On Monday, March 27, The Courtneys, Monomyth, and Mouth Breather played a stacked show at Bar Le Ritz. All three bands have recently dropped new music, and played a mix of fresh tracks and old favourites. The Parc Extension bar was bustling with a warm and eager crowd for the three Canadian slacker pop bands.
Up first, Mouth Breather made the big bustling bar feel as intimate as your friend’s basement. The Montreal locals play a smooth melange of groovy psychedelic rock, with a healthy serving of jazz influences. In the final number, the band brought Shawn, the singer’s brother, on the stage, and ripped into an early 2000s style R&B number, with perhaps a touch of Soul Coughing’s lyrical style. Their new single “Mysteries of Nature” was released that night via their Bandcamp page.
Monomyth, originally from Halifax and now residing in Montreal, play unselfconscious and laid back rock and roll. They sound like the Nerves, if they formed a shoegaze band amidst the era of 1950s doo-wop. The guitar licks are sweet and sticky—like popsicle juice melted on fingers—and the vocals are whimsical—like a drive on a hot summer evening. They played plenty of tracks from Happy Pop Family, their latest offering, including the subtle ballad “Re:Leased Life (Place 2 Go),” as well as a rare rendition of their dreamy single “Patsy.”
Finally, Vancouverite band The Courtneys ended the night with an upbeat and sunny set. They would fit perfectly on a mixtape between Canadian power pop classics Plumtree and Sloan. The crowd was swaying along joyously, forgetting that they weren’t in fact at a summer cottage party, but at a bar on a wet March night. Bassist Sidney Koke was enthusiastic that she could see the band’s van from the stage. “Last time we were here, our van got broken into while we were on stage,” she explained. They played tracks from their sophomore LP II with energy, including “Tour” and “Silver Velvet.” They gave no sign of letting up, despite Montreal being their 13th stop on a month long North American tour. They were a wonderful conclusion to a great lineup.
The whole night was upbeat and lively, like a welcomed reminder that summer is very near. The show was definitely a rager, even for a Monday night.