Feathership lifts off again

The local duo launches a record, Howl, after a five-year absence from the scene.

Feathership3-08992-(crédits Jérôme Guibord)

Feathership. Photo by Jérôme Guibord

This week, the second act of Feathership‘s story begins. The release of their debut LP, Howl, is a long time coming, a full five years after their six-track mini-album first introduced the band’s atmospheric folk-pop sound to the world. Jean-Philippe Sauvé, the singer-songwriter half of Feathership, explains what happened:

“After we released the EP in 2009, we did a lot of shows, and I think there was a good reception,” he says, “but then I had an invitation to go work for UNESCO in Paris, and that brought everything to a halt.”

His return to Montreal a few years later coincided with the birth of a child with his conjoint, so it was only last year that Feathership got back to work.

Feathership 2009
Feathership circa 2009

Back in ’09, the band included guitarist Greg Paquet, drummer Mathieu Vézio and bassist Étienne Rocheleau, all of whom were members of other local bands like Elephant Stone, Mille Monarques and l’Indice — this pedigree, along with Sauvé’s mid-aughts solo project Jay Pea, moved many writers to describe Feathership as a supergroup. Now, though their old crew contributed to Howl, the core duo of Sauvé and producer/multi-instrumentalist Vincent Blain have become the faces of the project, and the main creative players.

“This time it was me and Vince working on the demos, fine-tuning the songs and then getting [Feathership’s] original line-up and other friends to collaborate for the final versions,” Sauvé says.

The range of musicians on Howl is audible in its diverse styles and arrangements, a reflection of Sauvé and Blain’s decision to choose the very best of the songs they wrote, consistency be damned. But that’s not to say they have no signature sound.

“It’s a mix of atmospheric folk and contemplative stuff that I’ve always liked and the more adventure sounds that Vince and Greg pushed forward,” Sauvé says. “We really took a lot of time in creating a universe for each song. The studio we worked in was in Little Italy, close to my home, and we had no time constraints. We polished this till we were satisfied, and we’re control freaks so it took a lot of time.”

Tomorrow you have an opportunity to see Feathership in their natural habitat. The duo is a studio project, and there are no plans for shows or tours, but they’ll be performing at Studio Vox on Tuesday, May 6 at 8 p.m., to mark the release of Howl. The event is free but space is limited, so please email feathership.ca@gmail.com with your first and last name. If you make the cut, you’ll receive an email with the studio’s address.

Meanwhile, listen to Howl here.