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Music

Breakglass to Breakout - The Breezes (finally) launch debut album

Posted by Emily Hill / December 14, 2012

The Breezes

The Breezes' James Benjamin might be the nicest person on the planet.

When he talks to you, head cocked to one side, he listens intently, hardly blinking. He's got giant brown eyes - and on Tuesday night at Sala Rossa - a perpetual smile. After three years of performances, tours, and laborious mastering, Benjamin and bandmates Jeremy Cantor, Matthew Oppenheimer, Daniel Leznoff, and Adam Feingold officially launched their debut album.

After two contemplative sets from Suite and CFCF,everyone talked in low tones. The mood felt dreamy and warm under the Sala chandeliers. The occasion assembled a variety of fans across different Montreal scenes, plus a sprinkle of parents and siblings. The Breezes' ability to bring together such a diverse crowd is a marriage of two important factors. First, their music is great. Beautiful, accessible, and well-built, it can be appreciated no matter your musical preference. And secondly, because these guys are so damn nice. Benjamin, who is also co-owner and sound engineer at Breakglass Studios, is thoughtful and attentive in everything he does. He took care to circle the room before taking the stage, talking to each friend and family member. This sincerity manifests in his music, his stage presence, and the shared energy in the room.

"I draw a lot of energy from the crowd. I looked out tonight and saw they were with me. It made me jump around more, strum the guitar harder. We really worked hard to prepare for this performance. It felt really important to us," he said.

On stage The Breezes were bubbly and smiley, exchanging nods and winks. They stopped to thank the audience profusely after each song. Their set was short - "Last one? You're kidding me!" a fan cried - but dense in sound and energy. Benjamin and Feingold jockied between the keys, synth, guitar and vocals. Their live sound was beautifully balanced, always leaving enough room for each element. As a listener, I really appreciated the time to relish each musician's contribution, before they stepped back into the round cohesive sound. The Breezes conjure an archetypal rock n' roll that feels familiar and warm - but is just weird and quirky enough to be continually surprising.

"We define it as 'psychedelic rock for now' because it takes advantage of all the opportunities you have a modern studio, with modern instruments and modern concepts," Benjamin said. "We're not living in the past, but there's no question that the music has a classic sound. We're informed by that classic era of rock n' roll, but we're not pretending that we don't live in the year 2012."

The band has been working on the album since 2009. Between touring, day jobs, and James' prolific work at Breakglass, the band cobbled together studio hours in their rare downtime. Three years of anticipation must be a lot of pressure? Benjamin disagreed. "I would call it more relief," he said. "It feels really good to get it off our chests. Now we can move forward from here."

the_breezes3.jpg

La Sala Rossa 12/11/12

Listen here: thebreezes.ca
Concert photo courtesy of The Radio Station

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