Album Review: Corridor – Junior

Corridor have the unique distinction of being legendary label Subpop‘s first francophone signing. Hailing from Montreal, their newly released album ‘Junior’ is utterly endearing and highly distinct.

Guitar driven and quirky – the oftentimes raw and unadorned guitars provide defining counter melodies underneath the choral vocal layers full of complex harmonies. I could possibly compare Corridor to bands like Phoenix and Vampire Weekend with roots going back to Talking Heads, XTC and Prefab Sprout: it is intelligent pop at its finest.

But it is also quite unique.

The album came together very quickly according to Dominic Berthiaume (vocals/bass) who said “Part of the beauty of the thing is that we didn’t have time to think about it”. Indeed, six of Junior’s tracks were conceived during a single weekend.

And given this, it is a miraculous endeavour – each of ‘Junior’s 10 songs is a pop masterclass of melody, lyricism and a musical pop blast, from opening track, the jangling, driving euphoric ‘Topographe’ to the last track, ‘Bang’ with its low-fi anthemic stadium-filling melancholia. Glorious.

The title track ‘Junior’ captures this wonderful eclectic mix – bouncy jingle jangly fun with a quick dance step and a brain:

‘Domino’ is a brilliant bright skippy song born in the eighties with a joyous pace and a mind-embedding guitar riff. It captures that indefinable element that makes this band so exciting and enervating:

The album is filled with similar bright indie pop gems deserving of a wide audience. It is neither derivative nor a pastiche: coming in at under 39 minutes there a drops of pure indie pop gold, delivered in the language of love and romance. Utterly captivating.

The album is out now through all usual sources or through Subpop. Corridor are on tour across Northern America and Europe over the next few months – catch them here:

Oct. 25 – Washington, DC – Comet Ping Pong
Oct. 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
Nov. 04 – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
Nov. 06 – London, UK – Waiting Room
Nov. 08 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
Nov. 09 – Berlin, DE – Westgermany
Nov. 10 – Kortrijk, BE – Sonic City Festival
Nov. 20 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison*
Nov. 22 – Montreal, QC – M for Montreal Festival (Le National)
Nov. 28 – Quebec City, QC – l’Anti
Dec. 04 – San Francisco, CA – Milk Bar
Dec. 07 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
Dec. 10 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
Dec. 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Moroccan Lounge

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