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Review: Malajube – La Caverne

By Alina Perez Gomez

Dare to Care presents the fourth album by Canada’s indie rock heroes, Malajube.  Hailing from Montreal, Malajube is a quartet led by Julien Mineau on vocals and guitar.  Their first album, Le Compte Complet, in 2004 gained them instant fame in Quebec.  By their second album release in 2006, Malajube began to tour the US and gain international recognition.  While many bands that gain international fame turn to English to propel them to a wider stage, Malajube faithfully continues singing French lyrics.  Don’t speak French?  Not to worry.  Dubbed the language of romance, French is beautiful to listen to despite a lack of understanding.  And don’t forget, guitars and keyboards speak only one language that we can all understand.

La Caverne (“The Cavern” in English) features light, trippy atmospheric melodies accompanied by wispy, echoed vocals.  It has a calmer sound than their previous albums, evoking a sense of relaxation and exploration.  It is a sound that, if described through images, would look like a vast trip through the galaxy.  Their style varies from upbeat-indie-rock to a darker progressive-rock, dare I say, a baroque sound.  They sound a little like The Shins (if The Shins spoke French).

The album starts off with the upbeat electro-disco sounds of “Synesthésie”, an energetic song with fun guitar riffs.  It is immediately followed by one of my favorite songs of the album, “Cro-Magnon”, the completely danceable track with great keyboard work.  Then the album kicks it down a notch to present the more melancholy sound of “Sangsues” with baroque undertones.  “Le Blizzard” brings things back to an electro-pop land, with coy guitar sounds and playful keyboards.  They end the album on a high note with “Chienne Folle”.

So don’t let what you don’t understand scare you away from Malajube’s La Caverne.  If you enjoy electro-pop indie sounds, you won’t regret it.  You may end up discovering a new love for foreign indie rock.