Little Hand Fighter

by Expwy

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about

‎...Expwy has definitely cornered a sound that no one else is playing at, in Canada or otherwise. It’s the polar opposite of mediocre. The summery strings and pacifying percussions on “Warm and Stricken by Lashes” perfectly sets the stage for LeGroulx’s now trademark lo-fi gems. “Cultivate a Classic Sky” reclaims the whistle from its gimmicky hell after “Young Folks” and makes it cool again. Throughout the LP’s 12 tracks, Expwy epitomizes all the qualities that Canadians are missing from their music. In a perfect world, Expwy would be selling a massive amount of records and be recognized every where for the literate and intellectual approach he takes to making music that he’s also deeply passionate about.

- Quick Before it Melts

While maintaining the lowest of profiles, Montreal’s Matt LeGroulx has been steadily self-releasing collections of pop songs with classicist flair and a productivity rate that rivals Robert Pollard. The fuzzed-out glam boogie and neo-tropicalia of his album Bag of Waters first caught my ear this April, and in just three months time he’s followed it up with both an EP and this genre-exercise of a full-length.

Little Hand Fighter is a wholly understated affair, dipping into breezy bossa nova in a style reminiscent of Cibo Matto and Mutations-era Beck. Swooning strings, shakers and nimble guitars set the backdrop for LeGroulx’s plainspoken vocals across 28 minutes of easy listening vibes. It’s definitely an enjoyable and successful experiment, but I’m crossing my fingers that he brings back the Os Mutantes riffs on his next offering. At least we probably won’t have to wait long.

-Jesse Lock (Fast Forward Weekly)

Surf, psychedelic and bossa nova get their due here, but instead of precise facsimiles, LeGroulx presents them through a grainy, sepia-toned filter, so the final result is more akin to a hazy recollection. The slow-paced jingles recall my trip to Ontario’s Carillon beach as a child (now Parc Voyageur), sitting in the backseat and barely able to hear Oldies 990 on the radio due to the windows being rolled down.

Little Hand Fighter is also pretty light on garnish, with an acoustic guitar/ukulele taking centre stage along with minimal cabasa and cabasa-type percussion. LeGroulx’s vocals, in addition to being heavy on the reverb, are delivered in a hypnotic, soothing drawl. This is an album where everything is largely in its right place, and as such is meant to seep into your subconscious slowly rather than beat you over the head with enthusiasm.

Ideal for the dog days of summer then, which hopefully will continue for a while still.

-Erik Leijon (Cult Montreal)

The album is incredibly, incredibly chill. You can take a song like “Cultivate a classic sky” and instantly want to whistle along. Or you can just sit back and absorb the musical rays of sunshine from songs like “Warm and stricken by lashes.” At the same time, there are also songs that could almost be ballroom-dancing material. “No state can survive me” is filled with fast strumming of the guitar, frequent hand claps and a shaker. “Hold me back and make it monstrous” features multiple guitar lines for a very hypnotic song. It also features a line that has been stuck in my head since hearing the song for the first time: “Take your clothes off, disappoint me.”

-Michael Thomas (Grayowl Point)

Ever wanted to hear what Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Pavement, Guided By Voices, Terry Riley and Steve Reich would sound like if their DNA's were extracted, blended and re-grown as a single entity, given some cheap recording gear and been forced to record an album in a mad scientists filthy lab with really high ceilings? Just hit 'Play'.

credits

released 21 July 2012

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Track Name: Warm and stricken by lashes
Pace the pieces of nature
Ease my visit and to me
Give your physical plenty
Not a manuscript shudder

Speak deluded and brutish
Shake a figment and vex the
Drink a billiard room showcase
Cold with legs crossed quaking

Then I clapped in rhythm
To your horse hair winter
Warm and stricken by lashes

Claw your favoured language
Gnaw on spewing diesel
Cleave a waxing sickle
Fond of scorners conjure

Trow I still recall demands
And have them in my hands
I have scant others sound
A German recall

Then I clapped in rhythm
To your horse hair winter
Warm and stricken by lashes
You lose your peasants
Name beguling studies
Wrapped in reddish cocksblood
Time to leave your body
Source of outward courage pure
Track Name: No state can survive me
Bourgeois lip curled angry
Rudolf might easily
Dispense personal norms
Private blue

Attraction repulsion drone
Madness gilded solitude
Castles formed on regal scale
Alchemy convinced in furs

Frantic unbalanced his
Hobbies no state can sur-
Vive me I spectre a
Kingship haze
Track Name: Cultivate a classic sky
Close his statesman mind
Sister’s soothing words
Ghosts of moving spoons
German tourist loom

Win the murmur guest
Previous arrest
Forlorn lawyer’s bray
Permeate

Cultivate a classic sky
Toiling pitch, a fourth defiles
Monologues exhilirate
Laurel blooms ellipse crochet

Visibly express
Monumental gates
Anti-mood confess
Crumbling isolate

Win the murmur guest
Previous arrest
Forlorn lawyer’s bray
Permeate
Track Name: Chains will dangle locks newfangled
Ring my bell and stroke my handlebars as if religious hymn
Monumental pedals lift masterstroke and knowledge
Chains will dangle locks newfangle too veiled a rusted charm
Priceless moments trumpets owe us murmurs and atonement arm
Track Name: Speak a pitched battle of tones
Link a dialogue of light shine on
Speak a pitched battle of tones distinct
Shriek a baritone delight minor
Key I knew that you would want to see my fame
Track Name: Hold me back and make it monstrous
I had received a text disdaining connection
Archaic hearing bucolic angel chorus
I sat behind him a tumor scarce and rigid
Though unfamiliar I sent a finish with it

You broke out codger coins
A very strange and present poem
You broke out codger coins
Hold me back and make it monstrous
Grow into a third hold
Dark and uncanny reflection
You broke out codger coins
You were fixed demonic tensions
Take your clothes off disappoint me

An unthematic but compelling immortal
Breathed-out such moments a sovereign shrine composed of
Conditions condense exquisiteness virtuous
Sitting in darkness a face like burst grape joyful
Track Name: Music rooms, feudal baths
But you built official mist
You wouldn't say another word
Tense unhappy eyes
Prehistoric prey
Unforgettable straw hat

Music rooms
Feudal baths
Dressing gowns of hulking maths

But it's no fun being sick
You wouldn't say another word
Horrid sharp black eyes
And a fractured skull
I could not feel my hands

Music rooms
Feudal baths
Dressing gowns of hulking maths
Track Name: Busted, bucked and thrown
It's all untold empty lunch counters of police
Down the stairs around the corner to the middle of the street
Chewing muddy packages by the lights of Old 15

By the prospect you can see the river and the tip
Though the island was not even surprised to find it is
And you got a letter palisades and gleam kindness

What did you want us to do?
Was it all a joke?
All just ferry boats?
Curious teasing
All is just umbrage
All is just umbrage we're told

The clearing in the distance is
Not just Central Park
Emerald Necklace
Busted, bucked and thrown
All is just umbrage
All is just umbrage we're told

By the prospect you can see the river and the tip
Though the island was not even surprised to find it is
And you got a letter palisades and gleam kindness

It's all untold empty lunch counters of police
Down the stairs around the corner to the middle of the street
Chewing muddy packages by the lights of Old 15
Track Name: Precise shiver, urgent draught
Precise shiver urgent draught
Stronger marrow icy bath
Little threadlike cavity
Run away men of the sea

Doubt a conquest lad
And rue his little bones
Triumph unconcern
Metal telephone

Tragedy on high
Speckled little fold
Fellows clever hand
Deeply touched her soul

Edge my legs and lift your arms
Penetrate with light afar
Charm indigenous auteurs
Score archaic modern tones

Passed by in my life
A copper corner sold
Honesty technique
Learned of cruel love

Tragedy on high
Speckled little fold
Fellows clever hand
Deeply touched her soul
Track Name: Consequently
Consequently the street that adjoins a
Border is a terminus of generalized use

This deadness can have further
Track Name: Feeling a classically lovely fountain
Refer youthful love with an admiration
Plucked from the genuine role edition
Forms figures shapes leave a simple motion
Humour has tired of romantic nature

Involuntarily caricature
Ventricle incidents life singular
Joyful display of disastrous spaniard
Ravished by objects of pia mater

Tired dark months
Lamplight moths
Austere hordes
Malmsey sight

Cloistered around uniform idyllic
Feeling a classically lovely fountain
Afternoon pasturing spoken nearness
Shrunk and avoided the people in it

Shatter me change my disinclination
Reserve a hastily keen eyed pleasure
Twenty-five living room ill formed waiter
Round handed black writing scribe character