Will Régnier – Traces (ENG review)

Street date February 16th 2024
Will Regnier – Traces (ENG review):

This is the debut album by drummer and composer Will Régnier. The album explores numerous paths, ultimately giving an impression of vast spaces. In fact, like many contemporary drummers/ composers, Regnier’s work leans more towards that of a percussionist rather than a drummer. He has surrounded himself with some of the most extraordinary and promising musicians from Montreal: Yannick Anctil on piano, Marcus Lowry on electric guitar, and Alex Le Blanc on double bass. Each musician infuses every note with profound meaning, bringing their unique personalities to the music.
It is likely this youth, nurtured on all possible musical styles, that offers a spontaneity and particularly joyful music where everything is played delicately in the interpretation. Régnier, in his compositions, is well aware of all these shared musical cultures, sometimes borrowing from world music, thus tracing a unique style that gives the group a distinct color, making them immediately recognizable.
On this album, the arrangements are significant. Indeed, it is a true challenge to have only string instruments and drums, which can quickly become monotonous. However, the work of these musicians is so developed, thoughtful, and perfectly in harmony that one never feels the lack of brass at any moment. At the heart of Traces, one warmly finds the lyrical essence and inherent storytelling of folk music. The emphasis on melody acts as an anchor; each phrase, instead of merely serving as a melodic element, becomes a narrative vehicle, unfolding like chapters in a novel.
Indeed, this album, although seemingly accessible, will certainly speak even more to those with a broad musical culture, who will feel completely at ease here. Improvisation, spontaneity, and an interactive spirit serve as the foundation of the album. This infusion of creativity and unpredictability gives the album a dynamic liveliness, as well as a captivating sense of novelty and vulnerability.
There is one track on this album that I particularly enjoyed and which, in my opinion, symbolizes all the work undertaken. It is the track “Smoke and Mirrors”, where the arrangements play with silences without excessive chatter, allowing one to truly appreciate the quality of each instrument. As is often the case with a group’s debut album, it serves as a showcase of their creative abilities. However, this track certainly sets the tone for the future evolution of this group, to which we wish a long life. The editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move include this album in their list of “Favorites”.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 30th 2024


To buy this album


Traces – Produced by Will Régnier
Music by Will Régnier (except “Entre les lignes” composed by Will Régnier and Marcus Lowry)

1. Exil
2. Lights Out
3. Entre les lignes
4. Whereto
5. Not a Real Place
6. Smoke and Mirrors
7. Traces
8. Comme des traces oubliées
9. Farewell

Marcus Lowry – Electric Guitar
Yannick Anctil – Piano
Alex Le Blanc – Double Bass
Will Régnier – Drums

Acoustic guitars on “Traces” by Marcus Lowry and Will Régnier
Recorded at Studio Pierre Marchand, Montreal
Engineered by Jonathan Kaspy
Mixed by Will Régnier
Mastered by Jean-Philippe Villemure
Artwork, design and layout by aeforia