Photo by by Camille Gladu-Drouin

Jesuslesfilles may have found their El Dorado

The Montreal band spoke to us about their new album L’heure idéale and their quest for sonic satisfaction.

Jesuslesfilles never stops creating music.

L’heure idéale, their fourth album, comes at a time of excitement, coinciding with reopenings that give hope for new shows — aside from a very sold out album launch at l’Esco a couple of weeks ago.

When talking with singer Martin Blackburn and drummer Benoit Poirier, the anticipation of the release is palpable, even through a screen. Both of them talk about the hard work they’ve put into the new album, but also about the general inspiration behind it. It’s an album strongly inspired by the exodus to the West.

“At first, it started from the city of L.A. We were finding it a little bit crazy that everyone wanted to go to Los Angeles and change their life. We realized that a lot of people had those ambitions of leaving and getting successful somewhere else,” says Blackburn

The band views this album as an opportunity to explore new sounds while staying true to themselves and their origins. For them, Jesuslesfilles is not always psych-rock — it goes beyond genres. The band isn’t about one type of music. It’s about where they find the inspiration behind the music, as Blackburn explains.

“We are alternative. We don’t want to fit any label. When I make music, I ask myself what the mood is rather than what type of music I’m making. Am I rock? Am I pop? I think I get my inspiration from all the styles. It depends on how I’m feeling. I will drink a beer, smoke a joint, listen to Elton John, go outside, come back in and start playing whatever my creativity brings. We have all kinds of inspiration. We have a mood, ‘Jesuslesfilles,’ and this is what we want to share.”

Having been around since 2008, Jesuslesfilles is well-known in Montreal’s psych-rock circles. They are very humble about their background. They still see themselves as the poor kids on the block. Their song “Troisième Semaine” conveys exactly what they identify as: young kids trying to make their way in the scene.

“We were the poor kids of Quebec’s rock. ‘Troisième Semaine’ is exactly Jesuslesfilles. This is our energy. We are always in between. Not pop, not rock. Jesuslesfilles, we are used to misery,” adds Blackburn while laughing.

And yet, the successful band that has won Rock Album of the Year at the GAMIQ (with Daniel, ini 2018) is very far from being unrecognized. Their albums keep on getting praised by critics. For L’heure idéale, they worked with Emmanuel Éthier — the producer behind Corridor and P’tit Belliveau. Éthier was able to visualize what to bring to the album.

“We got into a studio and we spent weeks on it. With Manu, he’s very laid-back, there’s no pressure. He knows where he is going. He’s a machine. He looks like he’s extremely chill, but in his head everything is going on,” Blackburn explains.

Jesuslesfilles seems like a band that is here to stay. When asked whether, in keeping with their album’s theme, they’ve found their El Dorado, Poirier and Blackburn laugh and take a pause before answering.

“Right now, we have found our El Dorado. We have a label that takes care of us, we have a good album. We are very cherished,” Blackburn says.

“The quest continues,” adds Poirier. ■

For more, please visit the band’s Bandcamp page. This article originally appeared in the July 2021 issue of Cult MTL.

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.