How many friends do you really have—and not just online? How well do you know the members of your family? How many times do you promise to make a date to catch up, and never really do? Do you know what your friends and family take in their coffee? Maybe it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution to follow through and find out.
The new single from Quebecois folk group Jabbour, “Dans ton café,” is about exactly that. Sung in French, the song details all the small things friends and family could do to get to know each other a little bit more: “As it is, I don’t even know what you take in your coffee.” The song arrives accompanied by a charming, animated video where coffee cups transform into guitars and the steam of a hot beverage becomes the strings of a violin. “Dans ton café” is the lead track on Jabbour’s 2021 album Carling Lake, named after a small Pine Hill ski centre in the Laurentians, which closed in the mid-1990s. The album uses the image of Carling Lake as a nostalgic symbol of the innocent camaraderie, family spirit and the appreciation of nature that reigned there; conditions that contrast with the pandemic context in which the album was recorded. The album’s previous single, the title track, sung in English, was launched with a music video mixing archival film with modern footage of the still standing but shuttered resort.
Jabbour creates folk music with accents from the regional Quebec communities where the members live, from the Laurentians to Montérégie, sung in both English and French. Carling Lake is the group’s third album, produced by John McColgan (Durham County Poets, Mama’s Broke), a 12-song collection that incorporates different sonic textures, interviews, and field recordings. The group’s identity crystallized during its 2015 tour of British Columbia, when the musicians realized they had found their niche on the Canadian folk music scene. That winter, the band recorded its debut album ‘Round the Clock over a weekend on stage at the Oscar Peterson Hall in Montreal. This debut album won them a Stingray Songwriter Award and airplay on SiriusXM, Stingray, CBC, ICI Musique Radio-Canada and several community and university stations. It also gave them the opportunity to tour the Maritimes twice and perform at various festivals. In 2019, Jabbour released their second album Saint Bernard, and toured throughout Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba; conference showcases at Folk Alliance and Folk Music Ontario and concerts at the Folk on the Canal Festival in Montreal, La Série Découvertes at Place des Arts and other Quebec festivals.