Guitar Crush Go…
Last year Paragon Cause delivered the raw, alluring quality of What We Started (see Wavegirl review), an album given a bigger profile with a special European release via the AnalogueTrash label.
The mesmerising combination of twilight electronics and guitar riffs demonstrated that the Ottawa-based alt-rock outfit of Michelle Opthof and Jay Bonaparte could engage listeners with a combo of evocative moments and bittersweet reveries. The album’s standout moments included the dreampop sensibility of ‘Lost Cause’ and the chugging drive of the euphoric ‘Without You’.
Their latest release shows that the duo (working once again with producer Sune Rose Wagner) are on top form with a shimmering gem of a track. The fledgling concept for ‘Making Up For Lost Time’ had been given a boost by Wagner’s suggestion to “combine the feeling of a Jesus and Mary Chain song with some song structure used by The Everly Brothers.”
“We spent the night listening to Bananarama to really try to get the idea for a chorus in our mind and get into a unique mindset” adds the band, discussing the song’s curious genesis.
The inspiration behind the track pulls from the idea of taking the time to do something while the opportunity is there. Or as the band put it: “If you spend your life playing it safe and not taking chances are you going to regret it?” Although the song’s use of the idea plays around with relationships and lost chances, it also taps into Paragon Cause’s own pre-history of years spent not chasing their dreams (before someone managed to convince them to get back on track). But perhaps more appropriately, the duo view the song as casting a gaze into a post-Covid future.
The final result is a stunning number that hits like an emotional tidal wave. From the opening couplet, there’s something raw and real about Michelle Opthof’s vocal delivery:
I hope that you are happy
Almost to the point it makes me
Think that I could take a chance with you
Meanwhile, the fuzzy layers of guitars give the entire composition a warm, immersive vibe that’s tough to shake off.
“We want people to either sit in their car or put on some headphones and close their eyes” comments Bonaparte on the latest release, “We want people to hear the song and remember what it was like living the last year and then feel the sense of optimism as life will start to come back to us. By the end of the song, we want people excited to begin the next chapter in their lives. It is meant to be a glimmer of hope through the long fog of isolation, whether it be from a past relationship or life.”
‘Making Up For Lost Time’ arrives ahead of a planned new album from Paragon Cause. On the basis of this new release, it suggests that this could be a good year for the Canadian outfit.
Making Up For Lost Time is out now.