On Further Up Island , André Ethier completes the trilogy of solo albums that began with 2017’s Under Grape Leaves and 2019’s Croak In The Weeds. While not narratively linked in the traditional sense, these records document the musician’s ongoing collaboration with producer Sandro Perri. Like Robert Altman’s run of brilliant films with Shelley Duvall in the 1970s, the duo have developed a singular creative kinship over the course of three LPs.
Since his days as the frontman of the Deadly Snakes, Ethier has cultivated an entirely different artistic practice as an acclaimed contemporary painter. At the same time, he has quietly slipped out a spellbinding body of work as a solo musician, with this album trifecta showcasing his skills as one of Canada’s most vastly underrated songwriters and storytellers. Ethier’s songs are casually played but carefully orchestrated, allowing each element to appear in sharp focus.
“These albums are a series using the same palette,” explains Ethier, whose softly coloured paintings also grace the covers of the trilogy. “The tools Sandro and I used on all three of them are similar so that the songs can almost be interchangeable. It’s a way of giving time to a creative relationship so it can blossom, like developing a shorthand with a co-worker. Nurturing that process allows it to grow.”
Electro / Electronic