Uncharted is Chart Attack's showcase of independent Canadian artists we think you should hear. This week, prolific wunderkind songwriter Jean-Sebastien Audet, a music veteran at age 18, talks leaving Calgary, the transience of music and his newest album as Un Blonde.
"I'm not about that organized shit. It just doesn't work for me creatively."
Over email, prolific 18-year-old musician Jean-Sebastien Audet seems to value the impulsive, and his solo project Un Blonde agrees. Audet's latest self-release Tenet betrays his Calgary roots with an immediate wave of deep-fried and discordant guitars, salvaged from the first Women record. But the fasteners keeping Un Blonde together are rusty and weak, and send each song into an anxious and colourful hyperventilation reaching far across his home province's chilly borders, riding Audet's straightjacket-bound howl.
Now in Montreal, Audet remembers Calgary as an ideal city for an eager and dedicated young musician. "Growing up in Calgary was the best thing that could have happened to me musically...I'd started playing on the street outside of a coffee shop and would spend that cash at Hot Wax (the record store across the street), where I met Chris Dadge (Lab Coast, Bug Incision)."
With Dadge as guide (and gifter of Audet's first 4-track), Audet began developing more musical outlets. There's dewy Un Blonde sister act Faux Fur, the paisley pop of The You Are Minez, and Zouk Fuck's Tumblr rap, all crafted while sealed away in his parents home, coming out for the occasional gig (one of which was a special showcase of four of Audet's eight bands).
So many stylistic leaps are ordinary for the musician. In fact, he considers Tenet a continuation in that same restless cycle: "I started noticing an interesting correlation between world and contemporary pop, making Tenet somewhat of an exercise in that realm." When I ask him what song he's listening to at the moment, he names Kero Kero Bonito, a PC Music-signed London electro-pop group as sugary as an all frosting diet. It's miles away from Audet's frayed sound, but both share a talent for collapsing ideals and blurring genre that's both compelling and new.
Things have changed in his former city now ("It was that easy to get swept into Calgary music at that time. Doesn't necessarily seem that way anymore.") Perhaps that's partially why Audet considers Tenet such a personal statement: "The album is very representative of specific things that people might have said or did around me, which I'm sure means nothing to those listening."
It probably won't be too long before Audet releases new songs for one musical iteration or another — a collection of tracks recorded during the Tenet sessions is already available. For someone who's spent his formative years exploring his musical depths, it's more than routine: It's DNA.
"I can't think of a time when I wasn't using an instrument to create something I at least believed to be an 'original' song," he says. "Music is so transient to me, I only consider the recordings I make to be real."