Release Date 09/24/2021
(Friends of Friends) NACC
Montreal based trio Afternoon Bike Ride blend alluring dream-pop vocals, lo-fi beat music, sensitive acoustic instrumentation and leftfield production to create an irresistible post-genre signature sound. Set for release on 9/24/2021, their self-titled debut album is a sonic hug that collects 15 tracks conveying messages of self-love, kindness, community and hope. These songs lyrically flurry over instrumentals meant to incline the listener to pause their inner monologue and take a moment to breathe.
Musician-producers David Tanton (aka Rhoda/Tender Spring), Éloi Le Blanc-Ringuette (aka Thomas White), and Lia Kurihara (aka LIA) who also writes and sings for the group; met in Montreal and formed Afternoon Bike Ride in 2018. Originally intended as a creative, collaborative aside to their own solo projects (collectively they’ve amassed 100’s of millions of streams), they found the music progressing. They say “We each felt like it was a space to experiment with different sounds than we were typically used to making. As we crafted our songs, we realized that our sound progressed into a more refined and intricate version of our beginnings, letting vocals take center stage on some tracks, involving different instrumentalists, spending more time on sound design, incorporating facets of unexpected genres wherever we can.”
Following EP releases with College Music and Dust Collectors, the project steadily developed throughout 2019 before signing with LA based label Friends of Friends Music in 2020. ‘Skipping Stones’ EP was released in March, which picked up support on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music.
The creative process towards the album began with the three friends on the rooftop of David’s apartment in Montreal. The warmth of life in Québec nestled in the purity of it’s winter proves to be a necessary tool in the uniqueness of this album. The engulfing warmth of their music is inspired by the lack thereof; this album is meant to kiss the coldest of hearts.
It commences with ‘Dog Years’, a collaborative track with Middle School, whose lyrics read: “Every heart beat like new, we finally found our truth, that everyone is part of you”. ‘Sunday Sketch’ dreams of a cathartic release from isolation and claustrophobic limitations imposed by the pandemic. That escapist theme continues on the hypnotic ‘Terrace Rain’: “Sometimes I like to let my mind lead me to places far away”. A wealth and depth of musical influences, and skill in combining them, is displayed across the album; such as on lo-fi slow jam ‘Tomorrow’ and heartbreaking fireside folk duet ‘It’s Alright’ with Imagiro.
A tone of community and family is struck with a wealth of vocal, instrumental and production contributions across the album that also includes Ryan Hemsworth, Sleepy Fish, Kogane, Naji, Eli Bishop, Santpoort, Aso and Park Bird. They explain “All of the guests on our album are friends of ours.”