While so many artists tend to hone in on one sound or another, Helena Deland has really never let genre define her.
Since arriving in Montreal from Quebec City a few years ago, Deland has been building her career across albums and her collaborations with contemporaries like Men I Trust, Ludovic Alarie and CRi. Over the past few years her evolution and musical collaborations have guided her from solo act to a band, and across the lines of indie rock, pop, folk and synth-electronica to name a few. This boundless approach to music made Deland an easy choice for Music Mondays!
bummed out at the biodôme but looking forward to sharing "Take It All" w/ u later this week 🐸😬 the first four songs of "Altogether Unaccompanied" will be released on @luminellerecs March 2nd: we are playing that night at Sala Rosa in mtl with @le.bleu 💙💙💙and at Smiling Buddha in Toronto March 3rd::: come. pic by @yannjobin
Whatever the base of her sound may be, there’s a strong emotional core to everything that Deland does, giving a powerful and palpable through-line to her work.
It’s this intimate sense of song writing that’s led Deland to playing to audiences (with or without a band) around the world. Though her 2016 EP Drawing Room certainly showed a deep sound, the full breadth of Deland’s creative mind can be found in her upcoming album From The Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol. I & II” coming out March 2, the same day she performs at La Sala Rossa.
Through the tracks from Drawing Room, undertones of her previous mentioned folky collaborators ring the most present, with hints of artists like Cigarettes After Sex, Julia Jacklin, Patti Smith and a sonic pallet that blends tones of Alvvays and Tame Impala with something that’s harder to pinpoint. Her catchy unpredictability makes songs like “Baby” go from a simple few strums to the dreamiest wash of synths you’ve ever heard. Deland’s atypical writing also turns the simple indie-rock drive of a song like “Aix” into a constantly evolving beast that shifts from chord-folk to hard-rhythm guitar solo rock.
With her upcoming EP however, Deland broadens her horizons with musical and production partner Jesse Mac Cormack to bring her music up a notch. Her first single “There Are A Thousand” whips with a whimsical energy that lets Deland’s vocals anchor the sound amongst a spiral of guitars. Though it would be easy to call the sound guitar rock, the bizarre harmonies and layered synths fade in and out to make the sound feel like a personality in itself. She truly steps out of her comfort zone though on “Take It All” as the heavy drums and an overbearing keyboard creates a dark mass around the track. Though we’re still a ways from the full release, Deland has already set expectations high for where her song writing will go next.
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