JF Robitaille The Blood in My Body

Robitaille has written some of the simplest and prettiest pop songs to be heard in a while. The Blood in My Body opens with a song of the same title that strikes a delicate balance between optimistic lyrics and melancholic vocals. "New York" is an upbeat track with the opposite effect, toe-tapping melody, sing-along chorus and sad lyrics: "it was a slow death, not much dignity." This is the first solo release for Robitaille, who cut his teeth doing the rounds on London's coffee-shop circuit before returning to Canada and forming the Montreal music collective the Social Register. It's not surprising then, that this EP was produced with the help of Dears front-man Murray Lightburn, Howard Billerman (Arcade Fire) and Chris Wise. Although there are obvious influences from British bands like the Wedding Present in songs like "Love the Lie" and "New York," Robitaille's lyrical style is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. In "Morning after Morning" and "Never Forget" Robitaille's cadence and gentle voice illustrate his superb writing and Cohen influence (closing with a cover of "Famous Blue Raincoat" also leaves a lasting Cohen impression). Robitaille could rise to be a Cohen for the new age; but with optimism, melody and a prettier voice. (Le Chant du Monde)