Photograph by Rod Moraga

In the early throes of spring and in the wake of the recent supermoon, Sean Nicholas Savage’s newest release, Trippple Midnight Karma, arrives right on queue to inject a warmer, brighter bounce into our usual fare of bedroom pop. Inspired by a binge on soul and Motown music, and borrowing heavily from the smooth pop of the 1970s, the Montreal-based singer’s songs bubble and charm just the way modern AM radio should. The eclectic album pops harmoniously over synthesized bass and drum kits in its more up-tempo moments while crafting lush, echoing vibes in its bonfire ballads.

For me, Savage’s greatest asset is his unique, inviting voice, which I’ve always preferred at its most raw and warbling. The comparatively heavy production techniques here, then, can certainly feel abrasive at times, and a little kitschy too. But on repeat listens this unapologetically guilty pleasure sound has steadily grown on me. By the time a real midnight sun arrives, I won’t be surprised if I find myself seeking out this album some more. What felt initially like a potential wrong turn onto the beach boardwalk from Sean Nicholas Savage now feels more like being taken by the hand below the boardwalk and past the crowds to a swinging little beach party you aren’t sure you were invited to.

Montreal’s consistently excellent Arbutus Records have made Trippple Midnight Karma available on cassette or by download with optional donation, and it’s well worth checking out these quirky little jams, even if only to act as a friendship bracelet-style introduction to some of Savage’s more folksy releases. As is the case with other bands on the Arbutus label (including Braids, who we interviewed earlier this year), Montreal’s got one heck of a secret on its hands – but with buzz building through performances at higher-profile festivals like Canadian Music Week and SXSW, it’s going to get harder to keep it that way.

Sean Nicholas Savage – Common Get Off My Mind
Sean Nicholas Savage – Getting to Know Myself

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— , March 24, 2011    No Comments
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