Burn the Louvre, Matt Whytcross and other 6 fave artists of mine
There is a saying that goes something like this: work with what you love and then you will never work in your life. Not that I discredit that thought. But the fact is, the more I work with rock, the harder it becomes to devote my time to simply enjoying a song or even a show without having to write about it right after.
So I know it took some time to put this list together – but I was saving these names like a band preparing their surprises for an encore. From the style I love the most, indie rock, I selected artists that touched my soul deep down. And you must know how difficult it is, in times of high availability and access to music via streaming, to find this type of artist, timeless, that makes us even subvert the position of journalist and critic to the position of a passionate fan.
Burn The Louvre – Silhouettes
You may find it childish. But the first thing that attracted me to Burn The Louvre, besides the atypical and cheeky name, of course, was the album cover. “Silhouettes” brings the specter of a child over the lunas space, highlighting the entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris. It’s more or less a password to delight in the sound of these guys, honest, ironic and amusingly childish rock.
I just love the different ways someone could interpret a name like Burn The Louvre. People are surprised sometimes though when they come to our shows and see 2 guys with guitars doing indie folk/rock.
Jordan – Burn The Louvre
RC – How are you guys? Still in the mood to burn the Louvre down?
BTL – Haha oh no, not at all. I’ve never been to France, but I’ve always to see The Louvre for myself. The band name Burn The Louvre actually came from a quote from the novel ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk. I love the book and the movie is one of my all-time favourites. I just love the different ways someone could interpret a name like Burn The Louvre. People are surprised sometimes though when they come to our shows and see 2 guys with guitars doing indie folk/rock. I feel sometimes people expect a metal band with a name like ours, which is another thing that I love about our band name. The element of surprise remains intact to a certain degree. **but I’ve always wanted to see The Louvre for myself
RC – How is the feedback on “Silhouettes” so far? Can we already say that you are a scalable band for some of the biggest festivals in the world?
BTL – Well that is very kind of you guys to assume so haha, I’m not sure about the biggest festivals in the world yet, but we are playing a smaller outdoor festival in our hometown of Hamilton on August 13th, so that should be fun. Definitely a step in the right direction, you know? And I feel like the feedback on “Silhouettes” has overall been extremely positive so far! Thank you for asking. I’m very happy with how the first 7 singles have been received. We still have 4 more singles coming out before the end of the year. But yeah, so far so good. It’s been nice seeing new people discovering these songs from all over the world. Which is my favourite part of releasing music by far. Pitching to playlist curators, music blogs & radio, it is a ton of work to try to promote your own music by yourself, but seeing your fan base on Spotify grow and getting to see exactly which countries and cities all of your listeners are from, that’s my favourite part of doing this for sure, is seeing the international potential that Burn The Louvre could have and knowing there are people all over the world who like what we’re doing. It’s extremely encouraging and honestly helps keep me going on some days when I’m just exhausted or frustrated.
RC – Your sound, lively and upbeat, is very reminiscent of a cult band: Violent Femmes. Do you agree with this comparison? What led you to do this kind of rock and roll in the first place?
BTL – Okay, so we’ve actually gotten this comparison to The Violent Femmes a few times now! Which I think is great. I actually went and listened to their debut LP not too long ago just because the only song I really knew of theirs was “Blister In The Sun”, right? I completely understand where the comparisons come from now haha I think it might have something to do with the bare bones approach of the way we recorded all of the tracks off of “Silhouettes”. We used very minimal drums on the entire LP, lots of hand percussion, some of the songs are a little more acoustic guitar heavy than others, we’ve got a few that have a really upbeat punk kind of spirit similar to The Violent Femmes, I suppose? But yeah the sound of this album came about kind of accidentally, just because I didn’t have a full band to record with at the time, so I had a friend help me out with lead guitar and bass and I just did all the percussion instruments myself along with my guitars and my vocals, of course. And then when Sean Cooper joined the band shortly after I finished recording the entire album (isn’t that the way it always works?), it was just the 2 of us and it is still is, so we’ve decided that for most of our songs, the best live translation is 1 acoustic guitar & 1 electric guitar. So it gives our rock n’ roll sound a bit more of a twang and a folksy influence. Which is 100% fine by me haha
Matt Whytcross – The Eternal Paradigm
An English song about Amsterdam written in São Paulo by someone who has never been to Amsterdam. At first, you might think that Matt Whytcross is another one of those artists with no identity, usually guided by the label itself. But just play “The Hearts of Amsterdam” to let yourself be carried away by the passionate grip of its chords, a supreme sound that even names like Sting can not find these days.
Matt on “The hearts of Amsterdam”: There was a passage in time where I had broken up with music. I felt betrayed by it and had stopped listening to it, stopped writing, sold off most of my gear and had completely stopped playing – I had moved on and looking for a new relationship. That was until a week in Sao Paulo Brasil, staying with a friend we sat in her sunny yard drinking and she played me all this great stuff I had been missing out on, new artists, new sounds, I remember Tribalistas ‘Velha Infancia’, Rufus Wainwright ‘Poses’, Yo Le Tengo, all this great stuff. I was so inspired and my reconnection was immediate and profound. I went out and bought a guitar there in Sao Paulo and The Hearts of Amsterdam was written later in that week. At that point I’d never been to Amsterdam but my friend had been there recently and the name was born from those stories. The song’s underlying theme is ‘inspired re-connetion’. The song was recorded in a 250 year old church in rural England, Matt plays all instruments with the exception of the bass guitar”.
Another great ones:
The fact that Caroline is Brazilian is another example that our artists who sing in English leave absolutely nothing to be desired for foreign artists. With poignant, creative and unpredictable indie rock, Caroline is reminiscent of other guitar divas like Liz Phair and St. Vincent.
Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts – “Somewhere Else”
With a touch of Blur and the classic “Crimson and Clover”, Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts delivers what it promises. Songs to break already broken hearts.
Waverly Drive – “Darlin”
Happy indie-rock songs for 80’s movie soundtracks. Waverly Drive reminded me a lot of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Which is great, because is one of my favorite bands in the world.
Chaz Kiss – “Bite My Tongue”
Weird, sensual and violent. Chaz Kiss is kinda our new Fionna Apple. A peculiar sound that we all should hear someday.
Another guitar based band with excellent songs. What else do you need? This one makes me cry everytime I listen. “Stop being in my head“……
BONUS: B. Hamilton – Good Foot
B.Hamilton. This artist is so good that he needs to be on the bonus feature. “Good Foot” is nothing but a pearl. You can think of Neil Young. George Harrison in “While my guitar Gently Weeps”. And even David Gilmour. B.Hamilton have to be invited to this jam session. I GET UP ON THE GOOD FOOT with this.
So, tell me what did you think about my listing! I’m dying to know, believe me!