Last year the Montreal rock band Corridor released Junior, their third and most urgent full-length to date. Now singer/guitarist Jonathan Robert is gearing up to release his sophomore effort under the moniker Jonathan Personne. Today he shares the first single, “Springsteen,” an undulating and nostalgic cut that centers Robert’s atmospheric vocals (delivered in French) and hazy guitar work.
“I always found that music takes many forms, colors, textures, the same way a painting would—it’s very graphic in my imagination,” Robert tells American Songwriter of his visual approach to songwriting. “Music can tell stories, where every song combined together becomes part of a narrative, part of the bigger picture, and complement each other to create a particular universe on its own.”
Robert’s forthcoming album, Disparitions, will arrive later this summer. It comes after his self-released 2019 debut, Histoire naturelle, which saw the Montreal artist drawing on indie rock, dream pop, and post-punk in eleven sauntering tracks (including a handful of shorter interludes).
“As I was working on Disparitions, the idea of a foggy Western movie came to life in my mind,” says Robert of his forthcoming album. “It’s a place where the classic rock impulses always have a joyful sadness to them.”
You can hear that joyful sadness in “Springsteen,” but you can also hear it throughout Histoire naturelle, which Robert has previously said was inspired by “the potential end of the world.”
“I know when I compose melodies it’s kind of obvious to me [what] doesn’t stick to a Corridor song, so I better keep it to myself,” he told CJLO last February. “Even when I’m jamming with Corridor, there’s some riffs I get my bandmates [to say] ‘keep that for yourself.’”
“I think sometimes it makes me more appreciative of my relationships with my mates in Corridor,” Robert said in the same interview, reflecting on his solo project. “I think it’s really hard to have a whole project on your shoulders, and it becomes really exhausting at the end. So that’s why it took me four years [to release my solo debut]—I didn’t want to have that much pressure. It made me realize that it’s nice to have a great team too. Both are really interesting aspects and I love both, but you really need to choose with [whom] you work.”
Disparitions will be released through Montreal indie label Michel Records, also home to the likes of Halo Maud, Laure Briard, Debate Club, and Bleu Nit. But “Springsteen” calls to mind fellow Michel labelmate Alex Nicol’s All for Nada (released in March with Anniversary)—another laidback, lo-fi dispatch from Montreal’s underground indie rock scene.