Groenland’s sound could be described in any number of words: embracing, ebullient, eclectic. This orchestral indie pop sextet has returned with a new album to keep us all warm this winter.
We’re thrilled to announce that Groenland is coming to play at the Gladstone on November 24th as part of the tour for their new album, A Wider Space!
Sabrina Halde and Jean-Vivier Lévesque are the masterminds behind the band, hailing from Montreal. After breaking the charts in 2013 with their first album, The Chase, which sold more than 32000 units in Canada (a feat in an age of internet downloads), and touring all over North America and Europe, they’ve taken their time producing their sophomore album, A Wider Space, which they released this past September. This new album is produced by Marcus Paquin, who also produced Local Natives, Arcade Fire, the National, and Hey Rosetta!
When the band first started, Halde and Lévesque wanted to be an electro duet. But they quickly realized that in order to create a truly unique sound, they needed to bring variety, an unusual assortment of instruments, and blend genres. And so, they recruited a bunch of friends and colleagues: Jonathan Charette (drums), Simon Gosselin (bass), Gabrielle Girard-Charest (cello) and Fanny C. Laurin (violin), to cap the band at 6 members. The resulting sound is more akin to Arcade Fire and the Stars, a style that audiences have embraced wholeheartedly. A Wider Space builds on the style established in The Chase, combining the band’s signature orchestral arrangements, with risk-taking combinations of jazzy riffs and catchy synth-pop melodies. Check out the music video “The Things I’ve Done” off Groenland’s album, The Chase.
The band has explained that the name of the group, the French word for Greenland, was chosen because the band didn’t know anything about Greenland, so the name evoked an imaginary and dreamy world, which they hope to, in turn, conjure for listeners.
What is the new album about? Halde has explained that A Wider Space is more personal than the last, dealing with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and resilience. Halde said, “In the lyrics, I talk a lot about our evolution as a band […]. Personally, I’m trying to make sense of everything. When you’re so tired, it’s like you can’t step back from it all. It’s like we’ve been in this band for five years and that’s all we’ve been doing for that time. You feel a bit of vertigo and you wonder why you’re doing all this. It’s also about how I can do better myself. If I do think I’m moving forward, I become anxious.”
Check our “Cabin,” which Halde has said is her most personal song on the album, because it deals with a romantic relationship.
This album confronts how the band and its members have changed since they achieved such widespread and unexpected acclaim, after The Chase. It grapples with the very question of how to move forward after a huge success; how to meet expectations and find inspiration. Halde’s soulful voice, and the accompanying patchwork of electronic and acoustic sounds provide the framework of a beautiful arc for the album.
The lead single, “Healing Suns” sounds bright and sundrenched, but the band has explained that it’s origins are darker. It’s “a song that represents the rediscovery of our own light after a long period of doubt”
About the Band
Groenland has performed in numerous festivals and has played alongside renowned artists such as St. Vincent, Local Natives, Mac DeMarco and Half Moon Run, and at festivals including Osheaga, M for Montreal, as well as the Festival Off-Courts in Trouville-sur-mer (France). This past year, the band was invited to perform at several events such as the Showcase and Celebration of Canadian Musical Excellence (Canadian Grammy Night in LA), the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Recently, Apple has chosen their song “Our Hearts Like Gold” for an iPad ad narrated by none other than Martin Scorsese, which premiered during the Academy Awards. Their music has also been used in such TV shows as The Good Wife (CBS), Les beaux malaises (TVA), as well as a Canadian iPhone/Bell ad.