Nov 08, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Alex Brazeau
Montreal-based lo-fi dream pop outfit Afternoon Bike Ride lives up to their name perfectly, calling forth a lush audio diary written via strands of folk, ambient music, field recordings, and pop bliss. The band debuted in 2019 with their sugarbloom, and followed last year with their self-titled debut LP, Afternoon Bike Ride.
Early next year, they are back with their latest record, glossover, which they announced with their lead single, “For The Breakdowns.” Today they’ve shared two new singles from the album, “When We Were The Same” (feat. Oyeme) and “Not Ideal,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Both of the band’s latest tracks hit on a brilliantly arranged combination of chilled ambient touches, winding acoustics, and intimate production, yet both also end in very different modes. “When We Were The Same” turns to the past, longing for a lost loved one and sifting through the memories. The track steadily unravels into an ambient midpoint before exploding outward in a burst of distorted power chords, hitting a towering cathartic climax.
In contrast, “Not Ideal” slides into a persistent alluring groove as front-person Lia Kurihara explores her complicated feelings about caretaking for her father following his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It’s a startlingly intimate portrait, depicting both her grief and her search for meaning and purpose amidst the pain Fittingly, the climax to “Not Ideal” is more subtle and contemplative, with the band locking together in a gorgeous acapella harmony to draw the track to a close.
Lia Kurihara reflects on the singles, saying of “When We Were The Same”:
“Oyeme and David [Tanton] started the lyrics for this track speaking on a lost relationship and the memories associated with it. We tend to hold on even when we know it’s over, relishing in past times from when we felt deeply connected. I jumped on for the second verse and a variation of the chorus. Though it’s written about a romantic relationship, in a way the chorus lyrics also reflect longing for a lost loved one of any type (platonic/familial included). The idea of memory and past relics lace throughout, which I think helped me relate from the angle of my father’s personhood slowly drifting further away.
David and Oyeme started this demo with Éloi [Le Blanc-Ringuette] adding synth work throughout. David played that power chord progression that comes in at 2:27 on his acoustic (ba da da dam) and we knew it would be the perfect opportunity to build into an emo scream outro. We set up a mic in the middle of the living room and placed ourselves all around it, including Tom. Screaming at the top of our lungs together turned into a pretty cathartic bonding moment for all of us. Sometimes you’ve just gotta let it out.”
She continues, saying of “Not Ideal”:
“This speaks on how I’m trying my best to figure stuff out along the way and taking caregiving day by day because that’s all I can do. These lyrics were a big collaborative effort between Genevieve Ryan-Martel and I with David and Eloi pitching in as well, all of us were able to inform the lyrics since we were hanging out so closely with my dad while at the chalet.
This one started from a jam session at the cabin with Geneviève. Gen started playing a really lovely drum groove and everything came together very fast afterwards with David and Gen playing guitar and bass and Éloi running the session. Everyone added a thick chorus of vocals at the end of the song to thicken and give the proper weight to the song we felt it needed.”
Check out both songs below, out everywhere now. The band’s sophomore album, glossover is out February 10th via Friends of Friends.