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PHI Event Centre La Force Credit Norman Wong COVER
Photo: Norman Wong

La Force

  • Performance
  • Music
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PHI Centre Espace 1
407 Saint-Pierre St
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2M3

Doors: 7 PM
Music: 8 PM

All ages

Price in advance: $24.57 (fees included)
Price at the door: $26.09

Taxes not included

The artist presents a mixture of haunted pop and hot-blooded R&B from her new album XO SKELETON.

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XO SKELETON

XO SKELETON is the supple, steady, uncanny new album by La Force: a mixture of haunted pop and hot-blooded R&B that glistens at the meeting-point between life, death and love. “In dreams, the dead and living are the same,” Ariel Engle sings on “october,” her voice shimmering. “Maybe that’s why I’m better in the dark.”

With this LP, Engle originally intended to make a dance record. She worked on cigar-box guitar, piano; she visited NYC for a few days in studio with pros. But everything felt rushed, or forced—and of course the veil of COVID descended over everything—so her music-making shifted home. “It was such an intensely interior time,” she said. Engle’s old friend, co-producer Warren Spicer (Plants and Animals), would come over around “toast o’clock” and they’d work in her basement until lunch, allowing songs to unfold at heartbeat pace, unhurried.

PHI Event Centre La Force XO SKELETON

These nine extraordinary songs are human-scale and intimate, with chord changes like the shifting of limbs, saxophones and processed strings that travel with a vascular ripple. Listen to “how do you love a man,” with its nimble bass and swooning groove, and a title that winks at the beyond.

Throughout these 35 minutes, La Force’s music is electric + vivid, and also tactile + grimy—a sound that enfolds influences as disparate as Tirzah, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jazmine Sullivan, the Cocteau Twins, Mica Levi, Tricky w/ Marina Topley-Bird, and even Joni Mitchell’s “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.” XO SKELETON bends and turns with its every shift of pulse—mournful, searching, turned on. Like a body, you might say. Or the memory of one.

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