The Weather Holds is the latest project and supergroup formed by Montreal-based producer and composer Devon Bate. The debut LP, You Couldn’t Ask For a More Beautiful Day, is a precarious return to his folk roots with the electroacoustic influences of his musical training: a nostalgic remembrance of busking in Winnipeg, the careful curation of CDs on bus rides, and fog-ridden memories that sound like experimental country but smell like forest fire smoke.
The focus track, “Five Roses” is a clichèd love letter to Montreal and its community! There are at least 12 musicians playing on this little song – most of them join in singing the chorus, “I wrote a song.” The song highlights some of the collaborators featured throughout the whole album – we hear Beatrice Ferreira try to figure out the fiddle part, Alex Rand ripping a banjo solo, and Jean-Michel Blais improvise around a theme, among many others.
“The songs on the album cover a lot of conceptual ground that’s difficult to summarize – nostalgia, resisting nihilism, cops, heartbreak, bicycles, rosacea – but the album as a whole was largely inspired by my community in Montreal,” Bate explains. “As time goes on I’ve become an increasingly rare minority as an anglo who moved here for university but never left. The biggest reason I’ve been able to stay here and make a life off art is thanks to the community around me. Working as a music producer, I’m able to help lift up my people’s creative voices, and on this album they lift me up too.”
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