Despite Essaie Pas' Montreal base, “Retox” isn't a word found anywhere in the French language. It's also not a part of formal English, so if Urban Dictionary is to be trusted, then retox means: “To start consuming drugs and alcohol again after a hiatus in an effort to avoid the effects of withdrawl.” And to be quite honest—despite my seven years of middle and high school French—”Retox” is the only word I can actually make out. But the Urban Dictionary definition actually does provide a fitting description of the song's feel.
The duo—comprised of Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau—craft the sort of danceable synth pop that brings DFA Records to mind. Like many DFA artists, “Retox” sees Essaie Pas using electronic drums to create a disjointed facsimile of the classic disco beat. Arpeggiated bass synths pull the song into subterranean depths as melodic police siren synths put the song into perspective; “Retox”, like your latent drug use, is a guilty-yet-necessary indulgence into the underground, into the dark depths of romance. The juxtaposition of the seductively spoken vocals and chloroform driving beat evoke the feeling of getting away with something you're not supposed to get away with. Fortunately, “Retox” is a fitting substitution for that feeling. Today's not the day to get arrested.
“Retox” is part of a split 12-inch with Montreal natives Police Des Moeurs. The split is due for a June 17 release via Atelier Ciseaux Records, but is now available for pre-order.