The Sea­sons

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Mid­night, Let’s Get a Hot­dog

It’s been a busy year for Hu­bert Lenoir. The 24-year-old artist shared his star­tlingly ad­ven­tur­ous de­but al­bum, Dar­lène, (a “post­mod­ern­opera,” in Lenoir’s own words), seized at­ten­tion with a force­ful per­for­mance on Que­be­cois tal­ent show La Voix (in­clud­ing flash­ing a fleur-de-lis- tat­ted rear), and his al­bum ranked amongst this year’s Po­laris Mu­sic Prize short­list nom­i­nees. Per­haps it is no sur­prise, then, that Lenoir might want a bit of a break: to take stock of where he has been and where he might go from here. With the un­til-now un­re­leased Mid­night, Let’s Get a Hot­dog, the col­lec­tive of Hu­bert and his brother Julien (along with drum­mer Rémy Bélanger and bassist Sa­muel Re­naud) share a doc­u­ment of this re­flec­tion, a won­der­fully ef­fort­less tes­ta­ment to be­gin­nings lined with psych, glam and spirit.

If Lenoir’s de­but Dar­lène cre­ated a shapeshift­ing world of lurid, bound­less pop — the mu­si­cal equiv­a­lent of a Xavier Dolan film — Mid­night, Let’s Get a Hot­dog shows that world in ge­n­e­sis. Mixed in just 11 days by the late Richard Swift, the Sea­sons draw their mu­si­cal ori­en­ta­tion from the di­shev­elled rock of the ’70s, laced with a pop sen­si­bil­ity. There’s the thud­ding ec­stasy of opener “The Amer­i­can Way to Dream,” which finds Lenoir sink­ing his teeth into life, lib­erty and the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness (“I’m the creami­est of the cream!” he shouts), as well as the “Gimme Shel­ter”-es­que sprawl of lead sin­gle “Junk.” While cer­tainly tra­di­tional in a sense, these campy ap­prox­i­ma­tions

at genre tropes read as play­ful rather than de­riv­a­tive, lean­ing into the very nos­tal­gic ideal that the record lam­poons. Through this, we get a glimpse of Lenoir’s bud­ding sen­si­bil­ity for uni­verse and nar­ra­tive build­ing, shap­ing the record’s own kind of in­ter­nal fever logic: “Tan­ger­ine” tells of Julien’s “drink­ing a whole lot of tan­ger­ine, ten­der leaf,” while al­bum high­light “Fam­ily Tree” laments “I want to run for pres­i­dent, but I’m too short!” It’s a weird and won­der­ful land­scape, bound to­gether by the Sea­sons’ abil­ity to find a thread of rea­son in the un­rea­son­able.

Far from a snap­shot of an artist’s grow­ing pains, Mid­night, Let’s Get a Hot­dog is a com­plex and joy­ful record in its own right. While for now the Sea­sons seem to be look­ing back, one can’t help but imag­ine all that still lies ahead. (Si­mone)

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