Arts & Crafts has announced two new signings to its roster, Vancouver band Belle Game and Montreal’s Jacques Greene.
Belle Game’s signing to the noted Toronto-based label coincided with the premiere of the new single "Yuh" on Apple Music's Beats 1 Takeover hosted by Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew. It was Drew’s previous interaction with the group that helped initiate the link with Arts & Crafts. Back in 2014, he was their mentor when Belle Game attended the Banff Indie Music Residency, and that launched a now close relationship.
Reached by FYI yesterday, Drew explains that “What attracted me to them was their patience with melody. We spent a lot of time together since we met in Banff, and I got into their tunes. They treated their voices and instruments the same so that the result could be a beautiful synchronicity of the two.
"I fell for them as people which made me love their music more. I hope they reach the people who want to embrace a honest connection as opposed to the modern day false connection we get sold daily. Soundtracks to ones life is everything these days and they have written a wonderful one."
Given that Drew is co-founder of Arts & Crafts, the signing of Belle Game to the label is no great surprise. Drew also signed on as executive producer for the band’s next full-length album. Produced by Dave Hamelin of The Stills, it has yet to be given an official release date, but is expected to include “Yuh.”
Formed in Vancouver in 2009, Belle Game has a sound described as “orchestral dark pop,” and it is one that has already found favour internationally. 2013 full-length debut album Ritual Tradition Habit was praised by such publications as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and NewCanadianMusic.
Belle Game previously released their music on Boompa and the hip UK label Bella Union.
They will appear at TURF Festival in Toronto in September, and Arts & Crafts' Jason Burns (now the group's manager) informs us that “tour dates will be announced next week.”
A label press release announcing the signing of Jacques Greene states that “it’s been two long years since we last heard new music from the Canadian artist and producer who quietly helped revolutionize the palette of new dance music with his contemporary R 'n B influences. Now one of dance music’s most enigmatic young talents is set to return with the masterful “You Can’t Deny” – an immediate, bright, soulful, techno track about the beauty of human connections.”
Greene (born Philippe Aubin-Dionne,) started producing tracks in 2010. He has made a mark as a DJ and remixer, reworking tracks from the likes of Radiohead and Katy B. He has also released a series of dance hit singles.