Silver Dapple Explain the Fuzzy Sound of 'English Girlfriend'
Published Nov 29, 2011Today (November 29), Montreal up-and-comers Silver Dapple released their debut LP English Girlfriend via their own FORCHRISTSAKE imprint, blending thundering rhythms with an assault of jagged guitar lines and shoegazing feedback. Despite the raucous arrangements, however, singer and principal songwriter Emily Deimert explains that her love of noise never gets in the way of her melodic sensibilities.
"I like pop music," she tells Exclaim! "I love a song that is, in its core, just a good pop song. I like being able to play with that; just making sugary pop music, but being able to do something interesting with it. Create a pop melody but using feedback or adding a weird big drum beat to it, or just making it super fuzzed out."
The frontwoman's love of pop comes across in her sweetly tuneful vocals, which imbue the muscular rock arrangements with a sense of indie pop fragility. Deimert crafts these honeyed melodies during solo writing sessions before bringing each song to drummer Jesse Locke, guitarist Martin Blackburn and bassist Markus Lake to get an aggressive makeover.
"I write them knowing that they're going to get dirtied up," she acknowledges. "Knowing the band, I know it's eventually going to become a noisy rock song."
On English Girlfriend, these speaker-melting tracks are given appropriately raw arrangements with straightforward structures and a restrained use of reverb. Don't be fooled by the no-bullshit sound, however; these 11 tracks were agonized over during once-a-week studio sessions that took place across several months.
Deimert explains, "We put a lot of work into it, a lot of overdubbing. We played a lot with the guitar sounds to get different feedback and texture and things like that for all of the songs."
English Girlfriend is named after Deimert herself, who earned the nickname while dating a francophone but not speaking French herself. "I was just introduced as 'this is my English girlfriend,'" recalls the Lethbridge, AB-raised singer with a laugh.
The album is available now, but, unfortunately for Canadian audiences, the band members' busy work and school schedules mean that they aren't planning to tour anytime soon. They're also in the midst of a lineup changeover, as founding drummer Jesse Locke will be replaced by Julien Bakvis following the group's show at the Port in Toronto on December 2.
With their live schedule relatively modest, Deimert is helping Blackburn with his new label FORCHRISTSAKE. In addition to releasing English Girlfriend, the record company will soon be launching a series of split cassettes from a handful of local Montreal acts. The bands involved recorded their songs during a whirlwind session at Studio Napolitain de Montreal with just one day for recording and another for mixing.
The bands signed on for the project include We Are Wolves spinoff LEAP, Demon's Claws side-project Primitive Hands, Phil Console (who recorded a live set) and Velvet Chrome. There will also be a release from Deimert and Blackburn's two-piece side-project Keyboardforyou.
"There's no keyboards, actually," Deimert notes, going on to add that the band's style is "super pepped-up. Kind of silly, but not a humour band. Fun songs with just drums and messy guitars."
Look for the split series to launch soon. Until then, soak in FORCHRISTSAKE's debut release, English Girlfriend, which is streaming below. The video for the single "(Pauses)" can also be found at the bottom of the page.
UPDATE: This stream is no longer available.