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Alone, Not Alone

Alone, Not Alone
(Carpark / Gooom)

Antoine Bédard has released two albums now under the name of Montag. His first album Are You A Friend? came out a couple years back on the French label Gooom Disques, and in addition to his solo work, Bédard has collaborated with and arranged strings with M83 on their last two full length releases. On Alone, Not Alone, Montag continues down the path of orchestra-touched electronic pop music that pulls together organic instrumentation, vintage synth sounds, string instruments, and vocals into a delightful package.

After a short intro track that sounds like a orchestra tuning up before dissolving into a filtered electronics, the album starts in full with the lovely bell-laced "Grand Luxe," in which a punchy mid-tempo beat mingles with filtered chromatics and male / female vocals that make the track sound like The Postal Service if they went baroque. "Temps Partiel" lingers in another spacey world of filtered chimes and unfortunately never really gets going much of anywhere, but "Perfect Vision" livens things up by moving through several different sections, including one nicely poppy section that features Amy Milan (of Stars, Metric, and Broken Social Scene) on vocals.

Elsewhere, "Time Difference II" sounds like a warmer, more human version of an M83 track as vintage synths buzz along but are accompanied by a pretty flute melody. "Angles, Country & Terrain Connu" brings back Milan again on vocal duties and the pastoral track again shines with soft orchestration that sounds like Spiritualized if they were to melt their elaborate instrumentation into a simple pop track. Comparisons with a certain French electronic duo are probably somewhat apt in places, but Bédard manages to keep himself differentiated through his small orchestrations and somewhat less-focused album structure (which is both a good and a sometimes distracting thing). Overall, though, Alone, Not Alone is another fine entry from this talented young Canadian.

Rating: 7