Montreal’s Automelodi is the brain child of singer/producer Xavier Paradis, a master of sound design, melody-driven song structure, and an enthusiast of hardware-driven song building. Having a rich musical history that started back in his teens and building a strong following with his ability to create dark and passionate electronic music dating back to the 90s, Paradis has been making music as Automelodi since 2006. Automelodi’s sound is solidly structured from the darker corners of the neon decade; a mixture of 4AD, Wax Trax, and post-punk’s jagged angles. Dance floor movement combines with Gothic, doomed romanticism that flirts with alternative 80s electronica, dark wave, and even moments of brighter pop radio.
Automelodi have just released their third full-length, the engaging and hypnotic Mirages au futur verre-brisé. With Mirages, Xavier Paradis takes Automelodi’s mysterious sound into brighter corners. Combining their usual grand electronica with elements of Pet Shop Boys, The Cure, and New Order, Automelodi emerge with their most well-rounded and all-encompassing record yet.
“La Poussière” opens Automelodi’s new album on a propulsive, driving rhythm and Paradis’ engaging vocal delivery. A mixture of hypnotic synth and melancholy melody play, “La Poussière” lets it be known that Automelodi are indeed back. “Feux rouges, Châteaux brillants” combines both an echoed darkness and an 80s electro playfulness, bringing to mind early Depeche Mode and the darker elements of the early 80s experimental electronic scene. “7 bis” is beautifully light and airy, showcasing Paradis’ ability to build an engaging song using subtlety and restraint.
The sonic textures throughout Mirages au futur verre-brisé are so rich and dense that you can get completely lost in Paradis’ deft touches and details. His ability to build these bristling musical worlds only adds to the experience of falling into the sonic world of Automelodi. Xavier Paradis’ musical world building truly is second to none.
Elsewhere “Angoisses d’Orléac” swirls in analog mystery. Dark synths mesh perfectly with Paradis’ exquisite drum and bass lines, creating a late night club feel that takes place in some alternate reality. “Visions en forme” closes Mirages on the darkest note, with the track sounding like it’s being consumed by its own analog heart.
Xavier Paradis, along with the help of Dillon Steele, Liz Wendelbo, and Julien Fillion, has made the best Automelodi album yet. Studio prowess, songwriting finesse, and Paradis’ astute ability to build entire sonic worlds within each track all come together to make Mirages au futur verre-brisé an absolute stunning album.
Mirages au futur verre-brisé is available now via Holodeck Records. Grab a copy here.
8.2 out of 10