Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion never intended on forming a new band. Now known as Memoryhouse, they’ve become exactly that. With the release of their debut album, The Slideshow Effect, the duo has combined their individual interests (composing for Abeele and photography for Nouvion) to make a terrific debut. But there’s more to the story than a guy and girl making an album.
Hailing from Guelph (for those of you who don’t know, that’s in southern Ontario), the dream-pop outfit formed in 2007 not as a band, but as a multimedia art project. Since Abeele is a music composer and Nouvion a photographer/videographer, the initial plan was for his music to provide the musical accompaniment to her photographs and short films.
The name Memoryhouse was inspired by an album by German composer/artist Max Richter. Shortly after discovering what they found to be a groundbreaking album, the twosome set out plans to record and conceptualize their sound, and eventually recorded a homemade EP. The sounds that came from these sessions was a different brand of ambient dream-pop. Nouvion’s soothing vocals complemented Abeele’s compositions better than they could have ever imagined.
After the completion and release of that EP (known as The Years), the duo toured extensively in both Europe and the States. It was during these shows that the Canadians honed their sound, built a strong following and were subsequently signed to Sub Pop in 2011, which re-released the EP in September of that same year. Memoryhouse’s diverse background has enabled them to experiment and draw from different experiences than the average musician, which is shown in their intricate songs.
When it came time to record their debut, the duo had already crafted their sound on the road. The 10-track album was produced by Abeele and is a step forward musically for the outfit. Wisely, the twosome took their time and performed the songs live and figured out what worked before heading into the studio. Over their two years on the road, Memoryhouse developed their own sound and voice, which allowed for them to grow as a band without feeling the need to rush to release new material.
What started off as a creative outlet for two friends has evolved into one of the better dream-pop outfits in some time. Bands who try to out-weird their contemporaries have flooded the genre, however, everything about Memoryhouse feels organic and natural. As the duo's confidence grows with each new song, I can't wait what to hear next from them.