JF Robitaille Calendar

JF RobitailleCalendar
Montreal singer-songwriter JF Robitaille lives up to expectations for most of Calendar, the much-anticipated follow-up to his solo debut EP, The Blood in My Body. Robitaille's songs remain luminous throughout the record even while taking on a tone of pensive resignation. Framing his introspections in the weighty stillness of barebones instrumentation and unhurried, whispery vocals, his languid epiphanies become the album's standout songs. Opener "Modern Love," along with "Winters Like These," "The City Trembles" and "Close to Love," is hauntingly beautiful, as is the psych-folk-inspired title track. Perhaps Robitaille felt he needed to balance the record, interspersing it with the fuller sound of some jangle pop derivative loaded with calculated hooks. Instead, those cuts break the spell without adding much to the album's value. His previous EP boasted songs that were intimate and still sonically lush, hinting at Robitaille's immense potential. As he comes into his own, that potential will surely bring us a full-length that consolidates the strengths of both of these records. (Blue Cardinal)