surfer Blood
Music is powerful. For listeners, it can lift spirits, bring back memories, or transport you to another world. For Montreal-based band Le Trouble, music is a catalyst for catharsis which they use to release their frustrations, having fun along the way. After meeting at a commercial recording studio at which they all happened to work, the fivesome of Garrett Dougherty, Jesse Gnaedinger, Michael Mooney, Bao-Khanh Nguyen, and Maxime Veilleux started playing music in the off hours and eventually, they came together formally. Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Le Trouble’s sophomore album, Making Matters Worse (out February 3 via Indica Records), an intriguing look into the band’s personality through the lens of high-energy indie rock and straightforward lyricism.
Listen: Making Matters Worse – Le Trouble
Having been born out of a more “professional” line of music work and formed naturally thanks to friendship and fun, Le Trouble are more of a music-making family than a band aiming for traditional success. Subsequently, it seems they shy away from taking their work too seriously. This isn’t to say their approach to making music is lazy or incorrect, but it serves as a reminder that while music is made for many reasons, fun and emotional release can be motive enough. All eleven tracks off Making Matters Worse are entertaining and expressive, with an overarching theme of not really giving a fuck about what anyone thinks. The stories on each track are candid reflections of real life situations, presented through honest, yet clever, wordsmithing.
The first track (and third single) off the album is a strong introduction – “How Was I to Know?” is catchy and danceable with upbeat guitar riffs interspersed with quick drums. Anthemic lyrics are sung with fervor by frontman Michael Mooney, setting the scene for a captivatingly nonchalant record. The music video, which was premiered by Atwood Magazine in November 2016, is thoughtfully artistic and communicates the layers in Le Trouble’s music. Although their tracks are largely fun and charismatic, the subject matter is rooted in raw human emotion, a tangible and flourishing source of inspiration.
Watch: “How Was I to Know?” – Le Trouble
Dabbling in various genres and a wide range of vocal styles, Le Trouble seem to be guided less by the need for definition and more by the feelings they want to express in their work. “Vampires” employs plucky guitar while echoes of longer strums fill in the gaps. The track remains fast-paced throughout, with the tone changing through ever-changing guitar riffs and various drum styles. This complexity makes it clear that though they may be venting about personal frustrations for the sake of their own sanity, Le Trouble are a truly musically gifted group with a knack for writing relatable, carefree tunes.
With topics ranging from corporate paranoia on “White Knuckles” to the fear of dying with a hard on with “Call You Out,” there’s something on Making Matters Worse for everyone. “Easy Enough” is a happy surprise of a ballad, with dreamy beats and a warm glow that blankets the pensive lyrics perfectly.
It’s easy enough being launched to space
The challenge is always to come back safe
And I’m so sorry, my mind left my body
Maybe tonight we’ll get it right
Surf rock influence is clear as day on “Ghost Surfer USA,” while “Anywhere but Here” puts fuzzy garage rock right up front. Le Trouble make playing with different elements from across the entire framework of music look easy. Their charismatic and casual approach to writing is infectious, and the sound is, somehow, roughly polished, all while holding onto their authentic persona and unfiltered thoughts.
From start to finish, Making Matters Worse keeps listeners engaged and on their feet. Warm, catchy melodies and high-octane choruses result in anthemic explosions of emotion that time and again leave a memorable mark – a testament to Le Trouble’s immense talent. Don’t miss the band on tour throughout Quebec and Ontario this February (see tour dates and ticket links below), and stay tuned for more shows in the coming months! 2017 is shaping up to be a year of intense emotions; we’re going to need music to guide us along the way. Making Matters Worse could not have come at a better time: Le Trouble are the rising tide, ready to bring us along for the ride and give us the release we need.
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cover: Le Trouble © Le Petit Russe
Making Matters Worse
an album by Le Trouble