TALENT SCOUT - Fjord - KeyboardMag

The acclaimed Canadian duo Fjord is about to release a new album entitled Shallow Waters, produced with the help of Tim Bran (Bloc Party, London Grammar, La Roux). In addition to live string recordings from the Quebec Symphonic Orchestra, the album features a 1935 Steinway Grand Piano, a vintage Rhodes electric piano, a Roland Juno-60, and Sequential’s Prophet-6. Get to know more about our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week!

NAME: FJORD (Louis-Etienne Santais and Thomas Casault)

HOMETOWN: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

MUSICAL TRAINING: LES: Studies in classical percussion and jazz drumming, and Thomas: studies in sound engineering.

FIRST GIGS: Our first real gigs were actually done together while we played in a screamo band called Eberleen back in 2005. We played around Quebec City opening for bigger bands and delivering performances that we’d rather forget about!

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: The Beatles for the songwriting, as well as Keane. Sade and some classic 90’s Trip-Hop (Massive Attack, Portishead) for the downtempo and soft/gloomy feel. In terms of sound design and use of layering, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, and Bjork.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: LES: Nils Frahm most recent album, Jon Hopkins, Kiasmos, Aurora. Thomas: War on Drugs, Her’s, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

MY BIG BREAK:  Give us a break!

LATEST PROJECTS: Our album to be released Shallow Waters has occupied a lot of our time this past year. Thomas sang on a few releases from other electronic artists as well, most notably "Get What You Give" by Felix Cartal. Louis on his part, produced Floes' Passionals album and Ghostly Kisses' upcoming "The City Holds My Heart" EP. We’ve also each worked on personal stuff as well!.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? The Roland Juno-60 has earned its legendary reputation for a reason; it instantly delivers a fat and raw analog sound and can be tweaked super efficiently because of its intuitive build and parameters. The synthesis is also easy to understand. We use it a lot for basses (almost all on Shallow Waters), arpeggiators and stabs. The Sequential Prophet-6 is our go to choice for all pads and, well, a lot of stuff actually! We think it’s super versatile all the while being great sounding. We also use a huge array of soft synths that emulate classic synths such as the Korn MS-20, the Minimoog, the Jupiter, etc.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Our next step will be the release of Shallow Waters and touring it across Canada and then Europe in March and April of 2019. On a musical level, we are currently exploring field recording techniques and creating our own samples with about everything we can lay our hands on. That and more orchestral instrument recordings.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Follow your first instincts and focus on the music first. We believe that the best sound design is not going to mean much without great melodies and chord progressions. It’s also important for the process to remain fun and emotion-driven, as it is easy to get lost through overthinking. 

For more information visit http://fjordmusic.ca