Eric Chenaux photographs by JB Deucher

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a Toronto punk turned Paris avant garde auteur. His album “Slowly Paradise” on Constellation Records has been picking up rave reviews notably from my colleagues at the Quietus website, and rightly so. His voice is honey sweet, his folk tinged textural music enviably wonky, the overall effect all-enveloping, like a welcome warm snap of hope after a never-ending winter of discontent.

Like Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden or James Blake, the organic melodies are often encroached by digital disruption, where something picturesque and widescreen can easily end up glitchy and claustrophobic, perhaps best illustrated by the video below for “There’s Our Love” where it begins with our guest and his sideman Ryan Driver in relaxed jam session mode in a carefully put together flat, just hanging out and watching the French Open tennis, before the viewer gets sucked into the LCD, LSD style. It’s apposite and yet totally appropriate, and I’m pleased to introduce the cerebrally rewarding, undeniably intriguing and effortlessly charming, Monsieur Eric Chenaux!

Eric was an ever-present of the DIY and experimental music scene in Toronto for much of the 90s and 2000s playing in local post punk legends Phleg Camp and Lifelikeweeds before finding a unique voice with his highly technical amplified acoustic guitar playing and sonically meandering ear. After setting up a label called Rat Drifting he joined Constellation Records (home of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra etc) and he’s been releasing solo records with them since 2006. “Slowly Paradise” is his sixth and definitely a defining moment. But what makes Eric tick (other than Sade and other “slow-jams” according to the recent tQ interview with John Doran.)?

Without further ado, it’s over to Eric and his “song for ewe”…

“Martin Arnold – Stain Ballad

All of Martin’s musics; whether his compositions for contemporary ensembles or his reflectively and wildly strung-out psychedelic Vox Invader electric guitar playing in the Ryan Driver Sextet are a never-ending source of wonder for me. The way his music always smears time and allows a listener to drift and experiment along with the music is like nothing else. I hear so many musics in his music and yet never right on the nose.

Martin himself says it best.
“All the music I make is in some way melodic. I also think of all of it as being slack, meandering, psychedelic and, even at its most ponderously enervated, dance music.”

Moby once said of The Flamingos’ version of I Only Have Eyes For You that, along with being a beautiful performance of a beautiful song, it sounded like it was recorded underwater in a Methadone clinic. Even at its clearest, my music somehow aspires to this ideal.”

Martin Arnold “Stain Ballad”


Eric plays the following UK dates in April:

09.04.18 London, UK The Lexington
11.04.18 Manchester, UK The Portico Library
12.04.18 Stirling, UK Tolbooth
13.04.18 Edinburgh, UK Henry’s Cellar Bar
14.04.18 Glasgow, UK Glad Cafe
15.04.18 Bradford, UK Fuse
18.04.18 Southend, UK Twenty One
19.04.18 Hastings, UK The Palace
20.04.18 Brighton, UK Rose Hill Arts Centre
21.04.18 Bristol, UK Bristol New Music

You can buy the new album below…

Eric Chenaux – Slowly Paradise

check out track “Wild Moon” also…