"Layered and spooky psychedelic earworm pop."
- Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal
Biography by Jesse Locke
Le Plaisir is the spellbinding, L.A-based psych-pop duo of Amelia Aspen and Doug Organ. Formed in Paris, France in 2015 during a year-long artistic residency and studies with acclaimed engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, PJ Harvey), the multi-instrumentalist married couple originally from Edmonton, Alberta recorded their debut EP while experiencing the aftermath of that year’s cataclysmic attacks on the city. Le Plaisir’s pillowy pillars of synths and guitars, motorik drum machine propulsion, and layers upon layers of otherworldly vocal harmonies have earned them comparisons to Moon Duo, Stereolab, and Young Marble Giants. Following a recent relocation to Los Angeles and the release of their 2018 sophomore EP, No Ordinary Wave, they are now gearing up for their forthcoming full-length album entitled Crown Shyness.
Expanding on the influences of Aspen’s former garage-soul group The Lad Mags and Organ’s work with The Wet Secrets, Whitsundays, and as the founding engineer of Edmontone Studio, Le Plaisir’s self-titled debut EP offers a fitting introduction with its conceptual song cycle about love at the end of the world. After traveling to Paris seeking inspiration and adventure, the duo got more than they bargained for, arriving shortly before the attacks that resulted in over 130 deaths. These tragic events combined with longing feelings of distance from home set a tone for their musical dichotomies: catchy but bleak, dreamlike but precise, and revealing shimmers of romance in a post-apocalyptic reality.
Following its release as a cassette from the band’s label Edmontone Records in the summer of 2017, Le Plaisir’s debut EP debuted at #2 on Canadian college radio charts, where it stayed for 12 weeks. Opening with the eerie strains of slide guitar on “Chilblains” and closing with a cover of Eurythymics’ “Never Gonna Cry Again” from their 1981 album In The Garden featuring members of Can and Blondie, the duo continues a legacy of art-rock experimentation. Performing at the Deerhoof-curated Sled Island music festival and touring the West Coast while sharing stages with Michael Rault, Jom Comyn, and Newfoundland’s BBQT, they relocated to L.A. to complete the recording of their sophomore EP, No Ordinary Wave.
Le Plaisir’s latest release introduces new horizons with the synth-driven surf-beat of its title track, accompanied by mind-warping VHS visuals in its video by Edmonton experimental artist Parker Thiessen. The ghostly vocal rounds of “Flakes of Gold” and Raveonettes-style stomp of “Lying In A Hole” showcase the band’s versatility, while once again highlighting their influences with a closing cover of Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz”, best known for its radical 1988 revision by Nirvana. As they ready their upcoming album, Crown Shyness, Le Plaisir are now preparing to unveil the boundless borders of their sonic possibilities.