Fredericton three-piece indie/progressive rockers Tortue released their latest album ‘Summer in Algiers’ on September 1st. The eight song release, primarily written by guitar and vocalist Aidan Bullock, pulls together personal experiences and general life happenings, giving the listener a snapshot into his life, but leaves enough room for their own interpretation.
“Usually the lyrics are a way for [Aidan] to express his feelings as a way of dealing with an existential frustration he may be feeling when he sits down to write lyrics,” says bassist Conner MacAulay. “He may write some lyrics about personal experiences with friends or family, about people he may know, topical news that moves him in some way or just situations that move him to paying tribute to them in a song. We have a song called ‘Blueberry Fields’ that is about him wanting to be buried in a blueberry field when he dies, the lyrics to ‘Paule’ are about a woman he met while working in an old folks’ home, and we even have a song called ‘GHL’ which are the initials of one of our friends. The specific ideas tend to be masked a bit in the lyrics themselves, as he tends to keep the lyrics pretty open for interpretation.”
Throughout the album the instrumental riffs are absolutely phenomenal. They show off the bands talent with ease and give life to the stories within the songs. They will leave the listener with little choice but to nod along to the beat at the very least. The instruments meld with Bullock’s vocals in a way that sets the band apart from others in similar genres, and with many different influences to their music, Tortue has a way to please most.
“[Tortue is] a heavy rock band that likes to add a lot of different styles to their music like psychedelic, prog, funk and jazz. It’s a bit of a vague definition, but I find that we really don’t fit into a neat package and that’s what makes it so much fun to write and perform our music,” says MacAulay. “We tend to stay away from the conventional verse/chorus structure and just build our songs from the ground up. We also try to keep our influences open and listen to/draw from a lot of different styles. Because of our broad musical interests, we tend to end up with songs that are very dynamic, take a lot of unexpected twists and turns.”
Not only have Tortue come up with an interesting, powerful album, they have really diversified their sound by adding some other local talent into the mix. On the track ‘Temptations’, they added shifty circus cultist Brydon Crain from Motherhood and Kevin Belyea of David in the Dark and The Floogs.
Their sound is unique and enjoyable, their writing creative, and their ability to shred on the guitar is impeccable. Though they are going on a bit of a hiatus after their stint in Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival as one of the four finalists in the Stingray Rising Star competition, but this band is one that you should keep an eye on and an ear out for in the future.