BASTION - AVAILABLE MARCH 29TH
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Having derived the pseudonym from a small French community nestled in the expansive Canadian prairies, Ponteix serves the project as a symbol of resilience. It represents the practice of authenticity and staying true to oneself which has been the thread that subtly runs through Saskatchewan born Fransaskois multi-instrumentalist, Mario Lepage’s, body of work. Prior to the project of Ponteix, Lepage was releasing music under his own name, performing primarily as a solo musician while assembling a unique pallet of songs and ideas. These foreshadowed musical elements would eventually be shaped by collaborators Adam Logan, Kyle Grimsrud-Manz and Danny Hanson. It was in this state of flux that the craft of Ponteix began. Helping guide Ponteix’s sound and identity, Logan, Manz, and Hanson began work on the song arrangements presented by Lepage. In early 2016, alongside producer Francis Collard, Ponteix released those cumulative efforts as a four-song psych-rock EP titled, “J’Orage” early 2016.
Several Canadian tours followed the release of J’Orage garnering considerable press and industry acclaim along the way. Shortly after, Ponteix took home the 2017 Western Canadian Music award for Francophone artist of the year as Lepage began the work on a follow-up record. Once again relying on elements of isolation Ponteix situated themselves in the great Canadian landscape to begin focusing time on maturing their past efforts. It was during this time that Ponteix began working as a three piece leaving Logan and Manz to assist Lepage in Ponteix’s debut LP titled, Bastion. Teaming up with co-producer Frédéric Levac, work began in La Piaule, an old horse stable converted into a studio near St. Bernardin Ontario. Along with the help of artist mentors: Louis-Jean Cormier (of Karkwa) and Fransaskois folk singer; Anique Granger, the album Bastion began to finally take shape.
Bastion boasts a maximalist approach to production cementing in it a wall of Lepage’s electronic rhythms that churn leaving only gaps of space for Manz’s effortless percussive flourishes to pass through. Echoing chambers of gleaming synths are pitched midway between Mario Lepage’s nostalgic vocals and the persistent backdrop of effects. Logan and Lepage’s glassy guitars shimmer in and out carving couloirs of light. Ponteix continues the pursuit of tapping into unfamiliar emotions imbuing a sense of relatability. The matured follow up full length dips into a myriad of styles from hazy experimentalism to congealed pop structures.
It’s with this impressive collaborative body of work that Ponteix now returns to the road with Lepage at the helm. With a scheduled release date of March 29th, 2019 Bastion has yet to begin what surely will be a formidable chapter in the future of Mario Lepage’s project, Ponteix.