If the brilliantly eclectic blend of styles and genres that make up Double Magnum’s self-titled debut leaves you feeling a bit intoxicated, it’s not a coincidence: the key to this Ottawa band – made up of brothers Nic, Max, Alexis and Felix Boivin – is right there in the name.
“When people hear the name ‘Double Magnum’, they think of many different things,” they told Bytown Sound when we recently spoke with them about the story behind some of their lyrics, the influences behind their diverse sound, and of course their clever name choice.
“A double magnum is actually a wine bottle that’s the size of four. We are four brothers and our last name is Boivin, which literally means ‘drink wine’ in French.”
This explains the warm buzz provided throughout this debut album, which brilliantly showcases the breadth of the Boivin brothers’ talent and skill. It’s a heady concoction that manages to evoke the distinct flavor of their individual musical influences without overshadowing the sharpness of their own sound.
“The reason the songs end up sounding like they do is because we’re big fans of artists like John Mayer, The Beatles, Billy Talent, and rap artists like Lloyd Carter. Also, Max can’t help it; he loves a rockin’ guitar solo.”
As a result, the album is filled with wonderful tunes that span the rock spectrum before diving into other genres: the Boivins flow into the funky jam ‘Queen of Pain’ with ease, pepper in some well-placed guitar solos, and even change up the pace by adding a rap verse to ‘One Way Trip’.
That same wide-ranging approach is reflected in their lyrics as well, as they tackle such topics such as relationship temptations, acceptance of loss, and the wonders of love.
“[These are] pretty much inspired by our lives, things we’ve been through, things we’ve heard about or spent a lot of time thinking about. We think that’s what makes them mean something: they’re not just rhymes that happen to sound good, they’re a piece of our story.”
This clearly shines through on their first single, ‘Flies In Berlin’, a rock tune that starts out delicately sweet before ramping up the musical emotion in a way that demonstrates the fine balance of “impossible love and the passion and frustration that comes with it.” The video for this track was filmed last November in Montreal with the help of two actors (Hugo Leclerc and Charlotte Morissette) and two filmmakers (Bruno Goulard and Francis Leduc).
With another video on the way while they continue to juggle live shows and school, these four have been busy since the September release of their album. It’s a pace that won’t slow down in 2018, which holds some even bigger plans such as a trip back to the studio, and plenty of live shows throughout the summer. You’ll have to give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram if you want to keep up to date on all the exciting surprises they have in store.
If you’re looking for a shot of Double Magnum, you can find their debut album on a variety of platforms, including Bandcamp, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, as well as on their website. And luckily, you won’t have to wait long to catch them live, as they will be playing at Cafe Dekcuf on March 2, alongside Paper Shakers, Van Hoan and The Detours – tickets found here.