Eric Chenaux has been a creative force in Toronto underground music for the better part of two decades. He played guitar and sang in Phleg Camp and LifeLikeWeeds through the early 1990s, released his first solo record in 1996, and has recorded and performed tirelessly in Toronto for the last 15 years, both solo and with the likes of Michelle Mcadorey, Martin Arnold and Sandro Perri. He co-founded the Rat Drifting label with Arnold in 2000 and has played on several of the label’s releases, with groups like The Reveries, The Draperies, and Drumheller.
From his launching point in punk-rock, Chenaux has delved deep into the language of the guitar, pursuing minimalism, improvisation, fractured folk and slack noise, among other mediations and immediacies. He also sings and writes beautifully, and it has long been a dream of ours to hear a batch of new vocal tunes. In 2005, we invited Eric to record some songs at the original Hotel2Tango in Montreal. Supported by longtime collaborators Martin Arnold and Nick Fraser, Chenaux forged a sublime 9-song album that folded his devotion to Scottish folk and pop balladry, his mastery of ‘damaged’ guitar dynamics, and his wistful, thoughtful voice into wonderfully fluid structures shaped by a trio of seasoned improvisers.
Dull Lights is an album of long winding melodies and subtle shifts and turns. It is also an album of love songs. Fraser’s drums play around the beat, or paint beneath it, while Arnold and Chenaux pluck buzzing lines from guitars and banjos. From the warped guitar laden drag-waltz of “Ronnie Mary”, to the processional monophony of “White Dwarf, White Sea”, to the distorted bagpipe swath of “Worm and Gear”, to the white noise crooning of the title track – Eric Chenaux composed a delicate, intricate, inspired cycle of pared-down tunes using a highly original palette of guitar-based sounds and strategies.
2. Worm And Gear
3. I Can See It Now
4. Weather The Wind
5. Dull Lights
6. Memories Are No Treasure
7. White Dwarf White Sea
9. However Wildly We Dream
Running time: 00:48:34
LP is pressed on 180g audiophile vinyl and comes in a thick printed jacket with 12"x12" silkscreened credits insert.
CD comes in a custom paperboard mini-gatefold jacket with a printed CD dust sleeve.
Eric Chenaux: vocals, electric guitar, 12 string banjo, lap steel guitar, harmonica
Martin Arnold: electric tenor banjo, portable sampling keyboard
Nick Fraser: drums
Jessica Moss: spinning speakers on TRACK 2
Recorded at Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Efrim Menuck, February/March 2006. Mastered at Grey Market by Harris Newman.