Photo: Gabrielle Demers

Le Couleur explore the contours of death and betrayal through an indie-pop lens on “Silenzio” (BPM Premiere)

Pop music, and its ancillary sub-genres, can be home to bright and vivid tales of romance and ease, but it can also be sued as a way to explore pain, melancholy, and personal experiences that some people might want to quickly sweep from their memories. Montreal trio Le Couleur are adept at doing both – their intoxicating brew of synth-pop, nu-disco, yé-yé, and avant-pop is bathed in the otherworldly glow of various devastations and heartache, though they don’t always remain in these maudlin landscapes, escaping to brighter places when the need arises.

The band is arranged around the combined creativities of singer Laurence Giroux-Do, bassist Patrick Gosselin, and drummer Steeven Chouinard – and is adorned in a live setting by the work of percussionist Philippe Beaudin and guitarist-keyboardist Francis Do Monte. They eagerly dismantle the boundaries between various aesthetics, offering a persuasive take on what pop music can be when unanchored from its base melodic definitions. They approach their songs in terms of the vicarious beauty and mystery so often dismissed from pop and explore the furthest recesses of its expansive territories.

The band’s latest record, Concorde, was supposed to be released April 17 via Lisbon Lux Records, but it’s been moved back to September due to the ongoing quarantine surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

This delay hasn’t deterred the band, though, as they’ve just shared a new single called “Silenzio,” a dance-y dark pop wonder that surrounds it shadowy tale of death and duplicity in acres of buoyant melodies and catchy arrangements. They channel the gossamer bindings of ABBA and the bristling electronic pop movements of Stereolab into a whirring blur of chiming guitars, loping basslines, and vibrant keys. Giroux-Do’s voice is carefree but possesses an innate strength and confidence. The track is filled with points of unfiltered melodic radiance and weightless pop carousing, though it’s all housed within this dusky narrative that blends he contours of lightness and darkness in a way that feels refreshingly devoid of artifice.

“‘Silenzio’ is about the death that lurks and that holds us in a duel lost in advance,” the band tells Beats Per Minute. “It deals with the rivalry between life and death, the latter being put into image by a betrayal and ending with the kiss of death (il bacio della morte). It wins again, and we witness its executions.”