Beliefs make dreampop for that moment just before the lights come up. The work of Toronto duo Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe, their interplaying harmonies and fuzzed-out shoegazey riffs have a generous swoon but with lightly frayed edges that catch enough to keep you slipping into a daydream. It's twisted enough to give you pause, but shines brightly enough to make you want to sing along too.
Beliefs' lush new album is released today on Hand Drawn Dracula/No Pain In Pop. A highlight is 'Strangers', a brilliant Psychocandy-ish fuzzpop song where Jesse happily declares "we'll never fall in love", while on single 'Catch My Breath' Jesse and Josh's vocals knottily interplay in a unplaceably nostalgic chorus that could have soundtracked a film you cried at once. You can stream the album exclusively on Dazed Digital, and we caught up with Jesse from her home in Toronto to find out more about the release.
Dazed Digital: If you had to pick a moment on your debut record that you're the most proud of, what would it be?
Jesse Crowe: I'm incredibly proud of my gong playing in 'Gallowsbird'. Well worth the hassle.
DD: I heard that you give some pretty rad haircuts?
Jesse Crowe: I'm actually still a full time stylist, I own a salon with my good friend Emily called Lebel and Crowe. It's incredibly time consuming having two jobs that you actually really love and take great pride in, but well worth it. I could never work for anyone else again. Josh owns a business as well, Candle Recording Studios, so he's also forced to constantly balance his two lives.
DD: I feel fairly familiar with the Montreal music scene, but not so much about Toronto. What's your experience?
Jesse Crowe: Toronto is the Factory to Montreal's Circus. Be it the arts, music, or general life, people here move at a quick no bullshit pace. Some people thrive on the busy energy, and some people need the 'do whatever' relaxed vibe of Montreal. I love both cities very much.
As far as local talent goes, Toronto has a lot to choose from. My favorites being Elsa (One Big Silence), Moon King (One Big Silence) Odonis Odonis (Daps), Metz (Sub Pop), Rituals (One Big Silence), Decades (White Girl), Mauzoleum, Dusted (Hand Drawn Dracula). Toronto is pretty supportive these days. Canada in general has a bit of an underdog vibe so we are always willing to help each other out.
DD: The video for 'Violets' presents a kind of vision of getting away from it all. Are you more country or town people?
Jesse Crowe: I'm a city person, even a town is too freaky for me. I am from the prairies, Saskatchewan, and while there is a calming element to the miles of wheat, I also find the vastness terrifying.
DD: There's a song called 'Mitte' on the album. Is it named after the area in Berlin?
Jesse Crowe: Mitte is in fact where I stayed the first time I was in Berlin. It's where my favourite bar in the world is. It's called 8mm and I met some of my favourite people there. I found the city so inspiring that I couldn't help but include a little love song for it on the record.
DD: In your imagery there's a lot of fog, and your LP comes out on smokey vinyl. Why all the obscuring?
Jesse Crowe: There is a lot of comfort in being hidden behind a wall of smoke, the same way as it's easier to be lyrically honest behind a wall of guitar noise.
DD: How did you meet your bandmate Josh, and do you ever argue?
Jesse Crowe: We met at our former bassist's birthday party. We started talking about musical influences and aspirations and decided on the spot to write together. Josh and I argue all the time, we play together and live together. Our lives are so intertwined that it actually doesn't matter if we argue because we get over it in minutes, brother and sister style. We were born 5 days apart.
DD: What's the weirdest place you've ever played a show?
Jesse Crowe: I think the weirdest is to come. We are playing a private rich person members only club tomorrow.... so....
DD: Which album can you sing along to word-perfect, from start to finish?
Jesse Crowe: Psychocandy.
DD: What's the best piece of knitwear you own?
Jesse Crowe: My lucky sweater has a cartoon wolf and cub on it. It's grey and it's XXL.