Good Vibes All Around
Look Vibrant are Quickly Becoming Montreal Favourites
When POP Montreal’s founder Dan Seligman calls you “possibly the greatest band in the world,” you know you have something good going.
Look Vibrant’s brand of noise-pop has garnered much attention in Montreal with catchy tunes laced with hazy distortion.
Originally hailing from Toronto, Look Vibrant is made up of Justin Lazarus, an arts and science major at McGill University and Matthew Murphy, an electroacoustics major at Concordia.
The group’s songs are a tinny blast of electric pop, which Murphy describes as “tinsel being shot through a cannon underwater.”
The duo released their first two-song release Plateau this summer as a digital download and on cassette. They wanted to capture their sound in something that was cheap, plastic and fun, while also aiming to spark nostalgia in their target audience of 20-something university students.
“We didn’t have the skills to make songs that sound good production-wise, so we tried to make something the exact opposite, said Murphy.
“Much to our surprise, people seemed to like them.”
Going Way Back
The pair have a long history together, meeting when they were 11 years old and bonding over a mutual love of Depeche Mode. They formed their first band in ninth grade, and constantly created new projects over the years.
Look Vibrant began while the two members were travelling across Europe in the summer of 2012. The moniker came from a misunderstanding when a heavily accented record store clerk in Milan mispronounced artist Luke Vibert’s name.
After moving to Montreal, the two began working on songs together simply using the built-in microphone on Murphy’s laptop. The unique quality of sound was basically a fluke, but they liked it and decided to pursue it as a musical direction, eventually releasing Plateau in May.
Four months later, the band will make their POP debut with two shows, much to their excitement.
“It was a surprise, at first, that anyone even bothered to listen to us, let alone to like our music,” Murphy said. “To have this experience with POP is better than we had hoped.”
Embrace the Fuzz
Translating their special so-bad-it’s-good lo-fi fuzz into in a live performance required a completely new approach—specifically, bringing in live bandmates.
“Since our time in Montreal, we’ve had some chance meetings with musicians we’ve instantly clicked with,” said Murphy.
For the live lineup, the band enlisted the help of guitarist Andrew Moore, bassist Alex Rand and drummer Eli Kaufman.
“There’s a lot of energy in our performance; we have five or six players onstage,” said Murphy.
The band meshes onstage as if they’ve been playing together for years. Recent live shows have featured wild video projections accompanying their music to boost the energy further, with visions of animals and fireworks cascading across the stage like a grandiose acid trip.
After POP, Look Vibrant plans to release new material for hopefully newly-acquired fans.
“We have another ‘cassingle’ coming out soon; it encompasses the hard-hitting rawness of our first single but with added dynamics and intricacy,” said Lazarus.
Look Vibrant // Sept. 27 // Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent Blvd.) // 8 p.m. // $10 advance, $12 door