Posts Tagged ‘Broken Social Scene’

Sam Jr. Fuzzed out guitars with psychedelic laced wah wahs and bongos?? And flutes? Evil nihilist ooze-rock slacker fuzz? There’s a lot of play within that framework of Sam Jr.’s self-titled debut so we’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself what Sam Jr.  You may know him as a member of the Broken Social Scene, UncutBodegaBionicHawaii and Yardlets — is all about when the appropriate moment comes. And far greater ambitions were afoot during the record’s creation.

“My concept for awhile making this record was actually ‘What would The Dude’s band from The Big Lebowski sound like?’” laughs Sam Goldberg, Jr., the titular architect behind this long-overdue solo stepping-out. “ I’m not sure it landed there at all, but I think I was trying to harness the easy going nature and spirit of that character. I’m a hardwired optimist and a mellow person overall, and I wanted that to come across in the songs.”

Written, performed and recorded by Sam Jr. & Tess Parks

Drums and percussion performed and recorded by Miles Dupire-Gagnon Rhodes by Dave Fridmann

releases March 10th, 2022

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Broken Social Scene’s rotating cast of 17 or so musicians always keeps us guessing. On part one of their recent EP Let’s Try The After, Kevin Drew and co. take us through an odyssey of quicksilver post-rock and starry, ascendent pop/rock. Following the seagull-infused clamor of intro “The Sweet Sea” Broken Social Scene emerge elegant, spacey and experimental on the largely instrumental “Remember Me Young” a challenging tune that also warms the soul. “Boyfriends” sees them channel The National and Phoenix for dusty-meets-electro indie rock while the horn-laden “1972” marries garbled synths, Ariel Engle’s dreamy pop coo and robotic backing vocals.

Final track “All I Want” keeps their unpredictable and unconventional pop flowing with its worldly rhythms, electronic percussion, misshapen vocals and distorted keys. Let’s Try The After (Vol. 1) is a celebration of their “anything goes” mentality, but it’s also a strangely cohesive scene with wide-open, mountainous beauty and a space age skyline

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La Force will be performing at SXSW 2019

Ariel Engle is a recent addition to the Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene, filling a role once held by Leslie Feist. Listen to her work as La Force, and you’ll hear one clear reason the band thought of her to fill the bill: She’s got that same smoky, haunting vibe, landing somewhere between detachment and almost discomfiting intimacy. To delve into “Lucky One” is to hang on her every lushly appointed, impeccably controlled word.

The music of La Force is nocturnal electronic pop, featuring Engle’s enchanting vocals over dynamic production.

Born out of the culmination of AroarA – her musical project with husband and Broken Social Scene bandmate Andrew Whiteman La Force is a deep reflection on the magic and dismantlement of motherhood; the never-ending tightrope walk of life, and death; and the re-discovery of self.

Her first single “You Amaze Me” layers seductive melodies over restrained electronics. A love song to Whiteman, “You Amaze Me” defines the tender but powerful essence of La Force. Shaped with Warren Spicer of Plants & Animals, and featuring members of Suuns, Patrick Watson, and Broken Social Scene, “You Amaze Me” crystallizes the reverent, spiritual tone of Engle’s musical being. Borrowing its identity from the tarot card representing Strength, La Force captures the bold creative spirit of an undeniable voice.

Her presence resounds on Broken Social Scene’s 2017 album, Hug Of Thunder, lending fluid, commanding vocals to the oblique anthem “Stay Happy” and leaving an indelible mark on the collective’s rousing performances. Stepping up to the role first helmed by the immeasurable talent of Leslie Feist, Engle brings La Force’s singularity to the familial energy of Broken Social Scene.

New Broken Social Scene! This new track marks the end of the collective’s tour schedule and is a classic thumping BSS song with the band saying it’s “our fist pump towards the constant struggle of getting it right.” Hup, ya boya.

All things come to an end and this tour has been a wonderful experience for all of us, returning to what we know best. Thank you to all who came out and joined the celebration. We will continue to scream for ourselves, for those who left, for those who can’t be heard, and for those who need our help with returning. “Old Dead Young” is our fist pump towards the constant struggle of getting it right and we want to spread that to as many people, as far and wide as possible. Thank you, all of you, for everything that’s been; we’re excited and optimistic for what’s to come…

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In September, members of Vinyl Me subscription service will receive a brand new reissue of Feist’s 2004 sophomore album, Let It Die. The album, which has been out of print on vinyl for some time, has been freshly remastered, comes with a new cover and is on seafoam green heavyweight vinyl. Every part of the package was approved by Feist.
Are you new to Feist? check out this discography.

Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down) (1999)

Yup! There was an album before Let It Die, which was first released under her own imprint in 1999. It’s not available on any streaming service. It was reissued in 2012 and was available only on vinyl through her online store. She recorded Monarch after having developed a style of singing suitable for her healed vocal chords and was able to create this album through a grant from the Canadian government. On Monarch, you can hear a young Feist finding her way to Let It Die, where she landed on the sound we’re familiar with today.

Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People (2003)

You Forgot It In People is an indie classic. When it was released in 2003, the band was made up of 11 members, including Feist. In Stuart Berman’s This Book is Broken: A Broken Social Scene Story, it states that she sang vocals throughout the album after being advised against guitar by the bandleader, Kevin Shaw. In the book, Feist mentioned that during this time she associated herself with being a guitar player but she wasn’t necessarily a good guitar player. Shaw made a joke about it, so she re-assessed her role within the band. “You Forgot It in People explodes with song after song of endlessly replayable, perfect pop. For proof, pick virtually any track,” .

Let It Die (2004)

Before this record was created, Feist decided to travel throughout Europe for a year by herself, and by the end of her trip returned back to Canada with a completed album. Listeners can hear the loneliness and need for stability after traveling alone through foreign countries on Let It Die. On “Lonely Lonely” Feist sings, “Distance makes the heart go weak / So that the mouth can barely speak” and on “Mushaboom” she dreams of a country home and dressing the kids she doesn’t yet have. Despite what Feist has called the “homelessness” on this album, she sings about heartbreak and learning to love and open herself up again.

Many songs on this album range in genres from French pop to electronic to jazz, with cover songs from Blossom Dearie, the Bee Gees and Robert Stanton. However, the melody beautifully stitches every song together that by the end of the album one is consumed with the picture of a late night lounge tucked away on a Parisian street.

The Reminder (2007)

2007 was the year that we all had “1234” stuck in our heads because it was everywhere: coffee shops, iPod Nano commercials, Sesame Street, you name it. The Reminder set her on a bigger radar and grew her fan base significantly. This album has Feist’s biggest hits and gained her a few Grammy nominations. It was through this album that she became an Indie Pop dream girl. Dancing to “I Feel It All” 10 years later around your living room still feels invigorating and fun. The timeless songs on this album are sure to win you over.

Metals (2011)

Metals is Feist’s most underrated album. As soon as the first song begins with loud drumming, it lets us know that this isn’t going to be a continuation of The Reminder. She didn’t go back into the studio to create a similar album just to make her new audience happy. In fact, she had lost her enthusiasm toward playing music and took a year off.  she said, “I did everything except wake up in a new town everyday. It was really boring. It’s just life, you know?”

On Metals, she brings in more percussion, brass, string instruments and a back-up choir. She calls this album “a movement of humans.” The lyrics contain heavy metaphors on nature that revolve back to the theme of life itself. She drops her nostalgia-heavy songs to focus on the future, so take a moment to forget about the past and appreciate the people who surround you while listening to this album.

Pleasure (2017)

As you listen to Pleasure in your home, it’s hard to imagine that you’re boiling water in your kitchen rather than right in front of her stage. That’s primarily because the album was recorded almost entirely live. It’s her most intimate and minimal album yet. On Pleasure, Feist turns inward to share the sadness she felt after touring Metals. She took a few years off and spent her time building a deck for her country home and replacing the screen on her screen door. She  said “I was having a bit of a difficult time in the last few years. I felt like I didn’t know anything. It was like a limbo between feeling something and knowing something. … I’m still in the middle of it, so it’s hard to talk about. The message of the album would be ‘Being lost is part of getting there,’ or something like that. I don’t know.” Many of us have experienced this, making it easy for Pleasure to take us in and nurture that emotion — specifically, in the last minute of “Any Party” when you spend time listening to her leave a crowded party and walk home alone to the sound of crickets and a car driving past her playing “Pleasure.” As humans, we sometimes need solitude in order to understand our own needs and emotions. Feist makes that clear by reminding us that pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain.

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All Together Now: An Interview with Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning

There are seventeen people in Broken Social Scene. Each contributed to the band’s fifth and most recent album, Hug of Thunder, and each was on “relatively equal footing” during the album’s writing, recording, and mixing, according to co-founding member Brendan Canning. (He and Kevin Drew started the band in 1999.)

I cannot imagine how this works. I cannot imagine how seventeen people can approach anything that resembles a consensus on a single decision, let alone the staggering number necessary to whittle hours of writing, recording, and mixing into twelve songs.

Canning, it seems, isn’t quite sure either. what must be the messy, contentious, somewhat free-form process that begins with an exchange of musical ideas and ends, miraculously, with a finished album.

“It’s a band that has never-ending debates,” he said , “whether it’s songs, or whether it’s, ‘Where are you going to go for lunch?’ Whatever the thing that is to be decided that day, it’s an unwieldy beast at times because you have these hard opinions. Maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this or that; at the end of the day, we all kind of want the same thing. And the roadmaps are just a little bit different, so you’ve got to just do your best and let things evolve the way they’re going to evolve…It’s tough navigating sometimes with this band, just because there’s a lot of people that like to sit in the captain’s chair.”

Even if there is no single method for maintaining order, the end result makes an intuitive sense. Since the band’s second album, 2002’s You Forgot It in People, each album has featured over ten contributors. Music history is littered with great bands who suffered sudden and acrimonious breakups while dealing with fewer than half the personalities that make up Broken Social Scene at any given time. And yet, the band has avoided the public drama that would seem to be the inevitable result of such an arrangement, which involves solo and side projects that have found varying degrees of success (Feist and Metric being the two most prominent), and the perceived hierarchies that follow. There must be something that keeps small frustrations from building into resentment.

That thing, according to Canning, is friendship. This sounds like a cliché, but the reason Canning and his bandmates have not split is because for them, it’s not. Being in a band is hard. It is a series of compromises, frustrations, and the repeated toil that comes with any creative endeavour. Add the fast pace, endless travel, and forced intimacy that comes with touring, and the potential for explosive tension looms. The work of friendship–empathy, communication, loyalty, sacrifice–is what keeps a band together.

“We’re not faking our way through these relationships,” Canning said. “We actually have friendships, and we’re not just toeing some party line and making people believe, ‘Yeah, it’s all about the friendships!’ Because the friendships were already well in place before this band became a band.”

That foundation is what allows everyone to remain grounded through what Canning refers to as “the whole picture of a band,” which involves every step of the creative and promotional process: writing, recording, touring, merchandise, interviews, eating, sleeping. “It’s so many different pieces,” he said. “And is everyone emotionally ready for all of it? You’ve got to hope so because you’ve all got to spend a whole bunch of time together. This band is just a real good lesson in mental and emotional awareness.”

The solo projects help. Between albums, each member works on various projects that function as outlets to exert a greater degree of creative control and lessen the stakes when the band reunites. For his part, Canning has played DJ sets, released solo albums, written film scores, and recorded with other bands since Broken Social Scene took off. The personal and creative space allowed by these projects is invaluable.

“Sometimes you’re just not meant to be living on a tour bus with one another for months on end,” he said. “A lot of the time you just want to escape your role, because you’re tired of playing that role. You just get frustrated. It’s easy to get frustrated and it’s easy to start saying, ‘Well, if we hadn’t done it this way or this way, we’d probably be a lot further ahead!’ And all these stupid things you conjure up in your brain because you wanted your way here or you wanted your way there and you didn’t get it. Or no one’s happy because you’re fighting over stupid shit. Or you’re not coming together as a unit. And that’s really what you have to do as a band. You have to come together as a unit, and if you’re not doing that, you’re going to be in trouble.”

The time apart means the band reunites with intention. This time, it was the shooting at a 2015 Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris that led to a series of phone conversations which, ultimately, created momentum for a new album.

There was also a producer, Joe Chiccarelli (previous credits include The Shins, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, and Morrissey), who urged them forward. “[He] kept checking in on us,” Canning said. “Every few months he’d be in Toronto and want to sit down for coffee…Just sort of saying, ‘Okay, so where are we at? Did you work on any of those demos?’ And you have to give him the bad news, ‘Well Joe, we’ve had some good conversations, but we haven’t actually got into the rehearsal space yet, but we’re really working towards it and let’s talk again,’ and the same thing a few months later.”

Eventually, the band began recording in earnest. Some members brought in new ideas, others returned to old ones. As always, it was something of a mess to make sure everyone’s contributions were heard.

“If a part’s going down on this record, hopefully, it’s going to be a part that’s going to get heard,” Canning said. “You don’t want to go over someone’s part. You’ve got to be mindful of all those things. “But it’s a double-edged sword, because you’ve got to serve the song to its best purpose and…maybe one person is going to want to hear something a little bit louder, but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to write songs that are going stick or be in people’s lives for hopefully a long time.”

Canning found himself both advocating for and questioning songs that would make the final cut. ‘Stay Happy’ was among those Canning fought hardest for. Though the song was popular among the band, Canning saw potential that led him to push for revisions.

“I sort of joke with [guitarist Andrew Whiteman], it’s a nice pat on the back for me when I hear someone compliment that song for a couple of certain things I fought for that maybe not even the whole band knows about…Everyone loved that song, but I, for one, wanted to see that song reach how far I felt it could reach. just take your small little victories. And the things that aren’t quote-unquote ‘victories,’ you just have to ride it out. You’re never going to get everything you want, because what would that even feel like? Maybe it would not be the right thing.”

Though the album is a product of hard-fought consensus, the chaos that shaped its production shows in the final product. During an interview with SiriusXMU recorded in March, Drew claimed, “We don’t really write songs. We write feelings, and then we turn them into songs.” The Broken Social Scene aesthetic reflects the ambiguities, micro-tones, and contradictions which define the human emotional experience. On Hug of Thunder, I hear an anxiety in the diffuse arrangements, impressionistic textures, and obscured melodic lines. Canning is surprised by my interpretation but does not dismiss it. “If that’s what you hear, then that’s what you hear,” he replies before mentioning a writer who heard a more celebratory tone.

This exchange is telling, and speaks to how the band, in its process and product, corresponds with the most fundamental human tensions: a simultaneous impulse toward intimacy and extraversion, clarity and obscurity, celebration and reflection. The album can be something of a Rorschach blot, open to a range of interpretations based on the listener’s perspective.

Canning is less interested in offering specific readings than in hoping the music makes you feel something. “Whatever you’re experiencing, I’d say, it’s right,” he said. “If it makes you feel a certain way, then you’re right because it’s your ears.”

Broken Social Scene’s fifth album, Hug of Thunder, is out now.

This is the kit moonshine freeze rgb

This Is The Kit – the musical project which holds exceptional Paris-via-Bristol songwriter Kate Stables close to its heart – have earned the adoration of peers including Guy Garvey, The National and Sharon van Etten. Their new album and Rough Trade debut, ‘Moonshine Freeze’, is undoubtedly their most compelling and accomplished to date. Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, M Ward, Perfume Genius), it began in the immediate wake of its predecessor, ‘Bashed Out’, when days after coming off tour last November, Stables and her band (Rozi Plain, Jamie Whitby-Coles, Neil Smith and Jesse D Vernon) headed into the studio in Bristol. Aaron Dessner of The National also features on six of the album tracks.

Though the album’s songs were already written before heading into the studio, Stables says she had no fierce vision for how they should sound, preferring to let them take shape with the input of her band and Parish. “I’m not yet someone who says ‘I want this album to sound like an 80’s French nightclub’,” she says. “All I can do is write the songs and then step back from them and see what themes or patterns there are, then bring those patterns out so it’s a coherent piece of work, sonically and in terms of feeling.” Sonically, Moonshine Freeze is a beguiling mixture of great musical sophistication and something more guileless — children’s games, songs, incantations and snatches of nursery rhymes. Stables’ voice too is a remarkable thing: in its angles there lies an exquisite strangeness reminiscent of Will Oldham, Magnolia Electric Co, Robert Wyatt, Karen Dalton.

Broken social scene   hug of thunder   slang50120


With Hug of Thunder Broken Social Scene created one of 2017’s most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. The 15 members of Broken Social Scene – including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines – refract their varying emotions, methods and techniques into something that doesn’t just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year – a song that will become as beloved as “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.

Its title captured what the band wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and how they sound playing together again: “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder.”

“Hug Of Thunder” is a panoramic, expansive album, that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: “Stay Happy” lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. “Gonna Get Better” makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That’s not to say it’s an escapist record: Broken Social Scene are completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring “There was a military base across the street,” the listener is caught in the division between the notional security provided by national defence, and the menace of the same thing. Its The band’s first studio album in 7 years.

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“Something’s Changing” in Lucy Rose. After two albums of feeling her way through the densely-populated landscape of contemporary singer-songwriter music she has picked a point in her career when most people are recycling their hits to bin the satnav, head off the map and commit to a graphically authentic version of her musical self. Now signed to Communion Records, this album is informed by her recent self funded forays into Latin America to headline shows booked by her own fans.

Psb every valley


Third album from Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. who, along with his drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, and their bass player, keys and horns man extraordinaire, JF Abraham, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe.
Released 7th July, on Every Valley Willgoose takes us on a journey down the mineshafts of South Wales valleys. Yet the record is a metaphor for a much larger, global and social malaise, using the history of coal mining to shine a light on the disenfranchised.
The album features guest vocals from James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers), Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut, the award winning Welsh singer Lisa Jên Brown, and Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell on lead single ‘Progress’.

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“As Light Return” – The Telescopes are back with their ninth album. Evolving oscillations of guitar feedback screech and howl through thick layers of distortion. Overtones shift and drift and combine on a carpet of white noise. In the eye of the storm, the voice of Stephen Lawrie remains calm, almost detached. He intones a low, trance-like chant. The vocal is buried deep in the mix, the lyrics just barely discernible.



Atlanta’s valiant punks Black Lips release their first album in three years, Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, on Vice Records. Produced by Sean Lennon at his studio compound in upstate New York throughout 2016, the album is the group’s most musically evolved to date, while still staying true to their original blistering take on fuzzy, dirty rock n roll.

Canadian collective Broken Social Scene will issue their long-awaited fifth LP,“Hug of Thunder”, on July 7th via City Slang/Arts & Crafts. The 12-track album, which follows 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record, features the comeback single, “Halfway Home.” Hug of Thunder will reportedly feature many of the ever-rotating band’s most famous members, including Feist, Haines, Shaw, Millan and Cranley. The title track from the album has been released. It features lead vocals from Feist,

The first single from their upcoming LP, “Halfway Home” found the long-dormant band sticking pretty close to the script. Full-to-overflowing with big choruses and every instrument under the sun, the song didn’t hold much back. Yet it all felt a touch too familiar, the kind of rush-relent-repeat rock you can almost picture them doing in their sleep. Funny, then, that Hug of Thunder’s far-from-formulaic title track—and second single—came to be while ringleader Kevin Drew was sleeping . According to Leslie Feist, “Thunder” came together in a quiet moment, while Kevin Drew caught some z’s on a studio couch. With Drew otherwise indisposed, a restless Brendan Canning stumbled into a bassline, guitarist Andrew Whiteman found a rhythm, and Feist, notebook in hand, grabbed a mic. After a few days spent reshuffling her lyrics, the song’s form took shape, every piece of the song, from Feist’s discursive lyrics to the circuitous rhythm and flickers of U2-like guitar, all seem to contour around each other .

The Band Broken Social Scene opened up their U.K Tour the night after the Manchester Bombing at the Ariana Grande Arena show in Manchester with a simple message,

“Tonight, we play for the hearts of Manchester…” Hometown hero Johnny Marr joined the band onstage to open the show with “Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl,” with the band starting things off by proclaiming their support for Manchester:

Thank you for showing up. Thank you for coming out tonight. What’s most important is tonight we’re here together, all of us. That’s what we could do, and that’s what we’re doing, so thank you Manchester. We’re so happy. There’s no other place we’d rather be than here with you. To start this show, to show you how we love your town, there’s a man who I love dearly who’s come out to play for you. He is your city, he is your legend, please give it up for Mr. Johnny Marr.

The new album will feature contributions from all 15 of the collective’s original members – including Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Leslie Feist, Metric’s Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw, Stars’ Amy Milian and more – as well as new vocalist Ariel Engle. Many of those collaborators appear on the title track, which constantly evolves and blossoms over its five-minute run time.

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Band Members
Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman, David Newfeld,Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, James Shaw, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, Ohad Benchetrit, Marty Kinack,Torquil Campbell,Julie Penner,Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger

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Emily Haines is best known as the lead singer for Metric, and also as a member of Broken Social Scene. But back in 2006 she released a breathtaking solo album called “Knives Don’t Have Your Back” More than a decade later, she’s back with a long-awaited solo followup called “Choir Of The Mind” and its first single, “Fatal Gift” Choir Of The Mind will be out September. 15th.

Broken Social Scene Announce First Full U.S. Tour in Six Years, Share Title Track from <i>Hug of Thunder</i>

Building up to their first new album in seven years, Broken Social Scene have shared the title track from their forthcoming new album “Hug Of Thunder” , featuring vocals from once-and-future BSS member Leslie Feist . With its unwavering drum-machine, chattering guitar section and Feist’s trademark murmur, it serves as a cool contrast to the untamed jubilance in the band’s first lead-in, “ Halfway Home” Featuring contributions from all fifteen original members as well as new guest vocalist, Ariel Engle, the album is available to pre-order now in digital, CD, and LP.  , Broken Social Scene have also announced a full U.S. tour including some UK dates, their first in six years. Frightened Rabbit and The Belle Game are set to open for the group on select dates.

First run LP features beautiful coke bottle clear vinyl (exclusive to pre-order purchases), 140g double-LP, and a 28 page booklet. LP includes the vinyl-only bonus track “Old Dead Young”.

The band’s upcoming UK shows, kicking off next week in Manchester, on May 23rd

Hug of Thunder is out July 7th on Arts & Crafts . See the band’s tour dates—with more to be announced soon.