Spontaneity Brings Creativity

  • photo courtesy by Moss Lime.

A lot of great work is credited to seemingly random acts of fate. Keith Richards suddenly waking up in the middle of the night with a riff in his head that would later turn into “Satisfaction.” Sam Cooke turning on the radio to hear “Blowin’ In The Wind”, which inspired him to write “A Change is Gonna Come.” Neil Diamond reading a magazine and seeing a picture of a young girl that moved him to write “Sweet Caroline.” All pretty well arbitrary occurrences.

Moss Lime, a Montreal pop-surf trio comprised of Charlotte Bonamour, Hélène Barbier, and Caitlin Pinder-Doede, attribute the same kind of unplanned circumstance to their formation.

“We [Hélène and Caitlin] were playing bass a bit together and her roommate had some drums, so I started playing them,” Barbier explained. “Then Charlotte happened to come over one day and started playing with us. Once we started playing together a bit we decided that we really wanted to start something.”

“It was pretty random. We all knew we wanted to start something, but we never talked about it. We spent a lot of time together, every day the three of us would hang out,” Barbier continued. “It was just really simple.”

What began as jamming and writing sessions in the park quickly turned into something serious for the three women when they unexpectedly got asked to play a show that their friend was coordinating. From there they had the opportunity to play shows with other Montreal bands such as Gashrat and The Marlees.

The band has received a great deal of success even at this early point in their career. They’ve played various shows throughout the city including POP Montreal and created a five-track cassette titled July First that comes out this week.

“All the things were in place for us to start something,” Barbier said. “We didn’t plan so much, we were really just jamming, it was spontaneous. But it quickly went from jamming to, ‘we need to write songs.’”

The band has also been the beneficiary of a great deal of support from fans and other artists. Having emerged onto the scene so quickly the musicians were hesitant about their work at first, but are now very enthusiastic about the future of the band.

“It is just the nature of our personalities. We felt shy, it was weird that people wanted us to play. At first we were just like ‘is this for real?’ We’re lucky, the people we’ve met were really supportive. There is so much love, and everyone really wants to have fun together. There is a lot of bridging of different musical scenes.”

Many musicians sample music and draw inspiration from one another—it’s a practice that’s created some amazing songs. Moss Lime was inspired by other local Montreal punk bands and Pinder-Doede in particular spoke about constantly looking up and listening to their friends’ music.

Having never recorded before, the band took a cue from friends about where to record their debut album and were extremely pleased with the results. July First was recorded at The Bottle Garden Studio with Peter Woodford, who the band considers a mentor. The album was quickly recorded on tape, using no digital editing software.

“Recording on tape was like a dream,” said Pinder-Doede. “It’s super warm, and we loved the bass sound.”

The band is so appreciative to everyone who has helped them along the way and feels no sense of competition between artists—just outstanding encouragement.

“We’re so grateful people have been so amazing to us,” Pinder-Doede said.

Moss Lime’s music is very playful, with mellow but very quirky vocals. The band wrote the majority of their songs during their first month together and aimed for their music to have a minimalist bent. As a trio, Moss Lime’s sound is indeed very stripped down and raw, similar to bands like Violent Femmes.

The same simplicity extends to the band’s feelings about their music, in that they just want listeners to enjoy their music and just have fun.

“It’s fun, we would hope you would want to dance to it,” said Pinder-Doede.

Moss Lime will be playing tunes from July First on Oct. 29 at Drones Club. Other bands on the bill are Hand Cream, Gashrat and loosestrife. If you want to hear more from the band you can check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp as well as through Fixture Records.

Moss Lime // Wednesday Oct. 29. // Drones // 8.30pm

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