Montréal-based sextet Schemes released their excellent self-titled debut EP back in April. It’s a phenomenal release that I completely forgot to review despite one of the members asking me to. Apologies for that. HOWEVER, this album is a beautifully melodic, densely arranged and impeccably groovy one, and I’m glad to have finally gotten around to it.
Produced by Antonin Gougeon and Mike Clay, this project features smooth soulful melodies, vocals as well as broken-beats and bass-heavy grooves, this project sounds live. By that I mean that it was recorded in various studios around the city, and everything you can hear is live, no gimmicks. It’s how they describe it, and it’s a treat to listen to. The thumping beat on “Hello” hits your soul, with gorgeous keys from Charles Miquelon and soothing vocals from Nadia Baldé and a spoken word-like flow from Mike Clay. It’s one of the many highlights on this album. “Sublimation” is another gorgeous, key-driven track which brings such soul, with Hugo Parent-Potier’s trumpet contributions standing out. He stands out again on “Cosmic Interludes” with amazing cosmic energy through trumpets and drums from Phil Legentil. The project ends on a high with “Tomorrow,” a gorgeous blend of jazzy experimentation, soulful neo-soul and poetic hip-hop. Tom Tartarin on bass is the man here, creating infectious grooves over the textured production. The energy they are able to bring is really everything, and I just hope they continue creating and releasing gems like this one here.
Listen to Schemes below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support!