Alien8 Recordings is pleased to present You’ll Never Be Well No More by Molasses on Fancy, a first release from one of the most eclectic, enigmatic musical ensembles in Montreal — a city renowned as a center for daring experimental music and notorious as the dilapidated home of beautiful losers. This recording captures the energy, despair, beauty and chaos of that atmosphere.
This is music made in a place where pitch and dissonance meet — lyric-based music in which song and structure occur amidst a kind of improvised instrumental anarchy. It’s been variously described as: a polyphonic soundtrack to a suicide… slow and droning… haunted, sinister and frightening… sad and ethereal… One player in Montreal’s avant-garde jazz community calls Molasses the only band in a musical genre he’s dubbed folk-actuelle — a genre fusing traditional North American folk aesthetics with the free ethos of musique actuelle. Molasses’ influences include electro-acoustics, rural country and blues, hobo composition, contemporary noise, trash punk, abstract jazz and street poetry. But for everything which informs it, the music is a unique and unusual invention from a group of musicians at the vanguard of underground music in Montreal.
Molasses has become well-known locally over the past 16 months for intimate, elaborate live performances, with seven core members playing more than a dozen instruments: guitars, banjos, oud, organs, piano, upright bass, cello, violin, drums, scrap-metal, saws, accordion and harmonica. Shows are eerily candlelit and often include silent film projections. An ongoing free concert series, one which included a midnight mass and soup kitchen on Christmas Day 1998, consistently draws over-capacity crowds to Montreal’s infamous Bar Miami. Molasses has played with Smog, godspeed you black emperor! (with whom it shares members), Sackville, Wooden Stars, the Eyesores and Fly Pan Am.
You’ll Never Be Well No More was recorded and mixed at the mighty Hotel2Tango, a loft space used by Molasses and godspeed as a place to rehearse, record and perform. Five original compositions precede 13 minutes of silence before the hidden track — a chilling 8 1/2 minute version of Skip James’ Sickbed Blues — begins. The album is available as a limited edition CD in elegant packaging designed and hand-built by band members. A 16-page booklet, silk-screened in silver-on-gray, is bound by fine black card-stock and twine and slips into a custom over-size envelope.