Montreal trio Les Shirley drops debut album ‘Forever Is Now’

The album is full of catchy tunes about coming of age and being in love

Les Shirley’s debut album ‘Forever Is Now’ has been in the works since Janurary 2020 Courtesy Camille Gladu-Drouin

Today is the release date of the debut album Forever Is Now from Montreal-based band, Les Shirley. The band is comprised of drummer Lisandre Bourdages, lead singer and guitarist Raphaëlle Chouinard, and bassist Sarah Dion.

The album has been in the works since January 2020 but the pandemic halted the production and release of the album last year, said Chouinard. The band hopes to participate in music festivals if any are held this summer. 

The album title is based on its track “Forever is Now.” According to Chouinard, this was initially a track that was going to be on the first self-titled EP they released in 2019. The choice to use this as the album title is very reflective of the current times that we are in. 

“Music is living art,” the lead singer said, adding that this album contributes to that idea. 

“Fuck It, I’m In Love,” the first single released, was chosen because, according to Chouinard, it is a “representation of everything on the album.” There are elements of coming of age in the album, and many in-your-face moments—this song has both of those elements. The song presents a catchy beat with lyrics to which people can easily sing along. The song was inspired by Chouinard’s personal experience about how sometimes you just need to go for it, and not be so careful when it comes to jumping into a possible relationship.

‘Forever Is Now’ features many upbeat hits, with the encouragement for people to just live their lives in the now.

Pam Baxter, 39, and Melanie Citrome, 35, both avid music fans in Montreal who were interested in finding new music, listened to “Fuck It, I’m In Love.” Baxter stated that she thought “it was a good song, and would listen to others,” and Citrome said she thought it was “fun and catchy.” Baxter also wants to listen to other music that Les Shirley comes out with in the future. 

Citrome decided to watch some of their live performances because it gives some insight into a band that a pre-recorded song may not. 

“You can tell how much they love playing music and they seem like a fun group,” Citrome said. The idea of fun is brought throughout many of Les Shirley’s tracks in this album, so having someone be able to see that is a nice touch to their legacy.

Both Baxter and Citrome had never heard of Les Shirley prior to this, but after hearing the singles and some of their other music, they are both very likely to listen to Forever is Now when it comes out. In fact, Baxter stated that if ever they play at a venue, she would be interested in going to see them perform live. 

Forever Is Now features many upbeat hits, with the encouragement for people to just live their lives in the now. During the current times, having music that is vibrant, in your face, and fun is so important. 

Les Shirley hopes ‘Forever Is Now’ will take them on tour in the future. Courtesy Camille Gladu-Drouin

While the pandemic was not something the band was aware of when putting together the album, they feel that during the pandemic it embodies the spirit of what people may need. Chouinard also stated that she had fear because of the pandemic, Chouinard wondered whether or not their music would engage with their audience.

On March 8, 2020, Les Shirley played their last live show at CHOM’s all-female Rock Room. This was a special concert done on International Women’s Day to highlight female artists. In order for people to see the show, they needed to enter a contest to win tickets. 

“[It was] special because CHOM was the first commercial radio to pick up our songs,” Chouinard said. For the band, it was a fitting experience to be performing on International Women’s Day. The hope is that with this new album, perhaps they will get to have experiences like this again.

Les Shirley produced an album that captures the essence of our times, despite most of the songs being written before we were in a pandemic. Forever is Now offers vibrant and catchy songs for anyone who chooses to listen. Les Shirley is a passionate band and hopes that the album has the potential to take them on tour.