Bio

What is it about? De la poussière orange à la neige opalescente is David’s star sixth point. It’s rust’s dust from Minas Gerais, Brazil’s savannah through snowdrifts, littering up the streets of Côte-des-Neiges / Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in Montreal. It’s a lucky meeting with a soul mate, at a Sebadoh concert, at Sala Rossa in August 2012. It’s stress and anxiety that sometimes eat away our lives off their essences. It’s painful separations and scars they sometimes leave on our bodies… It’s about the Fermi paradox, sexsomnia and the 80s American film industry. It’s about the complexity of father and son’s relationship and refusal to obey any authority. It’s about midsummer, cycling in Montreal, Lake Simon and Ipanema. It’s about a 15 year old cat, emotional dependence and new friendships. It’s about Caetano, Gil and Gal. It’s about death, death and death… But first and foremost… It’s about embers that never cease to consume our existence until the very end…

David and the Woods is specifically David Dugas Dion, singer-songwriter advocating a traditional approach, mostly homemade and DIY. Since 2003, he runs Cuchabata Records, an independent music label based originally in Valleyfield and now based in Montreal, Canada. David and the Woods is also Maxime Deschênes (also in Amantani) on bass and François Dubé (also in Pop Goes) on drums.

Press

Album: David et le bois (2013)

Late in 2013, a few satyrs chose to show their hairy backs to the English language while playing their flutes for a relocated fauna. David and the Woods are some of those tricksters, hiking uphill over ten years of invisible trails to their original lair, only to reflect on themselves and re-emerge as David et les bois. Their meticulousy crafted odes, synthesizing Dyonisian grunge and Orphic folk, are largely paying their toll to the ferryman. Here we are, startled souls, rushing to these restored shores, from the pond where antique reveries of love and dismemberment get played, to the tree hiding its fruits from the ones hungry for meaning. The secret of David’s reconstructed skin oozes in its roots. As they intermingle together, suggesting everything but a sterile prodigal son’s tomb, they spring up again as a ubiquitous rhizome.Benoit Arcand, Weird Canada, March 12, 2014
Having made a close study of Montreal (by way of Valleyfield) musician/band David and the Woods on their shreddingly psych’ed out 2011 album The Peace Den , I expected some growth and adventurousness on his next offering. This (kind of) eponymous release does so in spades while tightening up production and focus. All the songs breathe easily and breezily, impeccable harmonies floated atop some Prekop – worthy summer jams. There’s lots of clean guitar pop which turns in ever-surprising ways from jangly Apples In Stereo vibes on opener “Scaphandre” to the Meddle – era Floyd drifty opener of “Je Suis Mort”. The tunes are sublimely balanced, well taped and unified for all their ingratiating bedroom and jamspace flavor. The album moves through many well-curated moments, intimate acoustic boy/girl harmonies on the Brazilian Portuguese ode “Alma Leve”, catchy centerpiece hooks of “Feu Follet” or the all out GBV rocker of “Terradestruction”. There is a gorgeous hue to this album, a very conscious shading and nuance that draws equal inspiration from Rick White era Can-rock as it does the angelic harmonic layering of Harmonium. The fresh and off the floor vibe of the release as a whole was no small task, considering all the instruments on the recording are played by David himself. A stunning and deep new album from a real musical talent. Matt Lee, The Big Takeover, November 20, 2013

Après bon nombre de parutions de tout acabit – allant de l’album d’excellentes reprises Satory (2008) au très rock alterno «Sebadohesque» bilingue The Peace Den (2011) – essentiellement en anglais, le versatile troubadour David Dugas Dion se glisse la langue de Molière bien profond dans le gosier et livre David & Les Bois, une oeuvre intrigante et imprévisible. Alliant des inclinations prononçées pour le rock dit «nineties» (Scaphandre) ainsi qu’un intérêt marqué pour un folk psychédélique que Serge Fiori ne renierait pas (Je suis mort), Dion propose un disque aussi touffu que «low-fi». Un chouette trip! Les mélomanes appréciant The Besnard Lakes, les projets de Lou Barlow, voire Navet Confit, devraient tendre l’oreille. André Péloquin, Voir, 5 novembre 2013

Le 8 novembre prochain, David and the Woods fera déjà paraître son sixième album studio. Ce projet solo de David Dugas-Dion (qui fait aussi partie de la formation Crabe) allie des éléments de grunge, de noise et de country; l’ensemble couché sur un folk légèrement psychédélique. Voici que Dugas-Dion lance David et les bois. Sans être révolutionnaire, le son de David and the Woods a quelque chose de chaud et réconfortant qui s’accorde bien avec la température fraîche des mois d’automne. Son nouvel opus offre quelques pièces intéressantes et des mélodies accrocheuses. Par contre, on peut dénoter aussi une certaine linéarité après quelques écoutes. Scaphandre entame avec merveille la nouvelle galette de Dugas-Dion; inflexions vocales légèrement nonchalantes, petit côté dream-pop qui suinte les herbes médicinales. Par la suite, le refrain vient fracasser le tout avec une distorsion parfaite et une mélodie accrocheuse/entraînante. Possédés poursuit dans la même veine avec des motifs de guitare charmants et une distorsion qui vient saloper le morceau au moment du refrain. On y reconnaît des sonorités qu’on retrouve chez Crabe sans toutefois être dans la même hyperactivité nerveuse et agressive. Dugas-Dion montre aussi son talent pour les progressions sonores intelligentes. Partant d’une sobriété notable au début de Sempiternelle, on le voit ajouter une à une les couches pour finalement construire une pièce fournie et imposante. Le musicien flirte aussi avec le country sur Brûle-Gueule qui donne envie de sortir ses bottes, son lasso… OK, je m’emporte! Par contre, à force d’écoute, on a l’impression que les variations sur l’album ne sont pas suffisamment grandes pour nous garder constamment captifs et on se fait surprendre par l’ambiance aérienne de certaines pièces. C’est dommage, car Dugas-Dion nous offre des pièces de qualités. N’en demeure pas moins que si vous aimez le folk légèrement à côté de la track, David and the Woods est une formation à garder en tête et à écouter. Vous y trouverez le travail d’un compositeur bourré de talent. Louis-Philippe Labrèche, Le Canal auditif, 7 novembre 2013

 

Album: Félin / David and the Woods (2012)

Having already given scads of appreciation to the awesome psych/shoegaze project “David and The Woods”:http://www.bigtakeover.com/recordings/david-and-the-woods-the-peace-den-cuchabata I was pretty chuffed to grab a copy of this new collab between Philippe Guérin and Cuchabata honcho David Dugas Dion. Quite simply, two acoustic guitars, two voices and two powerful songwriters meshing their styles perfectly on this limited run CD. There doesn’t seem to be an online version, so I’ll have to link a live session for youse. Earnest without being insipid, these songs are transportive and enveloping, alternating English and French lyrics and carrying with them a timelessness. Little strands of Simon & Garfunkel, a touch of Harmonium and maybe a little CSNY at work. I can’t overemphasize how good these guys’ voices sound together, they harmonize effortlessly, as if they were siblings. The songs tumble by, warming the soul like a good hickory log fire. It’s a really hard task making bare-bones acoustic music sound fresh and not tedious and overwrought. Restraint really works for them and underlines the songs with a toughness that the likes of Iron & Wine can pull off effortlessly. An absolute classic that I wish every one could get their hand on. Lead track “Ma Soeur Ma Soeur” should be played on repeat for a night while some of the re-workings of D&TW songs from The Peace Den are pure gold. Matt Lee, The Big Takeover

 

Album: The Peace den (2011)

Valleyfield transplants David Dugas Dion and Martin Höek have achieved a certain ubiquity since moving to the “big city” of Montreal in the last year. A stunning ability with a wide swath of musical genres, from the blazing improv shit-core of Brutal Gooch to the seething time-bending math punk of Crabe to the ear-lickingly pretty and heartrending songsmithery of David and the Woods , it seems this duo are everywhere at all times, spewing great music like twin volcanoes. In the form of David and the Woods, David (Dugas Dion) is the main protagonist, Martin bashes out on the drums and they are joined by bass wielder Jessica Robidoux and psych-guitar wizard Jérôme Deroo . Together, these four fearsome francophones create an alchemical bond that spins old genres into incredibly compelling golden filaments. Uncluttered, indelicate and immediately engaging, the 10 songs on the latest release by D&TW seem planted firmly in a My Bloody Valentine plot, yet their roots and branches extend widely and magnificently. Unfettered by the ear-tiring murk that seems to bog down most neo-shoegaze projects, there is a sparkliness to much of the tunage here that offset the obligatory giant-sounding distortion slabs. “Fantôme d’automne” for example bears some righteous harmonies, bringing to mind …Cinquieme Saison -era Harmonium with a skein of Wilco -esque chording and effortlessly surprising structure that evokes childhood-blue sky and teenage road trips. The joyfulness continues through reveries like “Building a Home”, suddenly turning to a riff-heavy Sabbathy krautrock jam on the title track “The Peace Den”. From there we whiplash into a total fucking gem, an instant classic of psych garage punk (Oh that fuzz! Perfection!) on “Ensemble Dans Mes Veines”. It’s just endless, how much joy and life crackles out of these songs.. referents are inevitable (even a sort of Jerry Rafferty/Grateful Dead vibe pops up on “The Mourning”) but like most good bands these days, David and the Woods have the skill to weave a tight new cloth from the myriad influences at their fingertips. Because they sing a portion of their songs in french, I fear they might be stuck in the novelty corner with the trailblazing Queebs Malajube and Karkwa . David and the Woods, to this writer, have some sort of intimate and immediate appeal that I think even lacks from the aforementioned. The songs are graspable and tailored to sound-tracking the good parts of your life, evoking every heart-lifting and sunny open road you ever drove down. Put The Peace Den in your crappy car stereo and GO. Matt Lee, The Big Takeover, 16 February 2011
The peace den est le cinquième album de David and the Woods, mené par le compositeur et multi-instrumentiste David Dugas Dion, qui éprouve un amour évident pour le folk et le grunge. Donné sur le web depuis déjà quelque temps, le LP vient d’aboutir sur vinyle. Une révolution? Pas vraiment. Nombreux sont les artistes à offrir de telles sonorités, qui lorgnent à la fois le folk, le psychédélisme, le grunge et le rock bruyant. David and the Woods réussit malgré tout à se démarquer en y insérant des portions vocales d’une grande justesse, qui n’agacent en aucun moment l’oreille. Il fait ainsi la démonstration que l’on peut être adepte de mélodies échevelées sans pour autant être brouillon à tous les égards. J’ai surtout accroché positivement aux extraits en français. Les mots y coulent agréablement bien. On s’y aventure ou pas? Évidemment qu’on s’y aventure. Et une fois l’escapade terminée, on y retourne! Je prendrais seulement davantage de textes dans la langue de Félix Leclerc. Vraiment, c’est là que ça se passe. Une écoute « paisible » de Philippe Renault. Philippe Renault, Bande à part, 7 octobre 2011

 

Album: Forever Sleeping (2008)

Three years on since Les Archipels de L’Océanie, a little homemade surprise that fell into my hands, and David (Dugas Dion) is still climbing the four-track trees and dropping down ripe CD-Rs. Forever Sleeping keeps his existing indie flames (Eric’s Trip, Sonic Youth) glowing but now only as a background flicker to his own brighter light. Openers “Nomad” and “Lévitation” may be borrowed from the Rick White playbook but “Flowing Out,” with its sweet vocal harmony and gradually building guitar layers, sounds like a Posies song hijacked by timber wolves. The variety of stringed instruments (banjo, lap steel and sitar) allow subtle but potent shifts in mood. Tracks like “Tired” and “Marry You” flirt with “wood, wires” territory then “Forever Home” fills up on the “whiskey.” Fans of David’s tendency for space travel won’t be disappointed either, as the mid-album title track and nearly 20-minute closer “Death” propel them into a very loud void that is increasingly filled with low-end guitar distortion. In fact, pretty much anything a heartsick indie veteran might want is here. For us, Forever Sleeping is the kind of love letter we keep hoping for. (Cuchabata) Eric Hill, Exclaim magazine

 

Album: Les Archipels de L’Océanie (2005)

From the bedroom “wilds” of Valleyfield, QC David Dugas-Dion records and releases music reminiscent of the early ’90s indie four-track boom. He nails both the distortion pedal chug-a-longs of Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr. and the spacey psychedelic noise breakdowns of Eric’s Trip/Elevator. Despite his one-man-band approach, Dugas-Dion achieves a full ensemble vibe admirably, using sloppy-handed real drums rather than a machine to advantage rather than impediment. The handmade approach, leaving unpolished surfaces and rough edges, is a nice break from the dearth of studio quality but passion-free home recordings. Occasional field recordings serve as backgrounds, breaking down a wall into outer space. And speaking of outer space, a love for it shows through in his lengthier instrumental freak outs like “Grass” and “Space-Time Satori,” which possess echoes of early Bevis Frond workouts. Like many CD-R self releases, there is a little forgivable filler, but it ultimately brackets the album’s strengths that are its mid-length distortion laced songs marked by sudden breaks and changes. May the suburban bedrooms rise again! (Silentstagnation) Eric Hill, Exclaim magazine