Corridor Push Through Self-Doubt and Sonic Chaos to Take a Massive Leap Forward

The Montreal post-punk band prepare to take their ornate new album 'Mimi' to the stage

Photo: Dominic Berthiaume

BY Matthew TeklemariamPublished Jun 18, 2024

Corridor have bad news for neurotic musicians plagued with self-doubt: despite what one might expect, pre-release jitters don't get any better with experience.

Bassist/vocalist Dominic Berthiaume tells Exclaim!, "Even if it's our fourth album, it feels like we're never going to be super ultra-confident in what we're doing. We are confident in Mimi, but there's always going to be doubt at some point. Are we doing a good thing? Is the album any good?"

Five years since signing to Bonsound in Canada and Sub Pop in the US for 2019's Junior, but right on time for this summer's festivals, the Francophone post-punk-pop acolytes are back and better than ever on their fourth full-length. Mimi's mellow patchwork of dreamy synths and gnarled riffs has been met with acclaim, including a warm review here at Exclaim!

But things have shifted for the band beyond mere sand in the hourglass. Most notably in the promotion of touring musician Samuel Gougoux to full-fledged member, after he was initially recruited to help replicate the layered guitar overdubs of Junior live on stage. A multi-instrumentalist with a background in experimental and electronic music, his input may help explain the pronounced richness of texture pervading Mimi.

"Every time we write a record, we try new things. But I feel like with this one, we tried a lot of new things. We took a leap forward, I guess," reflects Berthiaume.

Among the new things: handling the production themselves. Where past outings were handled by friend of the band Emmanuel Ethier, Corridor sought to get hands-on with their brainchild after a long period of gestation.

"It was the first time we made demos of every song and really worked on the songs on the computer before the studio," notes Berthiaume. "Arrangements were ready before we entered the studio. It was the first time we actually knew more about what we were doing than before. We entered the studio with more confidence."

As indieheads flock to festivals this summer to get their relative freaks on, expect to find Corridor's harmonized, hushed tones among the musical morass. While they're fresh off a stand in Mexico for Pitchfork Music Festival, be forgiving of the conditions under which they toil. Berthiaume laments the overworked technicians and all the new gear the band has to haul around to recreate Mimi's versatile sound on stage. That is, minus the cumbersome and "not 100% reliable" Korg Delta synthesizer, whose notes were sampled on a more manageable MIDI keyboard. Since they also left the acoustic guitars at home, expect an extra dose of rock 'n' roll for their live arrangements.

"You feel like technicians have been working all day for three days, and every band has a different setup, so it's chaotic," admits Berthiaume. "All of the arrangements are carried by Sam. He has this electronic setup with a bunch of machines, and he just triggers them when it's time to trigger."

He continues, "There are great things about festivals. The artist treatment is very nice compared to [a concert] where they say, 'Here's your two-drink ticket, cereal bar, and rotten banana; now get the fuck out.' For us, we're not a big band, so festivals are an opportunity for us to conquer new fans and play in front of different crowds. It's tough to say, but I often hear that we're better as a live band than a studio band."

For veterans of the scene like Corridor, it's business as usual, no matter the sound and fury in their midst as they take the stage this summer.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage