Album Review – “Amateur Hour” – FYI Music News

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Chris Velan: Amateur Hour

Chris Velan – “Amateur Hour” (Independent): This highly-regarded Montreal singer/songwriter/producer releases a new album, Amateur Hour, on Sept. 14, preceded by this title track.

Velan describes the song this way: “Both in its title and lyrics, the song came to encapsulate for me the themes of the album, representing them in this imagined, psychic space; Some dingy bar with a tiny stage where we all assemble as eternally helpless beginners, forever witnessing each other’s efforts to surrender to that inescapable truth.”

The lyric video for the cut confirms Velan has a way with words: “Stumbling home in the cheap wine, lonely as a satellite.” The words may be downbeat, but the song has a lively feel, and Velan’s voice is smooth on the ear.

The Amateur Hour album was recorded in a winter week in Velan’s studio with an all-star team (no amateurs here) of Montreal artists; Bucky Wheaton (Land Of Talk, Timbre Timber), Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson, The Barr Brothers), Michael Feuerstack (The Luyas, Bell Orchestre), Max Henry(Suuns), and Tom Mennier (Martha Wainwright).

Velan has released four earlier albums, including 2011’s well-received Fables for Fighters. As a producer, he has worked with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars.

Velan plays The Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield on Sept. 27, Burdock in Toronto (Sept. 28), Petit Campus in Montreal (Nov. 1), and Beat & Betterave in Frelighsburg, QC, Nov. 2.

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Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat

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