Woozy She-Devils bring catchy retro tunes to T.O.
Duo perform as part of the Camp Wavelength music festival
She-Devils describe themselves as something akin to musical wanderers, picking up sounds and styles from the past and reinterpreting them through samples and the unique and entrancing voice of Audrey Ann Boucher. It’s transportive, visual music that swings and bursts with colour and mood.
Listeners might feel whisked away to a party with Andy Warhol in the ’60s at one moment and an underground electronic music festival the next.
The Montreal band is in town this month as part of Camp Wavelength, a sleepover weekend music festival that was scheduled for the Toronto Islands before torrential spring and early summer rains wreaked havoc on the city’s tiny harbour paradise. The majority of scheduled events will still take place in an as-yet-to-benamed Toronto park, in addition to an overnight event at the Garrison.
“I’ve always seen music from the perspective of an artist or music lover rather than a musician,” she says. “When I sing over a loop, I don’t feel like I’m in control of what I do or that I am cerebrally engaged with making music. It’s more like my subconscious is completely taking over my mind, and it just comes out of my dreams.”
The duo (Boucher along with bandmate Kyle Jukka) started exploring music as part of Montreal’s underground loft scene at the Torn Curtain, the same alternative venue where another Boucher, of the Claire variety, cre-
ated Grimes — the electronic music phenom who scored a massive hit with her last album, Art Angels.
“It was an opportune environment,” says Jukka, who grew up in North York before moving to Uxbridge and on to Montreal. “In our two years there, it was like we were kind of outside the world. It was really cool.”
Here, the two young artists, Jukka and Boucher, started drawing samples of sounds from the past to pair with Boucher’s vocals.
“We were influenced by Annette Funicello, early Madonna, probably right from the beginning,” says Boucher, whose artwork is also used by She-Devils, including the cover of the band’s self-titled debut album. They are also inspired by film of a certain off-kilter esthetic, and have taken to directing their own vintagestyle music videos.
She-Devils released their first EP back in 2016 and have quickly garnered significant acclaim for their rhythmic and infectious sound, familiar and approachable but unique enough to set them apart from the crowd.
The band played in this past winter’s Wavelength event, and are back this month for Camp Wavelength.
In addition to She-Devils, the festival also includes acts such as the Luyas, Deerhoof, Jessy Lanza and Rich Aucoin among many others. Festival venues now include the Garrison, a boat cruise, the Great Hall and a park. For the full rundown, go to www.wavelengthmusic.ca.
Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka are She-Devils