Side project of Torquil Campbell, lead singer of Stars.
Memphis’ sophomore LP, A Little Place In The Wilderness, by Stars singer Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont features Metric’s James Shaw (bass, trumpet, drums, mix) and Josh Trager of the Sam Roberts Band (drums).
A Little Place In The Wilderness was recorded in a Vancouver hotel room and at Studio Plateau in Montreal in the depths of winter – which may explain its many references to snow. The album’s first track ‘I Dreamed We Fell Apart,’ is ghostly and hypnotic with its references to winding country roads, dreams and time’s velocity. The song is also an appropriate introduction to a record about ghosts, dreams and the wilderness of the heart. With gentle horns and strings that swell in almost every track, A Little Place In The Wilderness is evocative of innocence and the sprawling daydreams of childhood. Dreamy and foreboding, it is an intricate record from a South-meets-North duo that is the ideal soundtrack to finding a peaceful place amid chaos.
Back in the early 90’s, Chris Dumont, originally from North Carolina, had a fortuitous meeting in New York City with Torquil Campbell. The two formed a band with Campbell’s childhood friends Chris Seligman, James Shaw, and Adam Marvy. Later, Seligman and Campbell formed Canadian sweetheart pop group Stars, Shaw went on to found Metric, and Dumont dreamed his days away to the sounds of the carousel in Central Park.
Over the summer of 2003, Campbell invited Dumont to Vancouver and, quite suddenly, Memphis was born. Campbell, who writes pop songs with a poet’s eye for detail and an actor’s ear for cadence, would weave his words to Dumont’s clean guitar hooks and bossa nova harmonics.
Praised for its swooning guitars, piano melodies and lo-fi soundscapes, Memphis’ debut, I Dreamed We Fell Apart, was described as “a beautifully crafted snapshot of the warmest feelings that come while you’re discovering the world. Delicate whistles are weaved in with lo-fi electronic beats and dreamy keyboards… It captures love in eleven tracks” - Prefix Magazine. Their sound is still swathed in velvety textures, a consonance of dreamy strains of strings and brass, but the beats and synths take a backseat to tender riffs and spirited orchestration, and when the tempo spikes, pop bliss flows forth. Completely overwhelming in scope and texture the new opus is the sound of little epiphanies on a collective consciousness level, suggesting that the duo has found sanctity in “A Little Place In The Wilderness”.