It was (almost) unavoidable for Lesser Evil to end up together yet the music that results from this encounter breathes of broken habits and shaken comfort. The pair chose to isolate themselves inside an RV parked in the middle of the woods (without electricity, running water or Wi-Fi) to create their genre-defying debut EP, which navigates effortlessly through exploratory avenues and intimate confessions.
Beginning as an unhurried collaboration between two musical kindred spirits, Lesser Evil’s origin story has been as slow-burning as the songs the project has come to deliver. What began as a one-off collaboration unexpectedly fostered a ying-yang sense of completion for a former classically trained songwriter Ariane M. and freewheeling electronic composer Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux (Chocolat, Organ Mood). Though the the pair grew up on opposite sides of the street in their native town, their careers had never intersected until a chance studio meet-up inadvertently shaped the defining pillars of what would become the Lesser Evil sound.
Blending Ariane’s deep-seated sense of melody and authorship with Christophe’s stylized yet fragile soundscapes, they slowly began to flesh out a collection of new songs in a charmingly unconventional RV-turned-studio in rural Quebec. With icy synthesizers standing in contrast against organic instrumentation, their combined efforts proved to provide unexpected release for both musicians, and upon realizing that the results of their collaboration stood apart from any of their existing projects, they consciously decided their work together was deserving of a fully formed life of its own. Hence the Lesser Evil project began to take shape, adopting a moniker that attests both to the air of menace looming over Ariane’s at-times punishing lyrical address, and the way said menace somehow lessened by the warm atmospherics of the production.
As each song slowly locks into its restless, off-putting atmosphere, the handmade warmth underlying the duo’s off-kilter electronics and undeniably endearing vocal delivery transforms Lesser Evil’s perpetually-gloomy headspace into a liveable one.
Though it was no easy feat for two artists continuously pursuing their respective idea of immaculate imperfection, the duo has meticulously crafted songs that comprise their debut EP. Marrying live-band dynamics with the zeitgeist-capturing sheen of electronic music, Lesser Evil’s debut album delivers a heart-wrenching collection of work.
Paired with cryptic visuals that further conflate the duo’s indiscriminate approach to blurring past and present, a haze of saturated home movies collide against icy synthesizers and hellish soundscapes to create mini-opuses that are at once fully-formed and abstract. Yet at the basis of these unsettling, disparate fragments is a timeless sense of songcraft, grounding the project to its humble beginnings as a casual labor of love that unexpectedly grew to monstrous proportions.
[...] le duo propose ici quatre chansons captivantes, toutes menées par un désir d’expérimentation poussé et visiblement étoffé. Dans un genre difficile à établir, quelque part entre electronica et synth-pop psychédélique, Lesser Evil tisse un décor hypnotique et enveloppant, qui rappelle certains des meilleurs moments du chef-d’oeuvre Third de Portishead.
Olivier Boisvert-Magnen, Voir
[...] dark, mysterious, and smoky, pulling from surf, psych, ’60s orchestral pop (Lee Hazlewood, Scott Walker), jazz, and other sounds you could imagine David Lynch smoking to. Singer Ariane M has the perfect voice for this kind of stuff that sounds vintage and modern simultaneously. Lesser Evil are reminiscent of a lot of artists — Broadcast, Portishead, Roisin Murphy to name three — without ever actually sounding like them. No small feat.