Working under the moniker of Venus Furs, Montreal-based writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Kasner has been assembling a remarkable collage of psych and garage rock landscapes, filling them with mesmerizing arrangements that speak to his ability in deftly melding the base elements of these genres. Energetic and shaken by cathedral hooks, his songs recall the manic pop-rock movements of the British alternative scene, housing a collection of sounds both familiar and strange. Kasner’s music has slowly changed shape and tone over time, evolving as he fed his impulses through stretches of touring and an internal melodic recalibration.
Kasner is currently getting ready to release his debut record on July 10 via Silk Screaming Records. The self-titled album is the result of a years-long process of musical experimentation and exploration of personal histories. “This album, for all intents and purposes, is just a huge experiment in dealing with minutia,” he explains. Across this collection, he sought “to capture the energy and feel of a live performance, utilizing the sounds of the live room as much as possible.” At times simultaneously meticulous and turbulent, these songs began life simply, as he initially sketched them out with just a guitar or piano and let the tracks dictate their own direction – whether that meant layering walls of sound together or focusing on the finer details of instrumental nuance.
With his latest single, “Page Before”, Kasner crafts an epic eruption of swirling guitar riffs, throbbing bass lines, and warped callbacks to underground rock legends like Pixies and My Bloody Valentine. There’s an emotional density here that isn’t easily cast off, and the effects of it linger in your thoughts for hours. As the ending track for the record, it provides a fitting culmination for the havoc which has come before, as its last five minutes are given over to an extended instrumental outro that churns your anticipation before releasing all its anxieties and fears in a wash of sensory-subsuming distortion and craggy melodies.
“’Page Before’ is a song about walking into a party with a weird vibe, only to discover that you are walking into your own wake. There’s a nod to We Are Scientists in the lyrics (“the scene is cold and the party’s dead”). There’s an abrupt change around the two-minute mark, to a bass driven riff that builds and builds to a crescendo, with delayed noise solos matched in performance with panning, for a trippy headphone experience…This song is meaningful to me because it’s been closing my live sets for the last few years – something I can’t wait to be doing again. It’s also the last song on my upcoming debut album, and as such I’m thrilled that it’s the first to announce the album’s release date.”