Album review

Fly Pan Am

Over twenty years since their formation in Montreal, Roger Tellier-Craig, Jonathan Parant, J.S. Truchy, Félix Morel and Eric Gingras, otherwise known as Fly Pan Am (or Le Fly Pan Am if we wish to respect their Québécoise roots) have chosen 2019 as the year to release their fourth studio album.

The band have quite a history. Their debut self-titled was released by Constellation Records in 1999, showcasing extended tracks such as ‘L’Espace au sol est redessine par d’immenses panneaux bleus’ and ‘Dans ses cheveux soixante circuits’. This led to the creation of one EP in 2000 and two further albums in 2002 and 2004, all of which were released through Constellation.

Fly Pan Am’s career saw numerous collaborations with very well-respected artists, alongside North American and European tours. The band’s popularity grew, and they became one of the most well-respected experimental musicians of the late nineties and early noughties.

However, in 2006 the four-piece announced an extended hiatus, which continued until September of 2018. During this break, some band members took part in other musical projects outside of Fly Pan Am, yet the band reunited to play a single gig in Montreal whilst teasing this newly released album.

‘C’est Ça’ perfectly combines the raw, experimental sound that Fly Pan Am were praised for throughout their early career with newer, more modern sonic aspects.

The album opens with the track ‘Avant-gardez vous’, which features a multitude of distorted and uncomfortable sounds which almost fight against each other to win prominence in the song.

‘Avant-gardez vous’ then bleeds into the track ‘Distance Dealer’, which carries over distorted sounds from the previous track but also adds a certain amount of structure through steady, repetitive drumming and subtle vocals.

The strongest tracks on the album are undoubtedly ‘Bleeding Decay’, ‘One Hit Wonder’ and the closing song ‘Interface Your Shattered Dreams’.

These tracks, and the album as a whole, show that the band have successfully encapsulated and maintained the strength and imagination that was present throughout their early work.
It showcases that they have learned a great deal through both individual projects and collaborations as the years have passed since their last release in 2004.