Announces New Album: Passion Play – April 30, 2021
Out via Mothland
360-degree live session for Phoque Off Festival – Feb 19, 2021
Kristian North, the Montréal-based disco, funk and new wave purveyor, formerly of the garage-punk group, Babysitter, is today sharing his new butter-smooth single, “Fantasy” In-tandem with the new music, Kristian is also announcing details of his forthcoming full-length release, Passion Play, which will be out via Mothland on April 30, 2021. This new collection, produced by Renny Wilson (Anemone, Michael Rault, Faith Healer) and mastered by Harris Newman (Wolf Parade, Patrick Watson, Orville Peck), comes as the latest installment from the artist following the release of his 2018 record, The Last Rock’n’Roll Record which found North taking inspiration from 80’s excess, detective novels and Z.A.Z comedies, whilst opening for the likes of Wolf Parade, The Sadies and Daniel Romano on tour. Kristian will be filming a 360-degree live session in SAT DOME (Satosphere) which will be streamed as part of Phoque Off Festival on February 19.
This first single finds Kristian drawing sonic inspiration from the likes of Roxy Music, George Michael and Sparks, positioning his deep, lilting vocals alongside crystalline pop sensibilities and propulsive, disco-driven beats. Quaint confessions, cloaked desires and mythical references make up for an array of complex yet heartfelt lyrics whilst in sound, it acts as a fitting precursor to the album’s overall aesthetic: tar-thick grooves laced with tongue-firmly-in-cheek romantic observations.
Speaking about “Fantasy”, which he wrote shortly after watching Demy’s Peau D’âne, North says: “I was kind of humming the chorus in my head and then I watched Donkey Skin and it all clicked. There’s something to be said about reality there but mostly it’s just candy, melodrama, fairy tales. We did very little in the way of second takes. Abigail was basically running out the door, that’s why it sounds so cool. The song has some nods to George Michael, who I listened to religiously for a couple of years.”
Explaining the making of the accompanying visual, director Phil Osborne says: “Kristian brought up the idea of capturing the times we are in. With the curfew in mind, we cooked up a little dystopian sci-fi style intro, a bit of dark humor which quickly transitions to a one-man disco party.”
Creating an album of idiosyncratic stories was always the aim for North who saw himself making something short and focused as opposed to conceptual and sprawling. Passion Play arrives as set of eight different tracks, each one providing its own unique short story with North detailing accounts of fairytale cliches, cynical love tropes and the actions of third-rate characters. Whilst being conceptually ambiguous as a full collection of music, each track is an example of North’s penchant for giving a contemporary take on groove-laden funk, disco and new wave, with an array of different influences providing a touchpoint: the aforementioned 80s hitmakers, Marvin Gaye’s later releases, and British new wave acts like Prefab Sprout and Scritti Politti.
Passion Play is his most analogue record to-date, written entirely on piano with the aim of breaking the habits and patterns that he had formed on the guitar. The piano was a way to challenge this rinse and repeat method, incorporating experimentation with the organ and synthesisers before recording the entire project to one reel, giving them a time limit of approximately half an hour to compile the album. The resulting collection emerges as North’s most focused release, providing vignettes of contemporary love under the cloak of vibrant disco-pop.
April 30, 2021
Out via Mothland
2. Halfway To Heaven
3. I See You Everywhere
4. More Than Yesterday
5. Shadow of the Pyramids
6. Eye of Love
7. Genius of Song
FOLLOW KRISTIAN NORTH
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.