Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Huis

As always, welcome back to the Closet Concert Arena fellow progheads!  As Spring makes her 2017 debut, I thought it might be different--and perhaps a bit left of logical--to follow the "N" on my compass and visit with some Canadian folks who have put together a sound that wanders some distinct acreage in the prog garden.  The search for all things prog has discovered some rather captivating bands and artists way up north, and this week the journey expands on that theme with a stopover in Chateauguay QC, swathed in the sounds of Huis...



Huis is a musical project that began in 2009.  Eight years and two albums later, the band has captured my attention with a multi-layered sound this is more deep than ornate and manages to seize your attention without feeling it necessary to drop-kick you to the ground.  Huis prefers to grab your senses rather than your collar...so let us step to the prog buffet with eager anticipation and feed our prog addiction...

First serving this week is a delicate piece called "The Red Gypsy."  The acoustic opening oozes a bit of Al Dimeola; corduroy-smooth vocals seep in and get wrapped in some very delicate guitar and percussion work.  Huis flows through the headphones like maple syrup running down the side of a stack of buttermilk pancakes; you want more just because.  The tempo picks up as primary colors blend with pastels on the canvas...top notes of Camel and Marillion stream through your head and flow down your spine...

Going back to the buffet for more, I discover a tune covered in darker hues, "If by Morning."  Huis likes to hang a silk scarf over the lamp to cut the glare--but it doesn't keep the light from shining through.  The feel here is "Dire Straits meets the Krimson ProjeCKt" with a dash of early Genesis folded into the mix.  Huis is the guy in the dark suit walking down the boulevard in the pouring rain, only to arrive at the leggy model's apartment totally dry, looking dapper, and carrying roses...

Liner Notes...Huis hails from Montreal Canada, in the aforementioned Chateauguay region of Quebec.  What was a project in 2009 became a full-fledged band led by keyboardist Pascal Lapierre and bass man Michel Joncas.  Along the way Pascal and Michel were joined by guitarist Michel
St-Pere, vocalist Sylvain Descoteaux, and drummer William Regnier.  In one of their "remodeling phases" Pascal left the band and was ultimately replaced by Johnny Maz on keys.

While the road traveled was definitely a twisting, turning one, Huis settled into the ornate, multi-layered section of the prog garden and has two albums on their (hopefully) growing resume.  "Despite Guardian Angels" was their 2014 debut, followed by the 2016 release of "Neither in Heaven."  There is talk of a third album soon, so perhaps the Concert Closet will be traveling back to the tundra before the next snowfall...

 
                                                                         
My final offering from the feast this week is a cut lifted off their first album called, "Garden of Dust." The terrestrial-like opening that flows through the headphones dims the lights and gently paints the canvas with dark yet subtle hues.  Vocals melt the clouds swiftly and with moderate force, much like  marshmallow running down the side of your s'mores as you sit by the fire...you absolutely notice and are completely fine.

Huis has staked out acreage in the shadowy section of the prog garden, although there is a glow radiating from the embers.  This is a band that fills the canvas with detail and layers without crowding anything--or anyone--out of the picture.  The flow is almost mesmerizing as guitars melt seamlessly into the keyboards, which ride right across the percussion.  The occasional organ and bells are the amuse-bouche to what is already a decadent offering.

Learn more about Huis at their website Huis Band where you can (of course) purchase their music. You can also follow Huis on Twitter @huisbandprog and connect with the band on Facebook
Huis FB.  Huis has even made their music available on Soundcloud Huis SC so the options are plenty.  I recommend a dry red wine or a good single malt; just sit back and let the sound run its course whilst you sip...

The clip posted below is called "Memories."  Let the piano opening cleanse your mind of the debris of the day and float downstream as the song begins to fill your cranium with music crisp like Italian wine grapes...distinct and full bodied.  Huis has a feel on this tune like Gentle Giant meets The Strawbs...extravagant without being obnoxious; heavy without being a burden.  Go ahead; turn the volume up...

                       

And seemingly as quick as it started, another week has found its way into the history books.  Huis was an adventure much like walking through a maze and not being concerned about the time...the longer this escapade takes the better.  

The search for all things prog has introduced me to many bands, artists, and musicians that seem to have one thing in common--a desire to burrow deeper within to find the soul of the music.  That is the feeling I get listening to Huis; they dive right into the deep end of the pool and stay submerged.  Try Huis because you're curious...stay because you can...

As always fellow progheads, time for the Concert Closet to forge on and continue the search for all things prog...until next time...

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful prose inspired by a well deserving talented and profoundly moving prog band. Long live Huis

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not familiar with much of it but I am impressed with what i have seen so far.
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