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Eric Chenaux Trio
Delights Of My Life

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    The Quietus • #15 Best Of 2024 So Far

     

    "Delights Of My Life" is released in collaboration with Murailles Music (France): 
    muraillesmusic.bandcamp.com/album/delights-of-my-life

     

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    CST179 / MM035  180gLP + 2 Art Prints • CD • DL

    Release date: 31 May 2024

    Duration: 48:22

     

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    “The abiding meandering, exploratory quality remains, as does a captivating lyrical landscape that sometimes feels under-appreciated in his oeuvre.” - The Quietus • Best Of 2024 So Far 

    “Dreamy jazz ballads sprouting strange, fibrous growths. For anyone who’s ever dreamt of a Chet Baker/Nels Cline/Mouse on Mars supergroup.” - UNCUT

    Delights..might be Chenaux’s most inviting offering yet, introducing subtle grooves and soulful harmonies to his cock-eyed crooning…like all Chenaux’s music, the album’s relaxed tones and lyrical and slightly psychedelic melodies invite and reward the listener’s attention without demanding it.” - Musicworks

    “Canadian eccentric Eric Chenaux refuses genre once again on the debut release from his Eric Chenaux Trio, featuring Phillippe Melanson on electronic percussion and Ryan Driver on Wurlitzer. Arriving via Constellation and Murailles Music, and entitled Delights of My Life, it combines relatively straightforward jazz ballad singing with interludes of just-slightly-too-weird instrumentation, most notably on the pleasingly curious, ten-minute “This Ain’t Life” with its incongruously oddball synth parping.” - The Vinyl Desk 

    “This is jazz, a playful bending and poking at a song, just enough to bend and poke the listener’s brain into a different frame of reference.” - Vanguard Online 

    “There’s a wryness at play in presenting them as an ensemble: sure, if you squint you can hear a classic guitar-keys-drums combo. But accompanying Chenaux’s vocals and guitar, Driver’s dexterous chords are lightly dusted with sci-fi sound effects, and Melanson isn’t playing drums at all – he’s manipulating percussion samples, drawing on brushed cymbals, pops of woodblock and snare, even timpani. It’s a jazz trio in a funhouse mirror.” - The Monthly (AU)

    “Eric Chenaux has an overwhelming back catalogue of solo and collaborative work going back to the early 1990s, and all of it is worth dipping into. But on his last two or three solo records, he hit upon a strange and beautiful alchemy that is quite unlike anything else in popular music (or in jazz, for that matter). Delights of My Life is a continuation of that magic formula but with a more collaborative focus. Chenaux’s spellbinding run of form shows no signs of stopping.” - Klof Mag 

     “A welcome return with just enough surprises to make Delights Of My Life an essential extension of his catalogue.” - Freq

    “'This Ain't Life', the opener, is already worth the price of the album, a flowing groove introduced by extraterrestrial sounds, Chenaux singing his impressionist poetry” - Le Devoir

    Following the release of Eric Chenaux’s last album Say Laura (2022), The Guardian wrote “the Canadian songwriter has one of the all-time great singing voices in popular music, an intensely romantic Chet Baker-ish instrument that seems to float with piercing direction, like a paper aeroplane thrown hard through mist.” With Uncut describing his songcraft “as delicate and lovely as a rare orchid” and Record Collector praising the album’s “sublime alien balladry” such are the accolades that have accrued to Chenaux’s unique and consummately uncompromising solo music for well over a decade now.

    Delights Of My Life opens a new chapter for the singer/guitarist and formally introduces the Eric Chenaux Trio, with Toronto-based musicians Ryan Driver on Wurlitzer organ and Phillipe Melanson on electronic percussion. Driver is a longtime collaborator, appearing on several of Chenaux’s solo albums (even embedded into the very title of the 2010 masterpiece Warm Weather With Ryan Driver). Melanson has a long list of involvements that include Bernice, Joseph Shabason, and U.S Girls, and a recent release with his Impossible Burger project on Chenaux’s own experimental label Rat-drifting, but this marks the first fulsome involvement between the two as players on a recording.

    In many ways Delights Of My Life also picks up right where Chenaux’s previous album left off, in its subversions of a classic, timeless jazz-inflected balladry, while the interplay of the trio formation indeed unfurls many new delights. Recording together at Chenaux’s spartan home studio in rural France, Driver’s harmonically warped organ and Melanson’s electroacoustic sampling and percussion hold time in newfound ways. Where previously Chenaux relied on a freeze/sustain pedal and minimalist rhythmic triggers to generate both pulse and chordal foundations, Melanson now paints timekeeping with expressive and intricate colourations, through live deployments of fluid sampled percussion (including orchestral timbres like timpani, kettle drums, and woodblock) that blur the boundaries between acoustic and electronic. Driver also ramps up his role in the song arrangements (prefigured in his support playing on Say Laura), teasing out chords and melodic filigree on Wurlitzer that percolate more prominently with Chenaux’s signature fried guitar solos and succulent singing. Both trio members add dulcet backing vocals, most notably on the 10-minute tour-de-force of fuzzed and ring-modulated swing “This Ain’t Life” that opens the record. All seven songs on the album groove and sway, simmer and sparkle, like nothing in the inestimable Chenaux discography to date.

    Chenaux’s tunes have the uncanny ability to sound like jazz standards; songs you feel you’ve heard before, though certainly never quite like this. Yet these are of course all originals, compositionally and interpretively, bent through an inimitable avant/out-music lens. Delights Of My Life conveys warm familiarity, shot through with the exuberantly experimental subversion and playful, even mischievous, iconoclasm that continues to mark Chenaux as defiantly, virtuosically, and genially one-of-kind.


    PACKAGING NOTES

    180gLP pressed at Optimal (DE) comes in 350gsm jacket + 300gsm inner + two 12”x12” 300gsm art cards, all printed in LE-UV inks on uncoated Arktika artboards, with DL card. Artwork by Mariette Cousty.

    CD in custom paperboard mini-gatefold jacket + inner disc sleeve. Artwork by Mariette Cousty.


    CREDITS

    Eric Chenaux: voice, electric guitar
    Ryan Driver: Wurlitzer, voice
    Philippe Melanson: electronic percussion, voice

    Recorded and mixed by Cyril Harrison at Le Pouget, Condat-sur-Ganaveix, Corrèze.
    Produced by Eric Chenaux, Cyril Harrison, Murailles Music and Constellation.

    Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, Montréal.

    Artwork by Mariette Cousty.

    All songs written by Eric Chenaux SOCAN/ASCAP with lyrics written in collaboration with Ryan Driver (except “Delights Of My Life” by Eric Chenaux).

    Thanks to Marcelline Delbecq, Forian Fouché, Bernice, La Crue, Marco Stangherlin, Olivier Touche, Antoine Marchalot, Maud Herrara, Eric Cazdyn, Jérôme Castel, Scott Thomson, Karen Ng, Aimée Dawn Robinson, Alexandra Hoàng Gilbert, Alexandre Bourit, Ernest Bergez, Emily Windows, Eloïse Decazes, Carol Reef, Charlène Dinhut and Florian Caschera, La Calade and Martin Arnold.

    A special thanks to Rémy Poncet for the Wurlitzer.


    We acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council For The Arts, the Government of Québec, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.
    Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du Conseil des arts du Canada, du gouvernement du Québec, du gouvernement du Canada et des radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.