Despite the variety within Montreal’s thriving music scene, it’s generally possible to fit its chief exports into a few loosely defined sub-groupings: the guitar-focused, psych-inflected jangle of Mac DeMarco, Sheer Agony and Homeshake, for instance, or the introspective soft pop of Sean Nicholas Savage and TOPS, or the weirdo take on Top 40 of Grimes and Mozart’s Sister.
However, on his debut LP, Fuck You Im Dead, Montreal’s ¡FLIST! carves out a sound that resists comparison with his contemporaries in Montreal or almost anywhere else. Expanding on the apocalyptic creep of his early singles and EPs, the album plays like an uneasy compromise between John Carpenter/Dario Argento-soundtrackers Goblin, and Birthday Party-era Nick Cave: a series of foreboding interludes punctuated by bursts of frenetic energy.
While it’s presented with a degree of theatricality, the album feels like an almost uncomfortably personal document, one that is primarily a reflection on anxiety. It took almost eight years to make, and according to ¡FLIST!'s Charlie Twitch it serves as a sort of compendium of his emotional states over that period:
"I feel like I grew up reading about bands that just pop into a studio and a record is magically made over a weekend and have had that hanging over my head for the last decade while I slowly pieced ¡FLIST! together. Everything on Fuck You Im Dead is a reaction to something in my life, and led to its completion representing some kind of monument to my depression and anxiety that I've just been chipping away at over the years. This was supposed to be so much more elaborate and last spring I decided it was taking way too long, changed the title, prepared it for cassette and just closed my eyes and let go."