It’s either an act of great confidence or great arrogance to start a record mid-conversation, but Montreal band Avec le Soleil Sortant de Sa Bouche just goes for it on its second album Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much (Constellation Records). The album literally kicks off where their last record, Zubberdust, left off, with the opening track “Trans-Pop Express” picking up a musical motif heard on the closing track (“À Partir de Dorénavant”) of the band’s previous album. It’s the sonic equivalent of walking into a movie that’s already underway, and it shows that the quartet, whose name translates to “with the sun in her mouth,” doesn’t mind a little bit of disorientation.
Pas Pire Pop is comprised of three different sections: “Trans-Pop Express,” Alizé et Margaret D. Midi Moins le Quart. Sur la Plage, un Palmier Ensanglanté,” and “Tourner Incessamment dans L’éclatement Euphorique de Soi—Road Painting Ahead.” (The second and third parts translate to “Alizé and Margaret D. Midi minus the quarter. On the beach, a bloody palm tree” and “Turn incessantly into the euphoric burst of self,” respectively.) Each suite is then broken into two, three, and four individual tracks. Such extrapolation is further explored in the actual compositions as each individual track seems to be further broken down into smaller parts. An overarching idea may lead to a different destination, which eventually loops back to the original idea, before heading off to something completely different. But while there are undeniable starts and breaks throughout the record, with ideas being introduced only to be discarded, one could also just view the album as a very structured jam session, which is not as self-indulgent as it may sound.
Aesthetically, Avec le Soleil is equally restless as its compositions, taking snatches of Afropop, krautrock, psych-rock, dance punk, and noise rock and shaking them up in a Boggle cube. There are vocals, but they are of the “extra instrument” variety as singer Jean-Sebastien Truchy (also of Fly Pan Am) seems to deliver more rhythmic phonetic shouts than actual lyrics. But this is not a record that’s trying to prove its cleverness. Rather, it’s simply playful while being accessible enough that you won’t need a translation to get it.