A MEETING of delicate pop like minds: musician-producers David Tanton (aka Rhoda/Tender Spring), Éloi Le Blanc-Ringuette (aka Thomas White), and Lia Kurihara (aka LIA) met on the fertile Montréalais music scene in 2018, began to share and mesh ideas, and formed Afternoon Bike Ride – and they released their new seven-track EP, Skipping Stones, just yesterday.
Originally intended as a collaborative aside to their own solo projects, the three-headed and pretty beast they created soon took on an insistent and luscious life of its own, with vocals taking more of a centre stage than had been originally conceived.
And you can see why David, Éloi and Lia loved what they found together; lo-fi breaks, sweet and celestial vocals, acoustic guitars and dreampop electronics melt together in a shimmering gorgeousness. Check the track we’ve selected for you, “Couch Party”, which takes the gossamer fragility of Japanese ambient artists such as Chihei Hatakeyama and The Boats, and brings a sweet pop, even a future soul, sensibility to the textures.
The EP mixes such languid, lover stretching in the bed beside you nuggets with impressionistic, textural instrumentals and frankly, it makes me all a-flutter; that delight in beauty and a new sonic aesthetic. Themes of self-love, kindness, community and hope inform the breathy lyricism.
“The creative process of this EP began throughout the first coronavirus quarantine in Montreal,” they say.
“We all wanted a cathartic release specifically from isolation and claustrophobic limitations imposed by the pandemic.
“These songs act as a meditation and offer words of comfort. ‘Are you ok?’ asks ‘Couch Party’, followed with “Home”’s insight to ‘[Show] me what I own, not what I’ve lost, just everything I’ve found’.
“’Infuse my aching heart with summer’s warmth, imagining a brighter day’ is our hope on ‘Sunday Sketch’. Afternoon Bike Ride is the product of our intuitive freedom to create without boundaries; a form of release from what is going on in the world.”
Afternoon Bike Ride are currently putting the final touches to a debut album, pencilled in for a September release. On this evidence that will be properly delightful.
Afternoon Bike Ride’s Skipping Stones EP is out now digitally and may be purchased over at Bandcamp.