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The Telepathic Butterflies | Nine Songs (Rainbow Quartz)
Due for imminent release here, The Telepathic Butterflies' debut album is abundant with contradictions. Entitled 'Nine Songs', there are in fact twelve and whilst the band sound like the embodiment of the quintessentially English neo-psychedelic lo-fi outfit, they are actually a Francophone duo from Winnipeg, comprising Rej (short for Réjean) Ricard, the duo's songwriter, vocalist and guitarist and Jacques Dubois on drums and percussion. Despite their lack of personnel, minimal recording budget and the prolonged period of the album's gestation - three years from initial recording to release - The Telepathic Butterflies have a profusion of ideas and energy. Belying the home recording techniques employed, Ricard obviously knows more than a few tricks and it's hard to believe that for most of this album the band are merely a duo. Incongruously when they are joined by cellist Jonathan Bauch on the album's three predominantly acoustic bonus tracks, which include their version of Donovan's Epistle to Dippy, it's a case of more is less, though only in practical rather than creative terms, Ricard deliberately electing for a more stripped down approach to the arrangements on these tracks despite the additional personnel. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Syd Barrett, The Kinks, The Beatles, The Who, XTC and more recently bands like Cotton Mather and Guided By Voices, The Telepathic Butterflies sound like a real find. Whether they have the talents to develop and establish a stronger identity of their own beyond the detectable influences remains to be seen. On the basis of 'Nine Songs' it should be fascinating finding out.
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002