Funeral Lakes' "Forest Burns" Draws from Current Anthropocene, Oil Spills & More

By: Julia Talen

On the tails of their latest single release, “Forest Burns,” Canada-based indie folk rock duo Funeral Lakes have slowly begun gathering buzz for their anticipated self-titled debut album, out December 1st of this year. Partners Chris and Sam joined forces back in the spring of 2018 through a shared bond around the disillusionment of the current Anthropocene, from which they draw much of their artistic inspiration.

Much like their music, the group’s name, Funeral Lakes, grapples with the opposing and all too prevalent forces of nature and destruction. Their third digital single “Forest Burns” is no exception.

The tune opens with smooth instrumentals and stark, lyrical imagery. The band’s sound immediately reminded me of classic indie favorites Arcade Fire and Bright Eyes. The tune dives into the story of big oil companies and their impact on the environment, specifically our forests. Dismal lyrics like, “I gotta head full of lead/ I’m already dead/ One spill to make a million sick,” echo these sentiments and call attention to the pressing issues wrapped up in climate change. Sam’s vocal harmonies sync with Chris’s, creating a haunting affect as the pair croons lyrics like, “That snake oil salesman is back in town again/ With pipeline oil spewing from his lips.” 

Funeral Lakes.

Funeral Lakes.

This single grabs at your heart as you drift along through it, witnessing the devastations Funeral Lakes points out. The young artists’ lyrics are especially impressive and telling, engaging listeners as the forests slowly burn.

Keep up with Funeral Lakes here and on Instagram for the latest on their forthcoming album and tour dates.

-Julia

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Review: Basement Revolver Are the New Faces of Scuzzy Dream Pop

By: Brody Coronelli

The Canadian trio teases their new LP Heavy Eyes with the lush single “Baby.”

Basement Revolver are no strangers to reverb. Their explosive and astral take on ‘90s rock, shoegaze, and dream-pop is soaked in it, calling back to bands like My Bloody Valentine and the Cocteau Twins while also harnessing a modern punk sensibility that renders them immediate and fiery.

Basement Revolver. 

Basement Revolver. 

The band have been on a steady rise over the last two years. After two EPs, they’re finally gearing up to release their debut full length Heavy Eyes this August. The first offering from the album is “Baby,” a lush, pop-forward, and anthemic track that sounds like a hazy recollection of a summer day long since passed. The song is dreamy, but also loud and forceful, as frontwoman Chrissy Hurn’s vocals echo through walls of sopping, melodic guitars, and the drums pummel in the background like distant thunder.

The album, due out on August 24 through Sonic Unyon and Fear of Missing Out Records, will feature a balance of new and old material. New songs like “Baby” are in the mix, and older songs like “Tree Trunks,” which draws a parallel between mental and environmental health, and “Johnny” (part one, which appeared on their self titled debut EP and part two, which appeared on their Agatha EP released last year), all of which chronicle the difficult end of a relationship.

"'Tree Trunks' was written when I started experiencing panic attacks for the first time, and my increasing need to find a professional who could help me to find better ways to cope. It also tries to mirror how I imagine the environment feels sometimes- and how the environment is tied to many people's mental health,” Hurn said in an interview with The Fader.

The album was recorded at TAPE studio in Hamilton, Ontario, the same place where they recorded their first two EPs. The band found their sound and nurtured its evolution in the same environment, creating a sonic progression in their discography that feels natural and inviting.

“[Working in the same studio on this album] also gave me the confidence as a writer to not take myself so seriously, to let myself get cheesy or goofy with some songs,” Hurn said in a press release for Sonic Unyon.

You can stream “Baby” below. Be sure to keep up with Basement Revolver here.

-Brody

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The Crowleys Release New Single "Pink Rainbows" From Upcoming EP

By: Norman Hittle

Just out, The Crowleys have released their first single “Pink Rainbows” from their upcoming EP.

If you could combine the mellower aspects of Rush with the retro psychedelic rock vibes of Tame Impala, you’d start to get an idea of what The Crowleys’ new single is about. Its clean electric guitars and synths form a bed of warm chords appropriate for its comfortable crooning of vocals to rest in.

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The band is comprised of Stuart Downie (drums/backing vocals), Kaulin Horlick (bass), Justyn Horlick (guitar/keys) and Cohen Wylie (guitar/lead vocals) from Hamilton, Ontario. When the four-piece aren’t jamming, they’re trying to obtain an Old Milwaukee Ice sponsorship, playing D&D in the van between gigs, and writing love songs.

“Pink Rainbows” comes from their new forthcoming EP Colours Change Their Tone, due out this Friday, February 9th. The band said this regarding the song:

“Pink Rainbows is the first song that we have recorded that we never played as a full band prior to hitting the studio. Cohen wrote the song awhile back and recorded a few of the parts, and then the rest of the band kind of wrote and recorded on the fly. It gave a lot of creative freedom and we believe it shows in the final product.”

Keep up with The Crowleys on their social media. And check back for their new EP February 9th on Bandcamp.

-Norman

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Scenic Route To Alaska Release First Single From Upcoming Record & "Slow Down"

By: Norman Hittle

Life on the road for touring bands can be a tough and a necessary evil for the growth of an artist’s career. Spending most of 2016 and 2017 venue hopping and taking the stage in different locales, Scenic Route to Alaska finally had the chance to stop, take a breath, and slow down. Better yet, they wrote a song about it!

Listen to Scenic Route to Alaska's "Slow Down":

The indie pop rock Edmonton-based trio, comprised of Trevor Mann on lead vocals/guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood, said their single “Slow Down” is a reference to their time traveling cross-country and what it takes to maintain one's own sanity in the fast paced music world.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

The single is the first song off of their slated 2018 LP (as of yet untitled) and marks the first music released from the band since 2016’s Long Walk Home. Though it explores some personal experiences, its guitar driven indie pop vibe makes it an easy listen, with nods to the stylistic nature of Queens of the Stone Age and Weezer.

Having been a band since they were teenagers, and having three albums under their belt (with a fourth on the way), these guys seem to be getting a good grip on making music that's both interesting and accessible for big fans and casual listeners. Keep an ear out for their upcoming LP and keep an eye out for a possible forthcoming US tour here!

-Norman

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Review: Teen Ravine Returns With Extracorporeal Single “Hall of Horrors”

By: Shivain Chopra

Releasing their second single, “Hall of Horrors,” Canadian pop duo Teen Ravine continue to impress with their diverse talents, both instrumentally and vocally.

At first listen, the track gives off a Bon Iver-like vibe, but listen closely and it becomes clear that there is more to it. “Hall of Horrors” has a much more mellow vibe than the band’s debut single “Friend of a Friend.” The use of electronically manufactured tones and distortion, in tandem with the punchy bass line and an alternative rock beat, bring this song to life. That being said, the song is also smooth and slow, and could best be compared to Glass Animals. Both share soothing vocals over a well-synched orchestra of instruments and precisely picked digital filtering.

Listen to “Hall of Horrors”:

To confine the music of Teen Ravine to one particular sound is tough, because it encompasses various different musical ideals, but “Hall of Horrors” could be said to be a part of the more recent psychedelic pop music genre. This goes hand-in-hand with what the duo state to be their goal with making music. Said Teen Ravine, "We want to make music that feels like you're floating in a warm bath occasionally looking down at your weird naked body." It’s evident after listening to their newest single that Teen Ravine are working toward making music that not only affects the listener’s conscious state, but also their subconscious.

Teen Ravine.

Teen Ravine.

Overall, the soft but powerful vocals, diverse instrumental sections, and wonderful sound production come together to create something that is as much of an immersive experience as it is a piece of music on Teen Ravine’s “Hall of Horrors.”

Look out for a full-length album from Teen Ravine this October, as they continue their rise through the world of music.

Keep up with Teen Ravine here.

-Shivain

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The Sadies' New Record Is Arguably Their Best Yet & Drummer Mike Belitzsky Tells Us Why

By: Claire Woodcock

Mike Belitzsky has been drumming with The Sadies for over 20 years and has never been so excited about the direction the band is moving in. The traditionally roots rock kings of Canada’s sound on Northern Passengers, released back in February, preserves the band’s history while soaking the tracks in reverb and a light wash of fuzz.

The Sadies. Photo Credit:  Heather Pollock Photography

The Sadies. Photo Credit: Heather Pollock Photography

The eclectic country western rock quartet recorded album number ten in the basement of members Dallas and Travis Good’s parent’s house. The brothers come from a family of musicians- their father and uncles formed The Good Brotherswhich Travis and Dallas actually played in for a stitch before forming The Sadies back in 1994 with their lineup of bassist Sean Dean and drummer Belitsky.

The instrumentals on Northern Passengers are in tight sync. And Belitsky’s musical style is to keep it that way, balancing creativity with keeping the other parts audible. Part of that stems from the band not feeling pressed for time when recording the album.  

“If we wanted to speed [a song] up 10 beats per minute we could just redo [the track] and it wasn’t a big deal,” he said.

Some songs only took a half a day to track. “But for others, [we] would do it and then three days later somebody would be putting the guitar track on and say, ‘You know what, this is too slow, we’ve got to redo the whole thing.’” he added.  

Photo Credit:  Derek von Essen

Photo Credit: Derek von Essen

The album came out in February as The Sadies’ first record with Dine Alone Records. Highly respected in North America for a dynamic blend of rock’n’roll licks and country western harmonies, the veteran indie band collaborated with Neko Case and Andre Williams and opened and accompanied greats like Neil Young. And Kurt Vile, who played a killer set at Project Pabst in Denver last weekend guests on Northern Passengers with “It’s Easy (Like Walking),” which sounds like a traditional Kurt Vile song. (He sure likes to walk, doesn’t he?)  

Photo Credit: Rick White.

Photo Credit: Rick White.

Belitsky’s drums compliment every vocal, guitar, and bass track on the album. “Everybody sort of just assumes that you get the drum sounds and then bang! The drummer just bangs out a track and goes home,” he said, “...[But] I don’t like to be just the guy that plays super straight and just keeps the time. I want to be creative and I want to be someone who plays the song not just to the beat and within that realm in those parameters. I don’t want to be so busy that I’m stepping on someone’s part or taking away from the melody. I don’t want to lose the backbeat but I still want to be creative and play to the song as much as I can, where there’s still a strong feeling of a backbeat and a rhythm, but [the drums] still manage to embellish the song to highlight the other parts.”

Artwork by Jeremy Bruneel

Artwork by Jeremy Bruneel

Catch The Sadies when they’re passing through Denver this Friday, May 26th at The Bluebird Theater. Justin Towne Earles headlines and has a new single out this month. Tickets here.

-Claire

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.  

Sasquatch-goers apparently have a lot of preoccupations with Preoccupations (formerly Viet Cong)

Even with a name change, Preoccupations (formerly Viet Cong) struggled to get people to their Saturday night Sasquatch set.

One month ago, Canada’s post-punk outfit Viet Cong announced something big: a name change. The band faced controversy frequently in the media last year with their original moniker, culminating with Oberlin College cancelling one of their performances due to concerns over racism, cultural appropriation, and “their offensive name”. From there, protesters camped at VG gigs, and the boycotting of their shows worldwide began.

In an interview with Pitchfork in April, the band made the formal announcement that they were moving forward under the name “Preoccupations”.

This picture makes the lack of people at the show look  goooood .

This picture makes the lack of people at the show look goooood.

Unfortunately, either everyone at Sasquatch is still holding a grudge against the band’s former name, or no one got the memo. Their set on Saturday night’s lineup was rough. The band still played a lot of old songs and killed those, but their new music was lacking in energy. One reason we can speculate as to why? There was almost no one there.

Only time will tell whether music fans will let their preoccupations with Preoccupations go, and let their music be the judge of a good show. Stay tuned.
 

Content per Kaitlin Summer and Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat.

All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured. All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.