Vanessa Rotondo is an Ottawa-based freelance writer, national spoken word artist and youth outreach coordinator/arts educator.
If you’re looking for an upbeat, electro-punk meets funk fusion album with built-in underlying smart commentary, you can’t do better than To Trip with Terpischore, Hilotrons’ newest release. After ten years of making music and serious moves in the Canadian music scene, the band disbanded only to reform again under the virtuoso fingertips of Mike Dubue, lead vocalist and keyboarding guru.
“It was our first album out of the gates” – an eight track LP-side-A-like journey and departure from regular on-time signatures and intensive pre-production. The band focused their energy on practicing during jam sessions and “laying it down, quick and dirty”, opting for a predominantly live record. Six hours in studio, seven days of mixing and the bill paid upfront and in cash – priceless!
Despite the catchy hooks and raw refrains, Dubue speaks to how he mostly wrote songs “geared towards the emancipation of living in a country of weird culture, where leaders and role models are often celebrated for their opportunistic egos”. Amen.
“Real Game Changer”, their newest single reflects exactly that, delving into the twisted nature of men in power, from historic Canadian figures like John A. McDonald to modern day Jian Ghomeshis. He also explores how parts of Canadian historical culture have since been erased in the debut single “Tackle the Strand”, questioning the discouragement of education and consolidation of schools in the 1920’s.
Both singles are accompanied by equally compelling videos. The video for “Real Game Changer” was shot by photographer David Irvine and subsequently processed by Hard Science, by feeding live projections through a synthesizer –‘A Trip’ indeed. Have a look:
If you recently missed their headliner show at the Ottawa MEGAPHONO festival, no biggy, you’re still in luck. Catch a guaranteed “striking and progressive” set at the Black Sheep Inn for their digital release party on February 24th or their vinyl release on May 1st. Buy tickets here.
For those in winter hibernation mode who’d rather hang out and listen to it at home, as of February 24th you can download it for free via Label Records! Be a good local arts and culture supporting Samaritan and choose the donation option before downloading. As a personal thank you from the band, you’ll receive a best-of Hilotrons compilation as a gift in the mail! You can also pre-order your vinyl from Record Centre Records here.