by Paddy Kinsella
Michael Cormier really is a stalwart of DIY alternative. Not only is he the masterful percussionist in the band, Friendship, and part of the instrumental group, Hour, but he also runs the infinitely brilliant, Dear Life Records. When he’s not doing all that, he makes music under his own name. In 2019 he released two albums – Days Like Pearls and M-F – which introduced us to his comical, understated folk that’s rooted in the minutiae of life.
When Degradation – the lead single from his forthcoming album, More Light!!, begins with a wiry guitar criss-crossing Cormier’s inconspicuous vocal, you’re fooled into thinking this is going to be an extension of those first two records. When the programmed drums arrive, however, the rug is pulled from under your feet – revealing an electronic soundscape that wouldn’t feel out of place on Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz. On the album cover, he’s surrounded by a coterie of junk that could have been plucked from a yard sale – and the randomness of these objects perfectly represents the eccentric, ramshackle style we’re introduced to here.
With a genuine sing-a-long chorus to boot, if Degradation is anything to go by, Cormier looks set to expand his horizons quite drastically on his forthcoming full-length. I, for one, can’t wait to have a further look down this particular rabbit hole.
More Light!! is out on OOF Records and Dear Life on 25th June.