Track: Afternoon Bike Ride – ‘Couch Party’: stunning ambient lo-fi pop from Montreal trio

Afternoon Bike Ride, photographed by Xavier Cyr

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.

Connect with Afternoon Bike Ride at their label, Friends of Friends Music; on Twitter, and on Instagram.

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