Folly & the Hunter are the Montréal band comprised of Nick Vallee, Laurie Torres and Phil Creamer – 3 people from different backgrounds who met through the chance of a Craigslist ad. Their recorded output traces the arc of an intimate relationship: if 2011’s debut Residents represents the meet-cute; and the emotional gravity of Tragic Care (2013) is the inevitability of settling into commitment; recording their newest album Awake represents their experiences cumulating with celebratory optimism for the future.
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Recorded in downtown Toronto, the band were lured to the sprawling city to work with producer Howie Beck away from routines and familiar faces. The sessions solidified the role of longtime collaborator Phil Creamer, an integral part of the group’s live set and established Phil as full-time member on the record. Written primarily while touring across North America and Europe, lead singer and lyricist Nick Vallee spent countless hours in seclusion, penning the words and melodies inspired by his surroundings – the song “Duisburg” was written in the German city while the band toured in early 2014. Returning home to build on the blueprints of their songs, the title track “Awake” debuted live to a sold out crowd at Metropolis in Montreal when the band shared the stage with good friends and tour mates Half Moon Run. View the full video from the debut here: Folly & the Hunter – Awake / Live at Metropolis.
Producer Howie Beck (Feist, Hayden, Barenaked Ladies) brought the songs to life within an intensive 2-week window. As an acclaimed drummer in his own right, Beck worked with Torres to convey beauty in restraint and passion in rhythmic propulsion. Torres’ voice also takes more prominence on this record, most notably on the stark swaying ballad “Lose That Light”. Christopher Fox’s banjo and rumbling pump organ ground the tracks in a familiar sound while Creamer gives the music new life and energy. Reflecting on the joys & struggles of life as full-time musicians, songs like “Small Victories” and “Arrow” show the band’s convictions and dedication. On quieter song “Science”, the bare instrumentation and humble lyrics explore emotions of commitment and the struggle of mundanity in day-to-day-life.
The recordings were driven with self-motivation, or the patience to persevere when motivation is lacking. Awake boasts a pop aesthetic grounded in the earnest sincerity of folk, and drawing inspiration from cities around the world while remaining grounded in the city that they call home.