Jun 17, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Ottawa electro rock group Paragon Cause is quickly following on the heels of their 2020 debut record, What We Started, with an ambitious follow-up, their new record, Autopilot. The core duo of Jay Bonaparte and Michelle Opthof are once again joined by Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes as a producer and close collaborator, together crafting a follow-up that expands their horizons and explores new sonic rabbit holes.
The band already has shared their latest exercise in experimental songwriting with “Think I’m Going Crazy Over You (Jupiter Mix),” the first of three disparate interpretations of the same song on Autopilot. For their following single, the band instead went down a different path, sharing their jangly new single “Disconnected,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Disconnected” explores the sunny dream pop side of the band, landing close to the shimmering beauty of early Alvvays and the jangling pop melodies of The Cranberries. The track bursts with sun-soaked summer joy, carried by earworm chord progressions and shimmering synth textures. The lyrics are similarly carefree, all about disconnecting from the stress of life and enjoying a few moments of simple happiness. Though the band largely explores darker, more ethereal soundscapes, “Disconnected” proves they are equally capable of penning radio-ready indie pop brilliance.
Opthof says of the track, “It came from a happy memory of me sitting in a waterfall in Gatineau Park. I had no signal there, in fact, I didn’t even have my phone. I was just soaking up the sun and the fresh air in this amazingly positive space, which is not my normal. I recalled the memory and what I was thinking at the time: ‘why did it take so long for me to come here? Am I allowed to be happy? Yes, it’s okay for me to feel good.’ So, this is sort of my ‘I’m allowed to be happy’ song.”
Bonaparte continues, “Originally this song was called Hideaway and Michelle sang the line, ‘it’s my hideaway and that’s where I’ll stay.’ But we didn’t have the chorus, just the melody and the rhythm for the chorus. So, she and I and our collaborator Sune kept throwing lines out there, and eventually, I said ‘disconnected’ and it just fit. We approached it as almost a California-style rock and roll song because it has some of that sunny, surfer feel to the guitar. It just worked for us, even though it was in the dead of winter when we recorded it.”
Check out the song below and watch for Autopilot, coming this August via Neko Records.