Montreal’s status as a must-stop city for popular artists and bands is partially due to its vibrant independent music scene, which thrives amidst a culture of diverse genres and styles. Singer-songwriter Lucas Fournier, U2 Arts, was attracted to the city for similar reasons and chose to come to McGill in 2020 with the hope of sharpening his musical expertise. After releasing his debut album, Many Waters, in 2021, Fournier is aiming to refine his style for his upcoming EP, set for release by the end of the semester.
Hailing from Toronto, the indie-folk artist has always been one to dream up little impromptu melodies but only started writing seriously in late high school. During this time, Fournier taught himself to play guitar and piano, and at the beginning of the pandemic, Fournier picked up another skill: Music production. More specifically, he focused on sound design and composition. In both the music that he writes and listens to, Fournier gravitates towards styles without genre-specific rules or limitations.
“My two biggest inspirations are definitely Bon Iver and Radiohead,” Fournier explained in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “[They’re] two different artists genre-wise, but just artists that I feel that they’ll have an idea and they’ll let that idea take them wherever they want. [That’s] something that I try to do with my music.”
Fournier’s first album, Many Waters, centred on his high school experiences and feelings of estrangement. His second EP—which he’s yet to title publicly—is a more nostalgic and musically sophisticated selection of songs aiming to convey universal experiences of feeling confused whilst coming into adulthood.
Fournier released “Lakeside,” the first single from his upcoming EP, on Aug. 26. The song features heartbreaking lyrics that describe Fournier’s feelings of imposter syndrome and a gorgeously simplistic cello accompaniment, evoking a vastly different emotion from the peppier, yet still glum, sounds of the first album. The cello arrangement has a stellar solo mid-song, creating a slow pure melody that supports the lyrics’ nostalgia for a childhood gone by.
“I feel like I’ve appeared in this adult world and don’t know how to navigate it,” Fournier said. “In a society and in a university that’s very […] competitive and […] now that I’m an adult, it’s like it’s all come to the forefront that I’m not good enough.”
“Lakeside” is only the tip of the iceberg of Fournier’s musical growth. The theme of transitioning to adulthood heavily influences the new EP., Fournier hopes that his fellow Gen Zers will relate to the experience of losing formative teen years to isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. “That’s a big part of the lyrics of ‘Lakeside,’” he said. “This kind of imagining back when I was a kid, none of this—we weren’t competing with each other, life [was] fun.”
As Fournier continues to develop his sound as an artist, it is encouraging to see how he relates to his growing audience. If his new EP is anything like “Lakeside,” fans are sure to expect some quality tracks in the near future. If anything, Fournier’s new album proves that the indie scene, while small, is jam-packed with talented musicians who are continuously raising the bar of Montreal music.
“It’s difficult as an indie artist to turn your art into something that can sustain you career-wise—that’s my goal right now,” Fournier said. “I have ambitions of making it big. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but I want to do music full-time because it brings me a lot of satisfaction and I love it.”
Lucas Fournier’s music is available to stream on all major platforms.