Lately it seems as though avoiding the buzz surrounding Montreal’s burgeoning underground is just about impossible. From one end of the scene to the next, artists of many genres are starting to get the world excited about Montreal’s music, with players like Gianni Bodo leading the way through bold experimentation. Bodo’s latest single, “Hurricanes and Butterflies (Flowers Don’t Die),” is probably the most eclectic in construction he’s ever released, but thanks to the marvelous duet with Brigitte Pace it boasts, it’s hardly inaccessible to the pop masses. It’s a fantastic addition to his discography, and possibly the best song he’s released post-Fade to Rose.
Brigitte Pace complements the warmth of Gianni Bodo’s singing beautifully, and though this is mostly stylized around the needs of the latter singer, the former definitely fits into the model seamlessly. She’s got so much elegance in her management of the tandem harmony in the chorus, and yet she’s never stealing any of the thunder away from her male counterpart. There’s an equilibrium, a mutual respect if you will, between these two that you can’t force or bring to life through artificial means. Pace and Bodo are on the same page, and that’s a lot harder to find in this industry than some might assume.
There’s not a lot of breathing room in this mix, but I can understand what Bodo was looking to achieve by going with an especially tight arrangement of instruments in “Hurricanes and Butterflies (Flowers Don’t Die).” For one, his adherence to a fairly efficient song structure is a far cry from what many of his American adult contemporary peers have been toying with lately. If the goal was to distinguish himself from the competition, he certainly can’t be accused of doing a halfhearted job in this single at all.
The drums didn’t need quite as much physicality here as they were ultimately afforded, but I suppose it adds to the memorability of the underlying groove in “Hurricanes and Butterflies (Flowers Don’t Die)” just the same. Compositional integrity is clearly something of paramount importance to Gianni Bodo, otherwise I don’t think he would put as much effort into making his music as sonically provocative as he does. This is a good example of what astute songcraft can produce when there’s nothing to come between artist and audience, and moreover, it’s a decent formula Bodo’s young disciples could stand to learn something from.
I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about the Montreal scene in the last few months, and after getting a taste of this latest hit from Gianni Bodo, I understand what all of the mainstream hype has been about. This acclaimed singer/songwriter is punching out some of the swankiest harmonies of the year to date in “Hurricanes and Butterflies (Flower’s Don’t Die),” and alongside Brigitte Pace finds a way to give up one of the best duets I’ve heard in years. There’s still a long road of creative ambitiousness ahead of him, but right now, I think referring to Bodo as one of Montreal’s most promising voices would be more than fair.