The French Rapture EP

by The Quelle Source

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about

As a people, the French are known for their love of love. On the other side of the Atlantic, Philadelphia indie rockers The Quelle Source are tackling something just a little different on their new EP The French Rapture: the full-on, sweeping, epic, and ultimately futile attempts to stop loving someone.

That’s some serious shit, and not easy to accomplish, as anyone who’s loved someone who doesn’t love them back can attest. But this is The Quelle Source, a band that proudly touted the fact that their previous release – debut LP Enjoy the Ridge – contained precisely zero love songs. In other words, the group’s members aren’t about to wallow, and certainly not openly. Their MO: Take those down-and-out lyrics and that depressing song content, mash ’em up against some pretty harmonies, dense reverb, and overdrive, and go to town.

Case in point: Title track “The French Rapture” rides a climbing, catchy-as-all-hell bass line, timely group vocals and sprightly synth work so engagingly that it’s easy to miss the song’s true content – which, of course, concerns a guy not-so-convincingly justifying his decision to cheat on his girlfriend. “I could have sworn that I was a good man / but you have no idea how it feels to be surrounded.” Whoops – nice try, but those aren’t the words of someone who’s sorry.

The b-sides are no less drastic. Drummer Brendan Lafferty’s blisteringly distorted high-hat hits try their damnedest to outmatch singer Kevin Ryan’s layered harmonies on “Never Be Hungry Again” before Dan Wisniewski’s lead vocals enter and growl in caterwaul. The track – a patient, pulsing trip grounded in Dan Comly’s solid keyboard work – is a successful break from the structural and musical norms of a band that sometimes finds it hard to revisit the same musical idea twice in the same song.

The EP concludes with “I Never Saw You Kiss Him,” a plaintive, deceptively simple indie pop song that turns the ruminations inward. The tune ends with a drunken group questioning, en masse, “Shouldn’t we love the people who love us?” – an absurd request borne more out of desperation and fear of facing the unknown than anything else. As the group vocals fade, you can hear Wisniewski say, “Let’s do it again,” only to be met with bewilderment: “What?” “Are you serious?” Those two denials – coincidentally both from women – are a fitting end, especially for an album examining something as ubiquitous, lovely, inescapable and destructive as relationships.

credits

released 27 September 2011

Dan Comly: keyboards
Brendan Lafferty: drums
Kevin Ryan: vocals and guitar
Chris Wafer: bass
Dan Wisniewski: vocals and guitar

"The French Rapture" written by Comly, Lafferty, Ryan, Wafer and Wisniewski. "Never Be Hungry Again" and "I Never Saw You Kiss Him" written by Wisniewski.

"The French Rapture" recorded by Jesse Soifer in The Sweat Lodge, and mixed and mastered by Jesse Soifer at The Sweat Lodge and Cody Cichowski at Milkboy Recording Studios in Ardmore, PA.

"Never Be Hungry Again" and "I Never Saw You Kiss Him" recorded by The Quelle Source and mixed and mastered by Cody Cichowski at Milkboy Recording Studios in Ardmore, PA.

Artwork by The Quelle Source.

Special thanks to Mark Wisniewski for the drum mics and to Chris Wafer for the years of service.

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Track Name: The French Rapture
To whom it may concern,
no I am not sleeping sound
'Cause this friend of a friend
oh, she's creeping up
I never turned my head
from the main event
At least that's what I told you
till I was second guessed

Is this the part where I trade my uniform in?
No not yet
Maybe I never will

I could have sworn that I was a good man,
but you have no idea how it feels to be surrounded
With a flag in my pocket, there's so many planets
it's just too hard to pick
So I pledge allegiance to the one that gets me the farthest

I was only making bee lines for the grand stands
But now I'm waiting for the whistle to signal
when it's time to begin
when it's time to begin
when it's time

Is this the part where I trade my uniform in?
No not yet
Maybe I never will
Track Name: Never Be Hungry Again
You stole my idea, you knocked on me
Scared excess of our tree sans leaves
Raincoat, our hands were opening
and then folding
I am trying
We'll never be hungry again

I took your idea, I sold my home
In lawn chairs I just watched it go
And knowing that there's someone else
living with you
inside my house
We'll never be hungry again
We'll never be hungry again
We'll never be hungry again
Track Name: I Never Saw You Kiss Him
I never saw you kiss him, but I
saw it in my head, and so
I am setting out
to end every friend I've ever had

And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all
And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all

Well, you have two hands
So come on, pick someone up
And erase the withering thoughts
at every unassuming touch

'Cause it sucks you in
and it won't spit you out until all your friends
have gone and found somebody else
"Where did you go?"

And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all
And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all

I know I can stop time if I want
I just have to try and wreck something I love
But it comes back, you see
in an unspoken dream
and simmers so gently
just underneath

And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all
And this is the only way for me to fix myself at all