Culture | Upward migration

The rise of Goose Hut

For music lovers in the Montreal area, separating the exceptional acts from the mediocre can be a difficult task. With so many different groups trying to make themselves heard in such an artistically diverse climate, some may find it hard to sift through the muck and pick out the gems. Luckily for me and anyone who reads this (keep doing your thing), I’ve had the pleasure of both listening to and interviewing Goose Hut, a band that indie lovers should definitely keep their eyes on.

Goose Hut is the brainchild of Harris Shper, with fellow members Evan Shper and Rowan Cornell-Brown. Harris Shper is a Montreal musician with a passion for creating tunes with a distinct dichotomy in mind. “Whenever I write music with sad lyrics, it’s always to a happy tune, and the opposite way too,” says Shper, looking every bit the part of a burgeoning Montreal musician with a big curly mohawk, coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other. “I think the most important element in any music I know is the songwriting. There are endless ways to create music, but at the end of the day, we just like to make sure that the songs come across, and are nice to listen to.”

If their involvement and reception in recent festivals is any indicator, listeners are finding that Goose Hut’s music is very nice indeed. Playing at both NXNE in Toronto and POP Montreal this year led to sterling reviews from attendees. One blogger went so far as to declare that the group is “talented enough to make certain other Montreal natives extremely nervous that they may be outdone in their pursuit for another Grammy,” and another stating “I can’t imagine anyone disliking Goose Hut.” Yet Shper sees no distinction between playing for one type of crowd versus another. “Whether or not you’re playing to industry folks, you still have to just play like you’re playing to a crowd of people who just want to see it and be there.”

Despite the accolades, the history of Goose Hut is a short and simple one. “It started last summer, and it was just me writing music in my bedroom, basically,” says Shper. “I used to play music with other bands, but I wanted to do something on my own, and then the live show kind of built itself around the songs that I had made there.”

These live performances, however, are markedly different from the recorded material: “Our live sets are definitely more energetic than a lot of the recorded stuff, which is more lo-fi, bedroom stuff, but with the live set we try to have a big party.”

The group put out a four-track EP in April titled “Throw It At Your Dads House,” made available online with a pick-your-price mode of purchase, and material for a full-length album is accumulating behind the scenes. “Probably next year [is when] we’ll do the full-length – we might do another EP before that. We’ve been touring most of the summer so we’re just getting back into writing more tunes and stuff.”

These include songs such as “Bad Time,” with lazy summer synth hooks that get catchier every time you listen to them, and the title track of the EP,   “Money Money Love Love,” which sounds like the next infectious indie tune to back up an Apple commercial. These guys know what they’re doing, and it’s about time Montreal music aficionados catch on.

Goose Hut has an upcoming CultMTL Halloween show on October 31 at the Royal Phoenix, and if you like what you’ve read or heard, I strongly encourage including it as an addition to your busy Halloween lineup.

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