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Corridor Enter A New Exploratory Sonic Era With Mimi

The Montreal art rock post punks are back with a fully evolved sound.

by Stephan Boissonneault

Montreal art rock post-punks, Corridor, have been a hugely impactful collective for the alternative music scene in Quebec and Canada as a whole, musically inspiring other groups to push those classic post-punk guitar sounds into the stratosphere. Being the only Francophone group ever signed to Sub Pop in 2019, whenever Corridor has a new project, there’s always an expectation, at least among their Quebecois fanbase, that it will be nothing short of extraordinary. So this new fourth album, Mimi, has much to live up to, especially since their last release, Junior (Sub Pop/Bonsound), was a relatively timeless concoction of the band’s classic sounds. 

Mimi takes that angsty guitar-centric sound from Junior and cloaks it under a bunch of subtle and calculated electronic-styled mayhem, no doubt thanks to the addition of multi-instrumentalist Samuel Gougoux, a star in the Montreal experimental music scene. Gougoux has already been playing live with the touring band, but is now a full-fledged member of Corridor’s writing and recording process. 

Mimi feels like a more refined and matured Corridor—songs like “Mon Argent,” “Jump Cut” and “Chenil” still have that bright, psychedelic halcyon guitar and echoey vocal style, but the band really pick their moments to unleash the madness. As much as I loved Junior, there were a lot of passages that got somewhat lost in the experimental post punk guitar sauce, so it sometimes made it difficult to listen to in multiple instances. This doesn’t happen on Mimi, even during the expansive pop dirge “Mourir Demain.” There are also so many fleeting moments I felt myself listening for on the second listen, like the underwater acoustic arpeggios in the closer “Pellicule,” or the elevator pitch keyboard line in “Porte Ouverte.” 

Mimi is a fantastic addition to the Corridor universe, a sophisticated and fresh recording that has the band taking every feature that makes them special and systematically enhancing them. Ten years into their careers, Corridor is far from finished, with Mimi signaling a new exploration era for the Montreal art rock adepts.