Since 2017, Montreal-based band, Chiiild, has been earning their stripes in the scene, but on July 23, they rolled their own red carpet out and debut their first full-length album, Hope For Sale. The 12-track LP is an rhythmic genre-bending body of work that follows their introductory project from last year, Synthetic Soul.
The band, fronted by Yonatan "xSDTRK" Ayal and Pierre-Luc Rioux, have been charging up for their own music to be heard and appreciated. They've been producing for artists like Usher, Jessie J., Chloe x Halle, Victoria Monet and plenty more. Ayal grew up studying classical music and has been making beats for years on end. Hard work was the defining factor of their origin story, sparking their pursuits as Chiiild.
“I was just trying to make a living making music. I've been around for a second on the production side. When me and Pierre met, I was already living in LA. I went back to Montreal for a second to kind of gather my things, and in that time we started working together. In that first session, we did a song together that ended up being "Hard II Love" for Usher,” Ayal detailed. “Then we just kind of kept going from there – it was just one of those things that was never forced. We just worked and worked, and eventually that's how we got into different rooms with all kinds of people from Kelly Rowland to Mary J.”
With all the work done for many big names in the industry, it's important for the world to get familiar with the identity of a band like Chiiild. Writing songs that create one's foundation is an important phase of one's career. In order to further define their sound to the world, last year's tape was titled Synthetic Soul, right out the gate. Now, the album, Hope For Sale, is more of a formal introduction to who they are stylistically with more music and a richer display of work. The songs on the debut are a more polished offering of synthetic soul with a mesmerizing electricity.
“Growing up in Canada, being a fan of music in general, you're exposed to so many different genres. I keep bringing up artists like Hall & Oates." Ayal says. "Dude, that's some of the best pop music ever, but at the same time, I know every Omarion record there is. You know what I'm saying–I can't ignore one in order to appease the outside world. I feel like the sum of all of those things.”
As the carpet rolls out, defining the sonic landscape is one one the particular intents. Coming off recently working alongside Emotional Oranges with their latest project, they also then just released a remix of one of their singles, "Gone" last week with LA-based singer-songwriter, Jensen McRae.
On the actual album, you however hear only from Chiiild with a sole feature from Mahalia. When asked about the decision to have the album be very little featured acts, Ayal detailed that he thinks it important at the beginning to just really give everything that he's got. “If I come into it heavily relying on features than I feel like we miss the opportunity to connect in the beginning – to really find your tribe.”
Songs like "Eventually" and "Sleepwalking" both provide that electronic and synthetic groove that's akin to the likes of a Tame Impala or a Kaytranada. Yonatan hopes music of Hope For Sale impacts people the way it did when he first heard artists like The Weeknd and many others that affected him. There's also numbers on here with the energy reminiscent of Radiohead like the track “Wasting Time”.
“I really hope when you finish listening to the record, you come and see us live so that you can really, really get what it's all about. There's this arc here that I'm trying to create here. Hearing Synthetic Soul and Hope for Sale in harmony interweaving each other in a live show is really what it's all about.”
To follow up the release of the album, Chiiild has already announced The Apocalyptic Optimistic Tour starting right away and a tour supporting Leon Bridges next Spring.