Father Artois is an eclectic music duo made up of Lance and James that mixes electronic elements with guitars, in a potpourri of sound that goes from pop to post-punk and synthwave taken from the past and projected into the future. The currently have a 12 track album out entitled “Exorcism”. The album is very airy and atmospheric in its vibe, but very thoughtful and complex in the sound production. Lance and James seamlessly blend several musical aesthetics into a scintillating whole that swirls and thumps and dances about with unabashed mysticism. Many of the songs have change-ups in tone, beat, and even melody that make them different from the current electronic music scene. In fact no two songs on this album sounds the same.
Listening to “Exorcism” might even make you believe you are hearing a compilation album featuring various artists. Cohesiveness seems like a term far removed from the minds of Father Artois, who would rather spend their time on experimental creativity and challenging listeners, than simply pleasing them.
The album’s production is as rich and dense as it is sometimes noisy and neurotic, at once it sounds optimized for blasting out of car windows and then the next moment designed for laptop speakers. You can listen on good headphones if you want, but you’ll sort of be missing the point.
At its core “Exorcism” is an attitude, not an aesthetic. Inside the length and breadth of the album’s tracks runs a deep current about music itself, what it can do, and what can be done to it. Strung between overdriven guitar chunks and time-tested electronic architecture, the tracks surrender to the power of transformation as Father Artois infuse disparate sounds, samples, voices, and rhythms into each one.
Unlike most pretentious rock groups, the duo are not trying to save music. They’re trying to lose themselves in it, to sink deep into what they love doing while at the same time producing an experience that like-minded people can sculpt their own identities into.
“Exorcism” is impressive not just because of the sheer amount of sounds on it, but the process of multiple perspectives at work throughout the album. It’s often said that you can’t be everything to everyone, all at once. That theory almost sounds inaccurate listening to this album. Listening to diverse tracks such as “Friendzone”, “Father Time”, “The Holy Ghost”, “King of Cyberbullies” and “Spirits in the Woods”, it would be exhausting to even attempt to pinpoint all of the world’s Father Artois are pulling from.
Hardly could any album, even if work-shopped by a team of diverse songwriters sound as bracing and unpredictable as “Exorcism”. It’s a triumph of Father Artois’ gloriously unapologetic productions and their willingness to tread the line between a crushing flood of electronic synthwave data and irrepressible indie pop and rock hooks. “Exorcism” blasts relentlessly outward; an unabashed ear-seeking missile that brings instant euphoria and the pleasures of experimental excess. Certainly not meant for the faint at heart!