CANADA / Electro-Folk
Dear Criminals is a Montreal electro-folk band made up of Vincent Legault, Frannie Holder (Random Recipe) and Charles Lavoie (betalovers, lackofsleep). The trio got together shortly after Frannie and Charles met one night in Montreal when Charles was opening for Random Recipe. The chemistry between the two was immediate, and so was their desire to work together. It didn’t take much convincing for Vincent to embark on the journey with them. Straight away, their talent garnered much attention, reaching a growing number of music lovers. In 2013, the group released their first EP, Weapons, produced by Philippe Brault (Pierre Lapointe, Safia Nolin, Random Recipe). Less than a year later, a second EP was born, Crave, this time produced by Philippe Brault and Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Timber Timbre, The Unicorns). Both albums were instant successes and rave reviews followed everywhere the band went. In June 2014, Dear Criminals released Woman, a live album recorded during Foire agricole, a show about women and the commodification of the female body. The performance was written and produced by Monia Chokri and presented at the opening of the OFFTA festival. Woman includes covers of hit songs by Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Mitsou, and Madonna, sang in the band’s hauntingly beautiful style. In May 2015, the band released Strip, their fourth EP. Over the span of their career, the band has hit the stage countless times, winning over audiences in Quebec, France, the United States and Italy. Three of their songs grace the soundtrack to the movie Antoine et Marie, directed by Jimmy Larouche. In March 2015, the trio joined forces with the musicians of Cabaret Gravel, performing at Usine C under the direction of Frédérick Gravel. 2016 saw Dear Criminals experimented in multiple artistic fields, ranging from dance to theater, cinema, television and even opera! At the beginning of the year, the group was entrusted with the composition of the soundtrack to Anne Émond’s upcoming feature Nelly, which is bound to hit the big screen in January 2017. In the spring, the group took part in Les lettres d’amour, a play directed by David Bobbé, presented from April 12th to May 7th at Espace Go. The three bandmates scored and performed the music to this ode to love, in which the words of Ovid meet those of Evelyne de la Chenelière. The play will also be presented in France in 2017. Some time later, Dear Criminals were invited to revisit Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and play opposite to Frédéric Tavernini in his contemporary dance show Things Are Leaving Quietly, In Silence. Two of the pieces composed for this project found their way onto the band’s fifth EP, Another Picture, produced by long-time collaborator Philippe Brault, and released in September 2016. On this opus, we can hear the Dear in perfect mastery of their style, pushing the limits even a little further. The prolific trio is currently working on the soundtrack to Fatale-Station, a new TV series written by Stéphane Bourguignon and directed by Rafaël Ouellet, which will screen in 2017. Dear Criminal will also be part of a project presented at the Paris Opera, in January 2018. In addition to these artistic incursions, in September 2016 Dear Criminals presented an immersive stereoscopic show (in collaboration with UQAT’s digital creation program) at the FME. The group also performed two sold-out shows accompanied by a youth chorus of 180 singers (the JFP Choir) at the Saint- Jean-Baptiste Church. In short, here is a group that creates music that can work in conjunction with several art forms quite organically. Here is a group that constantly (and naturally) gains new followers every show.