Published Sep 20, 2017Jean-Sebastien Audet never seems to stay in one place for long. Since the Calgary pop prodigy moved to Montreal, his output as Un Blonde has encompassed everything from nervy post-punk to smooth R&B. Restless without seeming erratic, his songs feel less like experiments and more like the work of a confident, commanding artist.
Good Will Come to You finds the musician/producer settling in without settling down. Calmness pervades the 21-track album, originally released as a cassette last year on Egg Paper Factory, yet Un Blonde remains unrooted to any particular genre. Folk, soul, psychedelia, Gospel and a litany of other styles surface throughout, with each devotional song defying categorization.
The hallmarks here are easy to spot, yet hard to pin down. Sound beds of cars, seagulls and street celebrations create a lo-fi intimacy that belies the complex production. Multi-part vocal harmonies transfigure introspective lyrics into near-ecstatic revelations ("Brand New") at one moment and breezy, resigned sighs ("No Fronting") at another. Guitars are always present, but between finger picking ("I Felt the Evening Coming Through the Window"), choppy strumming ("Celebration") and noodly riffing ("A Level Playing Field"), Audet never favours one particular playing style. For such tranquil songs, there's a lot going on.
This expansiveness gives Good Will Come to You its charm. Even when Audet's tracks lapse into languor or shapelessness, he brings everything together in a compellingly composed whole. It's so soothingly exhaustive that you wonder where Un Blonde can go next. (Flemish Eye)