Culture | Dreaming through reality

Canadian recording artist Erin Lang finds her sound in Montreal

On March 26, local Montreal musician Erin Lang and her band, The Foundlings, will be opening for Sweet Mother Logic and Hooded Fang at Green Room.

Land describes her music as “orchestral-art-folk,” and draws inspiration from time spent in England and Germany, as well as from the many musicians she has worked with over the course of her career. Lang’s music conveys a romantic and dreamy, though not utopic, view of life and relationships. Her songs are carried by strong, whimsical melodies, an almost light-hearted approach to her lyrics’ heavier topics.

“While my music tends to be dark in subject matter, I try to draw [the listener in] with a mood that, doesn’t necessarily reflect the songs lyrics, allowing the listener to interpret the songs for themselves,” Lang explains.

Lang attributes her dreamy point of view to her childhood, which she describes as a “fantasy-world.” While her musician father wasn’t a huge influence on her work, she does attribute her love and understanding of music to him.

After early experiments with the trumpet, she joined a friend’s band as the bassist at 13. While she considered pursuing further education in theatre, Lang ultimately decided to continue with music. “It hadn’t occurred to me to be a musician,” Lang explains, “even though my dad was a musician, [but] when [the band] formed that year, it was really what I wanted to do.”

While her friend’s band didn’t last, Lang continued to play bass in other bands based around Toronto, before moving to England where she recorded her first demos. There, she was increasingly influenced by the European music scene and its “electronic sound.” Later, she recorded an album in Germany, a country that, according to Lang, “also has a good indie-electronic music scene.”

Lang returned home to Canada, eventually coming to Montreal. With the new environment and a new band, she once again finds different inspiration. In particular, she has drawn elements of her live show from St. Vincent, whose music has been an important recent discovery for Lang. The Foundlings, her current band, is comprised of Pat Latreille on upright bass, John Corban on violin, Mona Varichon on French horn, and Dan Pencer on clarinet. She finds working with the band to be a more collective effort than the work she’s done in the past.

Since her return, Lang states that she has begun to see her music moving away from a “folk-tronic” sound, to a more “orchestral-art-folk.” Lang attributes this shift in sound to The Foundlings and the different instruments they work with. “When I know who I am working with it affects the [song] writing, knowing there is going to be a certain sound to incorporate into the piece,” she explained.

Lang says that her live shows are “a place to get carried away in thought, with a dreamy view of love and reality…a chance to reflect and escape a little into another world, or [a place to give] yourself a way of seeing your world differently.” Which is quite like the way she sees life itself.

Erin Lang, Sweet Mother Logic, and Hooded Fang are playing March 26 at the Green Room (5326 St. Laurent).