Martin Larose Scales New Heights With Skyscraper Jumper

The Quebec guitarist and songwriter heads onward & upward with his new album.

Martin Larose takes a flying leap with his upbeat new single Skyscraper Jumper — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

When an artist has been in the game for 35 years, there’s often nowhere to go but down. And then there’s Quebec songwriter and guitarist Larose, who hits a new peak with his latest album Songs From The Kite and its appropriately uplifting first single.

The album is a jump into the worlds of prog, folk and pop for the Saguenay guitarist and songwriter, after years spent performing his fretboard gymnastics largely within the idioms of rock and blues. The evolution is apparent on Skyscraper Jumper, which has the airy, dizzying feel of climbing to the roof of the tallest building you can find and daring to look down.

Musically, the track is less guitar-oriented than one might expect of a player inspired by Michael Hedges and Eddie Van Halen — and who recently released a solo acoustic rendition of The Spirit of Radio by Rush. This one is more of an equal blend of guitars, keys, atmospheric electronics and ethereal vocals — a mix that matches the heady lyrics Larose concocted with co-writer Qual Ix (the nom de plume of Canadian artist Felix Dionne):

“Fifty stories, then fifty more
Concrete tower as a sky door
Grasp the star light with your feet
Taking the clouds as a seat
If you were told you could fly
Would you jump from the skyscraper?
If you knew you couldn’t die
Would you jump from the skyscraper?”

Songs From The Kite is the album I have always wanted to create,” Larose says. “It represents everything I have developed over a career spanning 35 years, both in terms of my craft as a guitar player and as a songwriter.”

To help him realize his vision, he’s pulled in collaborations from the likes of British bassist Tony Franklin (Jimmy Page, The Firm), German singer Ben Jud (Martin Miller), Canadian lyricist Nath Farley and British lyricist Roger Penkethman. The album also features a cover of Accordingly by late singer-songwriter Chris Whitley. “Chris’s massive legacy has always been close to my heart, and this particular song has always stayed with me,” Larose says. “It’s my tribute from up North.”

Speaking of “up North,” the album’s title actually refers not to flying kites, but to the area LaRose hails from, the geography of which makes it resemble an upside-down kite. The title is also a metaphor for “finally taking off and flying after years of struggling,” he reveals.

It’s interesting to hear him refer to the past as a struggle, when anyone else looking at his résumé might only see achievement. A musician since the age of seven, Larose studied classical guitar and double bass. Over the years, he has been a warmly welcomed presence at jazz and blues festivals, shared stages with acclaimed artists and made eight studio albums, including 2021’s North.

Right now, though, his focus is on Songs From The Kite and the stratospheric achievement it represents. “Throughout my career, I have explored guitar pyrotechnics, acoustic music, rock and blues,” Larose says, “but this album is the best representation of who I am as a musician, songwriter and producer.” Onward and upward.

Check out Skyscraper Jumper above, listen to Songs From The Kite below and find Martin Larose on his website, Facebook and Instagram.