New Artist of the Day – Vamoise

Multi-instrumental, multicultural, and extremely talented “Bohemian Electro-Pop” from Montreal, Canada: This is Vamoise.

Allow me to show my nationalistic side here for a moment. Us Canadians do make some great music and are home to a whole lot of amazing musicians. Case in point: Montreal’s Vamoise, led by “singer-songwriter and composer” Najah Zaoudé. This woman has an absolutely gorgeous voice that reminds me of Suzanne Vega, at times Shawn Colvin, Rosanne Cash or Sarah McLachlan (artists that I listen to, though there may be far better comparisons out there closer to Vamoise’s “genre”). However, the music is at a whole different level of artistry. Najah and Vamoise are true artists, crafting some utterly amazing sounds from a seeming wide range of sources.

The first song from their upcoming EP ‘Another Critical Moment’ is ‘Come With Me’. What a beautiful song this is, with an interesting mix of instruments and electronics. Jazzy, R & B-ish at times, folk tinged, almost Joni Mitchell-ish in places, a lovely medley of sounds and emotions. Combining mandolin (or possibly a charango, see below) and saxophone is a combination that I would not necessarily think of, but in this case is not only done, but shows that it can work quite well.

You can find the song streaming on Vamoise’s website at the moment (or below this paragraph) and hopefully hear for yourself what I mean. I also, however, can tell you that I have been a very lucky man and have been able to hear what is I believe to be the entire EP that is set to be released in April 2013. All I can say is, WOW! Consider this song as a delectable teaser that is just the tip of the iceberg.


To me, the music Vamoise makes is very…Canadian. Don’t ask me what that means. I don’t know 100 percent myself. I also don’t know what “bohemian electro-pop” is either, but that’s what they call themselves. I suppose it is a fitting genre title, but it seems too simplistic almost, and rather…well, confusing?

Part of what I love about Canada is our multiculturalism. For some reason, Montreal seems to produce a ton of great musicians that bring multicultural, multiethnic sounds together much like Vamoise does. I think of people like Mercan Dede for example who mixes Turkish sounds with electronics and even features a “whirling dervish” inspired dancer at shows (at least the last show I was at). So, I suppose that is what I mean when I say this is very…Canadian.

With Vamoise, they have apparently used instruments such as the “Ecuadrian charango” (I had never heard of this until now. It looks like a ukulele and sounds like a cross between a mandolin and a banjo) and a “Middle Eastern darbouka” (a drum thing for lack of a more technical description). So, they are actively bringing new “global” sounds into their music. Live, Jean-Sébastien Brault-Labbé plays drums and guitar (and also, apparently produced, arranged, recorded and mixed the upcoming EP. PHEW! Busy man!), Bart Frydrychowicz does fretless bass, guitars and synths and Najah plays the above mentioned exotic instruments, as well as guitar and synths. I’d say calling these folks multi-instrumentalists would be more than accurate. I always admire people who can pick up almost any instrument and play it, so I am duly impressed at what Vamoise does and the sounds they make in the process.

I look forward to the rest of the world hearing the new EP which is coming out in April. That’s a long way off it seems. But, the wait will be worth it, trust me. This is a truly beautiful work of art by a band that deserves to be noticed. I also have my fingers crossed that this is a group that I will be able to see live someday soon. Winnipeg Jazz Festival? Winnipeg Folk Festival? They would fit in well at either!

You can find out more on Vamoise on twitter and Facebook. Of course they have their own website at where you can pre-order the upcoming EP right now.

All words by Chris Hearn, more writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.

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Deep in the heart of Canada, on the north shore of frigid Lake Superior, is a town called Thunder Bay. That\'s where I am from. That\'s where I started to write. And that is where I started to discover music. Now, I\'m a married man with two boys. I still love music. I still go to shows. And I still visit Thunder Bay, even though I haven\'t lived there for many years. What will you find on my iPod? You\'ll find lot of Americana, classic country, heavy stuff, punk and plenty of “guilty pleasures”.


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