It gives me ridiculous amounts of glee that a (mostly) female group has dived into the male-dominated Quebecois trad genre, and this is exactly what you get with Galant, Tu Perds Ton Temps! I tend to listen to male groups in general just because I’m a sucker for the sound of several guys singing in full round harmony, a thing of mine that goes clear back to Elvis and the Jordannaires–but if you give me a bunch of women doing the same thing, oh my yes, I’m there.
The Galant group is technically not 100% female–they do have one male member of the group, Jean-Francois Berthiaume, who does their footwork and other general percussion. However, he doesn’t sing–so all the vocals are in fact female. And yeah, the Galant girls meet and match their male colleagues in this genre with some kickass vigorous harmonies! I haven’t identified which girl is which yet in terms of ranges sung, but whoever’s got the lower ranges in particular is delivering some great contralto/tenor lines, and whoever’s got the highest soprano is notable as well.
They’ve got only two albums available to date, Fais-toi pas d’illusions and the self-titled Galant, tu perds ton temps, which is actually the newer of the two albums. To further confuse matters, the band gets its name from a song of the same name, and that song appears on the earlier album! “Galant, tu perds ton temps” translates roughly to “Suitor/lover, you waste your time”, which is another thing that makes me giggle and giggle. Especially given that my boys over in La Volée d’Castors have also covered this song.
So which album should you get? That’s a bit of a hard call. I’ve got a LOT of tracks off the newer one on my Favorites list, and that one does have the selling point of being a double CD so you get a lot of music for the money. On the other hand, the three tracks I’ve marked as favorites on the other album are in fact the ones I’ve recently played more often. So really, it becomes a question of which one you can find, and which one you feel like paying money for.
YouTube has a lot of videos of them up, though, so if you search for “galant tu perds ton temps”, you should be able to find them. Here’s one of them doing “Mary of the Wild Moor” in English, and the video quality is good, so you can get an excellent idea of their overall vocal style. And here’s a partial vid of them doing “Les promesses du galant”, which is one of my favorites off the newer album, and I’m desperate to find proper lyrics for it because I’m FAIRLY SURE they aren’t actually singing “Monsieur Pants” in there. XD This one is “Faites-moi un homme sans tête / Reel Bergerville”, which I like off the newer album as well!
They’ve got no links to buy on their site, so your only option (that I know of) is iTunes if you want their music electronically and you’re outside Canada. Archambault.ca has only the second, larger album available for download, and their downloads are only for Canadian customers. For physical CDs, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Archambault.ca all have those, but as with my earlier rec posts, if you’re not actually in Canada, be on the lookout for large shipping charges and be prepared to double up your purchases to qualify for free shipping if necessary! Or, if you are so inclined, recruit a Canadian friend to buy albums for you and ship them to you!
Out of all the Quebec groups I’m following, in some ways I’m most delighted by this one because, well, girls. And I heartily encourage checking them out in particular, if nothing else to encourage them to put out more albums–and to encourage other female groups to jump in on this genre as well. Because I’ll totally buy them, if they are this awesome!