PREMIERE – Friendly Rich unveils new single, “Le P’tit Bonheur”

Friendly Rich

Photo Credit Thomas King

Friendly Rich Releases Homage to Felix Leclerc with “Le P’tit Bonheur”

Friendly Rich, Canada’s legendary songsmith of dark and deranged folk songs, has just announced his highly anticipated new LP Man Out of Time (due out March 31st on We Are Busy Bodies) with an advance single and video for the song “Le P’tit Bonheur.” This latest single is sung in French and is an homage to one of Friendly Rich’s greatest inspirations.

In explaining the single, he had to say,

“I hope you enjoy this release, this work means alot to me, I honour the great Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc, and I go to even darker places as a songwriter. I wanted to honour Felix Leclerc’s music and was able to dive into it with Mike T Kerr and Drew Jurecka to help.”

What came out is a dark and unique interpretation that sets the tone for this record. With 4 Leclerc songs embedded throughout the recording, Man Out of Time shows the many sides of Friendly Rich as a composer and performer.

Friendly Rich describes his latest studio recording as a “dark reflection of the pandemic.” But there’s more going on here – a punk sensibility with a folky delivery creates a unique sound that is as dark and hopeless as the pandemic that inspired it. Man Out of Time features a rolling cast of Canadian musicians and guest performances by Brian Poole (Renaldo & The Loaf), Kevin Breit (Nora Jones, Hugh Laurie), Christine Duncan (Tanya Tagaq), Michael Ward-Bergeman (Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble) and many more unique musicians.  The full-length recording features unique interpretations of legendary Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc among Friendly Rich’s honed brand of deranged folk songs. The music can be described as high-energy, rhythmic, and atmospheric, ranging from sullen stripped-down ballads to frenetic folky foot-stompers. Friendly Rich’s music is theatrical and melodic and brings to mind early Bowie with hints of operatic rock in the vein of T-Rex and Roky Erickson.

Listen to “P’tit Bohheur” below and learn more about Friendly Rich via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m an oddball composer and performer raised in Brampton, Canada. I have a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Toronto and love the unique people and places that music connects me to. As an example, this April, I will be traveling to New Orleans and Louisville to share my music with new audiences in both of those beautiful cities!

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

Man Out of Time came about over just that… a lot of time. I use everything from old music box recordings that I made over a decade ago to making music throughout the pandemic, where we got creative in sharing files and new processes. This record is a reflection of that period and a do-it-yourself approach to music-making, which harks back to my earlier years, where I made a lot of music in isolation. Music is still the best vehicle to help you get through it all!

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

Anything from the absurdist nature of politics, family situations, birds singing, whales mourning, you name it, I’m listening. I love hearing melodies or musical ideas develop over time, and my relationship with the songs grows stronger with time.

Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

I am doing a residency at the Happyland Theater in New Orleans at the end of April, which I’m excited about. And, of course, I perform at the Cameron House on the last Sunday of each month in Toronto. Check for all my upcoming dates, and come say hi!

What’s your goal for 2023?

Building up new recordings with various new projects I’ve got cooking. As C. Smalloochi says, “one can either produce, or become produce.”

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