Chocolat

(Montréal/ Canada /// Born Bad/ Teenage Menopause)

chocolat

In 2006, Jimmy Hunt (then a proverbial punk-troubadour usually found in bars) and Ysael Pepin (bassist for Demon’s Claws) started to jam here and there in one of the rooms of an apartment located above the late Zoobizarre in Montreal. Brian, Martin, and Dale eventually joined and the quintet recorded their first garage EP in two winter afternoons. Going against the ebb and flow of indie-pop, receiving praise in both languages all over Canada (La Presse, Exclaim!, Voir), Chocolat participated in the Francofolies de Montréal in 2007 and, in 2008, they were one of the first bands signed on a new label named Grosse Boîte, the French section of Dare To Care Records. They went on to release their first album, Piano élégant, which was met with great acclaim. It featured Beatle- esque melodies, a clearer sound and an addictive chanson side. During the two years that followed, between disheveled yet jolly efficient performances, Chocolat strung together shows and insolence, and even performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Then, wanting to try something new, the band decided to take a break in the middle of 2010 and Jimmy Hunt eventually released his first solo album.

Jimmy and Ysael kept contact and kept playing together, laying the foundations of an abstract project named Fantôme. Then, at the end of 2013, during the Holidays, while on a break from the tour promoting his second solo album, Maladie d’amour, Jimmy Hunt pitched some ideas on his tablet. The few demos he recorded consisted of linear sequences with drawling riffs interspersed with rhythmic breaks and rudimentary electronic effects. Realizing that Chocolat represented the ideal band to play these, Jimmy got the members together and invited his close friend Emmanuel Ethier (Jimmy Hunt, Cœur de pirate) to replace Dale who had left for Europe. After only 3 practices, Jimmy booked the Victor studio in January 2014. For a few days, the guys recorded live and full band. In general, they stuck to the second or third take for each of the tracks. This allowed them to take advantage of the spontaneity of Ysael and Brian’s garage games played on the mechanical tracks composed by Jimmy. As spring blossomed and schedules filled up, the guys managed to remotely mix what would become Tss tss, an album recorded between friends, a pop dump of white heat, a discharge of hypnotic rock, and, still under the Grosse Boîte label, an essential tool to hit the roads and travel across Quebec again.


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