10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When it comes to annual awards like Canada’s Polaris Music Prize, sometimes the real winner isn’t the artist who takes home the oversized check, but the dark-horse contender who receives the greatest profile-boost from the nomination. And in 2018, that beneficiary was Hubert Lenoir, the gender-bending Francophone performer who wooed Anglo audiences with his divine art-pop opus, Darlène. But while that debut album introduced Lenoir to a wider audience, it was by no means his first musical venture. Since 2014, he’s been performing alongside his brother Julien Chiasson in Quebec City glam-rock outfit The Seasons, whose wild, exuberant second album serves as the champagne-popping capper to Lenoir’s breakout year.

The release is somewhat bittersweet: Midnight, Let’s Get a Hot Dog was one of the last albums recorded by indie-pop maverick Richard Swift, who passed away in July 2018. But it stands as a testament to Swift’s preternatural knack for bottling up a band’s crackling, live-in-the-room energy on record. Singing mostly in English, Lenoir and Chiasson lead the group through a set of swaggering ’70s glitter rock with tongues lodged firmly in cheek, whether name-dropping Deftones on the sleazy, piano-powered strut “Junk,” or quoting Harry Nilsson on the T. Rex-revved “Glorify.” Tunes like the teary cowpoke lament “Tangerine” and the synthy power-pop anthem “Knives” show yet another, more affecting side of the band.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When it comes to annual awards like Canada’s Polaris Music Prize, sometimes the real winner isn’t the artist who takes home the oversized check, but the dark-horse contender who receives the greatest profile-boost from the nomination. And in 2018, that beneficiary was Hubert Lenoir, the gender-bending Francophone performer who wooed Anglo audiences with his divine art-pop opus, Darlène. But while that debut album introduced Lenoir to a wider audience, it was by no means his first musical venture. Since 2014, he’s been performing alongside his brother Julien Chiasson in Quebec City glam-rock outfit The Seasons, whose wild, exuberant second album serves as the champagne-popping capper to Lenoir’s breakout year.

The release is somewhat bittersweet: Midnight, Let’s Get a Hot Dog was one of the last albums recorded by indie-pop maverick Richard Swift, who passed away in July 2018. But it stands as a testament to Swift’s preternatural knack for bottling up a band’s crackling, live-in-the-room energy on record. Singing mostly in English, Lenoir and Chiasson lead the group through a set of swaggering ’70s glitter rock with tongues lodged firmly in cheek, whether name-dropping Deftones on the sleazy, piano-powered strut “Junk,” or quoting Harry Nilsson on the T. Rex-revved “Glorify.” Tunes like the teary cowpoke lament “Tangerine” and the synthy power-pop anthem “Knives” show yet another, more affecting side of the band.

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