Doldrums Premieres “My Friend Simjen” From Sub Pop Debut

An expectedly freaky cut from the Montreal act’s new LP.

February 11, 2015

In case you forgot, Doldrums—Airick Woodhead's art-pop project that takes its name from The Phantom Tollbooth—comes out of the same fertile Montreal DIY community that gave us Grimes and TOPS. But the new Doldrums full-length is being released by Sub Pop, not local staple Arbutus, and it seems to be slightly more ambitious than his previous efforts, without sacrificing any of the usual cold-blooded, freaky pop strangeness. "My Friend Simjen," premiering below, is densely packed with shifting layers of sound effects and heart-pounding sub-bass; I'm pretty sure it's thematically about Woodhead's friendship break-up with the titular character, who's like a robot or computer or something.

The track is off The Air Conditioned Nightmare, which drops April 6th. Woodhead says a lot of the album, including "My Friend Simjen," was made while he was crashing at his friend's place, a bizarro "neighborhood speakeasy" called plurrRealityz. "It's got kind of a dungeon vibe," Woodhead told FADER over email. "You'd see a lot of music that wouldn't fit in anywhere else; people trying out material or adapting it to suit the venue. It's important to have somewhere to hang out away from the constraints of bar culture and the sleaziness and vapidity of typical after-hours places." Listening to "My Friend Simjen," it seems like some of those dungeon vibes rubbed off.

Photo credit: Angus Borsos

Tour dates:

Apr. 09 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz
Apr. 15 - Boston, MA - Great Scott*
Apr. 16 - Philadelphia, PA - Barbary*
Apr. 17 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge*
Apr. 18 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby's All Right*
Apr. 19 - Washington, DC - DC9*
Apr. 21 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5*
Apr. 24 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's*
Apr. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo*
May 02 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop*
May 04 - Seattle, WA - The Sunset*
May 05 - Portland, OR - Holocene*
May 08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry*
May 09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle*
May 15 - Copenhagen, DK - Pop Revo Festival, Atlas
May 20 - London, UK - Electrowerkz
May 21 - Dublin, IE - Hidden Agenda @ Whelans
May 22 - Bristol, UK - The Louisiana
May 23 - Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen
May 24 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
May 26 - Brighton, UK - The Hope
May 27 - Bruges, BE Cactus
May 28 - Amsterdam, NL - OT301
Jun. 02 - Cologne, DE - Studio 672
Jun. 03 - Hamburg, DE - Volt
Jun. 04 - Berlin, DE - Privatclub
* w/ Moon King

Doldrums Premieres “My Friend Simjen” From Sub Pop Debut