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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
Battle Of The NudesGord Downie's sophomore 2003 solo album, 'Battle Of The Nudes', "ranges from some sublime spoken word pieces to straightforward rock songs." (PopMatters). Featuring a backing band credited as "Country of Miracles" including Julie Doiron, Josh Finlayson and members of experimental blues-rock band The Dinner Is Ruined, the album leaned closer to more traditional rock than its predecessor, but no less filled with Downie's singular poetry.
At the time of release, Downie wrote of the record: “I’m interested in doing anything that teaches me something,” he concludes. “As a result, I’ve found that I’m writing more than ever. In fact, the day after I mastered this record, I was already back to writing with The Hip. Ultimately, what I want to do is more. I want to get better.”1. Into The Night
3. Christmastime in Toronto
4. Willow Logic
5. Pascal's Submarine
6. 11th Fret
7. Who By Rote
9. Ace Bailey
10. More Me Less You
11. We're Hardcore
12. Pillform #2
13. Pillform #1
$25.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Coke Machine GlowLush and sprawling, 'Coke Machine Glow' is Gord Downie's debut 2001 solo album. Featuring the singles "Chancellor" and "Vancouver Divorce", the album's backing band was credited as "the Goddamned Band" and included contributions from musicians Julie Doiron, Steven Drake (The Odds), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Josh Finlayson, director Atom Egoyan, and members of The Dinner Is Ruined. 'Coke Machine Glow' highlights Downie's singular poetic story-weaving over sparse, loose production and subdued instrumentation.1. Starpainters
2. Vancouver Divorce
3. SF Song
4. Trick Rider
5. Canada Geese
7. The Never-Ending Present
8. Nothing but Heartache in Your Social Life
10. Lofty Pines
11. Boy Bruised by Butterfly Chase
14. Yer Possessed
15. Every Irrelevance
16. Insomniacs of the World, Goodnight
$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Introduce YourselfGord Downie's Introduce Yerself is a double-album of twenty-three new songs inspired by the people in his life. The music was recorded swiftly over two four-day sessions in January 2016 and February 2017, with the final album often reflecting first takes. Introduce Yerself continues the collaborative relationship that last year brought the music of Downie’s historic Secret Path to life, with Drew producing the album and co-writing a number of the new songs.1. First Person
2. Wolf’s Home
4. Introduce Yerself
5. Coco Chanel No.5
6. Ricky Please
7. Safe Is Dead
9. A Natural
10. Faith Faith
11. My First Girlfriend
12. Yer Ashore
13. Love Over Money
14. You Me And The B’s
16. A Better End
18. Thinking About Us
19. The Road
20. You Are The Bird
21. The Lake
22. Far Away And Blurred
23. The North
$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Fool's ParadiseLadan Hussein, aka Cold Specks, has returned with her most personal work yet. Recognized for her twistedly enthralling lyrics and distinctive soulful voice she’s dug deep and returned to her roots on Fool's Paradise. Intimately exploring her identity as a Somali-Canadian woman, unveiling and allowing herself to stretch her palette thematically, the rawness that’s deemed Cold Specks a dark soul has revealed itself to be a cathartic afterglow, illuminating the sort of light born through healing.1. Fool’s Paradise
2. Wild Card
4. Ancient Habits
7. New Moon
8. Two Worlds
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Something's ChangingLucy Rose's third studio album Something's Changing is accompanied by a stunning short documentary, acting as a fly-on-the-wall account of her life-changing debut tour of Latin America last year. The trip, organized by Lucy with help by her Latin American fans, is an intimate account of how it all came together. A true believer in the power of music, this album's collection of songs acts as simple proof that Lucy Rose is undoubtedly one of the UK's best songwriters.1. Intro
2. Is This Called Home
3. Strangest Of Ways
4. Floral Dresses
5. Second Chance
6. Love Song
7. Soak It Up
9. No Good At All
10. Find Myself
11. I Can't Change It All
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Hug Of Thunder“I don’t want to go out there being presumptuous,” Kevin Drew says, “because, I’ve worn those presumptuous shoes before, and you don’t want it to feel like, ‘Oh, what a let-down.’” That’s the fear when you bring back one of music’s most beloved names seven years after their last album. But with Hug of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, Drew and his bandmates have a right to feel presumptuous.
They have that right because they have created one of 2017’s most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. On Hug of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene – well, the 15 who play on the record, 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, Drew says, captured what he 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.”
Broken Social Scene had reconvened, in varying forms, several times over the past four years – the odd festival show here and there, preferably ones that involved the least possible traveling. But the idea that they might turn their hand to something more than greatest-hits sets had been stirring since November 2014, when producer Joe Chiccarelli told Drew the group needed to make a new album.
“He started showing up at our label, asking if we were going to make an album,” Drew recalls. “He just didn’t give up; he just kept saying, ‘You’ve got to strike, you’ve got to do this, the time is now,’ and so finally we agreed.”
As might be expected to be the case with a many-headed hydra of a group, getting all the principals to agree wasn’t easy. Drew’s co-founder Brendan Canning was keen, but Drew and fellow BSS lifer Charles Spearin took more persuading. A turning point for Drew came with the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, which made him feel the world needed an injection of positivity: “It just sort of made us want to go out there and play. Because I think we’ve always been a band that’s been a celebration.“
Canning picks up the story: “By autumn of 2015 we had started getting together and trying some ideas out, just getting back in that jam space, in Charles’ garage. Then we set up shop in my living room and we were starting to come together in a very familiar kind of way, jamming in the living room, eating meals in the kitchen together, because that’s what the band is about: ‘Hey, let’s all get on the same page and get the energies flowing in the same direction.’”
Recording finally began in April 2016 at The Bathouse studio on the shores of Lake Ontario, with later sessions in Toronto and Montreal, before the group went right back to basics. “It was very beautiful the way that it ended in Charlie’s little rehearsal garage space,” Drew says, “after going to all these studios. We just worked there, doing backup vocals and handclaps and all the shit we used to do when we were younger.” And then it was to Los Angeles, where the album was mixed.
The result is a panoramic, expansive album, 53 minutes 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 is 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 national security provided by national defense, and the menace of the same thing.
The gestation of Hug of Thunder was no idyll. When You Forgot It in People made their name, Broken Social Scene were young men and women. Fifteen years on, they were adults in or on the cusp of middle age, and – as Drew puts it – “all the adult problems in the world were happening around us individually, whether it was divorce or cancer”. Three members of the band lost their fathers while the album was being recorded, “and it seemed like the days of going in the studio, getting stoned, drinking five beers and saying, ‘Who gives a fuck?’ were over”.
Then there’s the fact of the size of the ensemble, and the number of competing voices. “You don’t always get the final say with Broken Social Scene,” Canning says, with a certain degree of understatement. He compares the process of getting everyone to agree on a song to party politics: “It’s like you’re trying to get a bill passed through the House – you have to be really committed to wanting to win.”
But, still, if they were to return, it had to be with everybody, no matter if that meant things might get unwieldy. “I’d like to believe that Broken Social Scene can be whatever it can be,” Canning says, “but I think the fact we’d gone away for so long meant we really, we really couldn’t have done the same thing without everyone involved, you know?” The story of Broken Social Scene, he insists, was built on the involvement of everyone, and so if the story was to be continued, those same people had to return.
“The thing that has changed is that the relationships between us are established,” Drew suggests. “And in a family, you ebb and flow and you come and you go and you’re in love and then you’re annoyed – but it’s established now, the relationships aren’t going anywhere, you know? And I think through time, because we’ve been through so much together, personally and professionally, when we’re all on stage, everybody knows what they’re doing, everybody has a melody to back up someone else, you feel supported, you’re a crew, there’s nothing but protection all around you.”
Canning picks up the theme: “Before we were making this record, I said to everyone: ‘We all basically want the same thing, we might just have slightly different roadmaps on how to get there. So how do we stray off on certain country roads but get back onto the main thoroughfare?’”
That Broken Social Scene was a family again, driving along the same main road, became apparent to UK fans in September 2016, when the group – with Ariel Engle the latest woman to assume the role of co-lead vocalist – came over for less than a handful of festival shows, to test the waters. Their Sunday teatime appearance at End Of The Road – an ecstatic hour of maximalist music, physically and emotionally overwhelming – ended up being one of the biggest hits of the festival. It achieved what Drew has always felt music needed to do: it created transcendence, a pocket of time where everyone present was living only in the moment.
“My 11-year-old nephew asked me, ‘Uncle Kev, why do adults get drunk?’ and I looked at him and thought, ‘OK, brilliant question, I’m going to give a brilliant answer,’” Drew recalls. “And I looked at him for about 10 seconds and I said, ‘Because they want to feel like you. Because they want to feel like a kid again, they want to forget everything, they want to be innocent.’ We are built in a way now where you can’t do that because you’re walking around with the anti-transcendence box in your pocket, and in your hand, and in your home, and on your bedside table: it’s the anti-transcendence. It’s called your phone! And we’re getting killed, we’re getting killed!”
So what do Broken Social Scene want listeners to take from Hug of Thunder? Canning wants it to make them “pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes”. For Drew, it’s about what it’s always been about: making the connection. “I just hope they understand that there’s others out there, that they’re not alone,” he says. “I know that’s silly! But you’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to tell people, ‘Hey, you’re not alone on this, you’re not alone thinking these things.’ I mean, with the title Hug of Thunder, I want to hold people. I want to fucking hold them. And when we do shows, I’m not: ‘Look at me, I’m elevated up on the stage,’ It’s: ‘We’re here with you, this is us together.’ Broken Social Scene is about the people, and it’s always been about the people.”1. Sol Luna
2. Halfway Home
3. Protest Song
5. Stay Happy
6. Vanity Pail Kids
7. Hug of Thunder
8. Towers and Masons
9. Victim Lover
10. Please Take Me With You
11. Gonna Get Better
12. Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse
$25.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The WaveDebut solo album from the former Keane frontman. Chaplin has called the process of recording a solo album a "daunting prospect for someone who knows nothing else". Following the band's split, Chaplin began using drugs due to anxiety over the album and "thought [he] was going to die" in early 2015: "When I finally liberated myself from years of spiraling addiction, a place of inspiration and creativity became available to me. I set about writing an album that documents my transition from the darkest recesses of human experience to a place of resolution, fulfillment and happiness. At long last I am comfortable in my own skin and have achieved that elusive dream of writing a set of songs I can truly call my own."1. Still Waiting
2. Hardened Heart
3. The River
4. Worthless Words
5. I Remember You
6. Bring The Rain
7. Hold On to Our Love
9. Solid Gold
10. See It So Clear
11. The Wave
$24.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Home Wrecking YearsBrendan Canning is the co-founder of the Toronto supergroup Broken Social Scene that includes members of Metric, Do Make Say Think, Stars, as well as Grammy-nominated Feist. One of the most enduring and influential alternative bands of the 00s. Their record 'You Forgot It In People' defined the “indie rock” era and paved the way for Canadian acts like Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade to break out. Canning's third solo album, 'Home Wrecking Years', is his first release with a full band since Broken Social Scene's 2010 release 'Forgiveness Rock Record'.
*'Home Wrecking Years' is backyard barbecue-ready indie album with heavy summertime vibes. Smart and breezy 4-minute pop tunes that run the gamut from 90s-era college rock to tropical baroque pop.1. Book It to Fresno
2. Vibration Walls
3. Keystone Dealers
4. Hey Marika
5. Once I Was a Runner
6. Nashville Late Pass
7. Work Out In the Wash
8. Money Mark
9. Sleeping Birds Like Lazers
10. Ana Don’t Leave
$21.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Club MedsAfter a two year hiatus, an induction into fatherhood, and some time to regroup, two-time JUNO Award-winner Dan Mangan has returned under a new moniker, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith. The new name encompasses the spirit of the project's longstanding ensemble members joining the band from Vancouver's experimental music community, Kenton Loewen, Gordon Grdina, John Walsh (and often Jesse Zubot, JP carter and Tyson Naylor) with a communal sensibility that merits the marquee amendment.
Produced by Colin Stewart and Dan Mangan, Club Meds at times evokes images of subtler American-underground innovators like Blonde Redhead or Steve Reich. At other moments, it hits emotional pay dirt reminiscent of British scene-survivors like Peter Gabriel or Radiohead. Blacksmith brings an unmistakable character to Club Meds; a stark glassy edge that swells and sways like a roaring ocean. Through a fog of analog feedback loops and synths, the band's performances breathe deeply and steadily like a dragon at rest.1. Offred
4. A Doll's House / Pavlovia
7. War Spoils
9. Club Meds
10. Pretty Good Joke
11. New Skies
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering SunGord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun begins with "Crater", a ragged anthem that erupts with frayed guitar and thundering rhythm. Dallas and Travis Good's trudging riffs light the low-slung growl of Gord Downie:
Hello there / Gentle Son / A crater / We're creating!
"Crater" is an arrival: the mission statement of a young band unhinged, igniting ten songs of visceral punk rock exultation. Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun is a spirited exploration of the darkness surrounding daylight, a rallying cry from the Secret Museum of Mankind:
Crater! / Getting crushed in our dreams / Or in our dreams / Doing all the crushing
Downie's words burn in unison with the charging Sadies, the mantra of a band forged out of primal necessity. This album is a vital, reckless, and ecstatic moment, gleaming with the proud imperfections of a group discovering its voice.
It came together urgently but slowly, after the long-time Toronto friends first recorded together for Lake Ontario Waterkeepers in 2006. Fleeting sessions over the next seven years yielded finished songs in immediate, alchemical takes. Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun is the action of first-thought-best-thought.
The project's namesake, "The Conquering Sun" fuses The Sadies' rusted psychedelia with Downie's humble, volatile wail. Mike Belitsky's roiling drums, and Sean Dean's sure, standing bass spur the band through uncharted desert-scapes.
Working the fugitive dust / Under the conquering sun / Nature, please be good to us / Under the conquering sun
Each song brims with energy, electricity embellishing a simple, rustic core. Acoustic inflections are cached in the album's array of fiery environments, staggering in its balance of ferocity and craft.
Downie cries out possessed on "It Didn't Start To Break My Heart Until This Afternoon": a pulsating blast of brash guitars and fuzzed-out gnarl.
Drive it like we stole it / Through the snowflakes, into the cold of the sun
On "Budget Shoes", guitars shine over the tumbling bedrock of desolate but hopeful imagism. Downie writes in a universal voice, with a chorus taunting shadow from light. On "Los Angeles Times", nations gather under that conquering blaze, singing unanimous poetry of promise and provocation:
Raise a glass of hope / Raise a glass of liberty / And a glass of something else / May we be at ease with ourselves!
The Sadies' effortlessly invoke this primitive emotion, intuiting Downie's themes with rollicking instrumental passages. On "Devil Enough", Downie's solemn musings are liberated by The Sadies' roving plainsong; sobering internal sentiment brought to life with the flame of improvisation:
You're making me drop things / I can't hold my cup / My state of being / Isn't what it was / The light the light / And my eyes adjust / What?s for sure is Devil Enough
"One Good Fast Job" sneers like a siren, blunt guitars circling Downie's snarl. "Demand Destruction" pops with environmental pressure, coaxing an answer to a nuclear dilemma:
And as the sun went down behind the shadow / Of this invisible war / You say, "Is this accident ever over anymore?"
Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun spans depths and ages in its relentless half-hour, before concluding on an only note of reprieve. "Saved" dwells in the light of darkness, capturing our silent vibration of debt to the source. The album's last moments glint in the rapturous calm of collective awe:
You say nothing can be saved / It all goes away / Darkness falls and colours fade / And the music gets so loud it flaps your pant legs
Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun boils with hope and irreverence; toils with fire as a tool and a curse. This is the combustion of brotherhood and dissent: music of wisdom and innocence:
It is the work, day is your word, night is the glue.
by Jonathan Shedletzky1. Crater
2. The Conquering Sun
3. Los Angeles Times
4. One Good Fast Job
5. It Didn't Start To Break My Heart Until This Afternoon
6. Budget Shoes
7. Demand Destruction
8. Devil Enough
9. I'm Free, Disarray Me
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Funeral SkyFuneral Sky is the stunning debut album from Reuben And The Dark, the harmonious collection of five multi-instrumentalists lead by Calgary's Reuben Bullock. This suite of eleven carefully crafted songs evokes the full spectrum of the group's uplifting folk and gripping soul, with depth and seamlessness that bely their youth. The dramatic "Bow And Arrow" flows into the summer tint of "Devil's Time"; the expanse between anthemic "Rolling Stone" and "Marionette", with its stark beauty, showcases the effortless range of Reuben And The Dark, exploring the duality of misery and joy with introspective dirges and glinting, earthen atmosphere. Funeral Sky is produced by Christopher Lloyd Hayden (Florence & The Machine) and Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madonna, Nicki Minaj, The Game feat. Kanye West), and is mixed by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele).1. Bow & Arrow
2. Devil's Time
3. Rolling Stone
5. Standing Still
7. A Memory's Lament
8. The River
9. Can't See The Light
10. Funeral Sky
11. Black Water
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
DarlingsBroken Social Scene's founder, songwriter, and front man Kevin Drew will be releasing his newest solo album, Darlings, on Arts & Crafts.
Darlings shows Drew growing from his role in indie vanguard Broken Social Scene to create a breakthrough statement of personal artistry. Darlings is also his first solo album that is truly, to put it bluntly, solo. If Drew's 2007 effort Spirit If... was his inaugural step beyond the decade-long shadow of his former band, Darlings spotlights Drew with seven years more experience and maturity. Darlings reveals a more focused and refined sound; more honest, revelatory songwriting, with Drew's craft concentrated on lyrical and emotional connections, less so than guitar pedals and studio jams.1. Body Butter
2. Good Sex
3. It's Cool
4. Mexican Aftershow Party
5. You Gotta Feel It
6. First In Line
7. Bullshit Ballad
8. My God
9. You In Your Were
10. You Got Caught
11. And That's All I Know
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Arts & Crafts 2003-2013Translucent Vinyl!
Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 is a deluxe package curated from a decade of releases, including some of the label's most recognizable hits, as well as never before heard rarities. This commemorative release will be available as a 4xLP special edition translucent vinyl package.
LP Deluxe packages come complete with a hard cover vinyl book, 4xLPs and color booklet. Liner notes for Deluxe packaging written by Stuart Berman, noted journalist and author of Broken Social Scene oral biography This Book Is Broken.Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline)
Stars - Elevator Love Letter
Zeus - Are You Gonna Waste My Time?
The Stills - Being Here
Feist - Mushaboom
Apostle Of Hustle - Folkloric Feel
Amy Millan - Skinny Boy
The Most Serene Republic - Content Was Always My Favorite Colour
Jason Collett - I'll Bring The Sun
New Buffalo - Recovery
Feist - I Feel It All
Timber Timbre - Demon Host
Dan Mangan - Rows Of Houses
Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit
Broken Social Scene - Deathcock
The Hidden Cameras - Mind, Matter And Waste
Amy Millan - She Got By
Apostle Of Hustle - I Want A New Drug
Cold Specks - Grave Goods
Ra Ra Riot - Saccharin And The War
Sally Seltmann - You Don't Know Me Anymore
Los Campesinos! - Allez Les Blues
Timber Timbre & Tasseomancy - The Darkness Of Things
Feist & Constantines - Islands In The Stream
Stars - Rollerskate
The Dears - Raise The Dead
Brendan Canning - Secretaries' Party
Jason Collett - False Cassandra
Dan Mangan - Faults
Chilly Gonzales - Tarantelle
Kevin Drew - Apology
Snowblink - Blue Moon
$80.99Vinyl LP - 4 LPs SealedBuy Now
Mourning TranceMourning Trance is a record about loss and family, but also about coping and finding a way to enjoy life through all of the exhaustion. It's an album about waking up every morning, working eight hours, and still finding a way to celebrate surviving another day.
In Still Life Still's case, that way was the only one the band knows - writing and playing music with best friends.
The album was recorded and produced in Toronto by Alex Bonenfant (Crystal Castles, Metz) the result of that process is a weird, beautiful pop record, inspired by, and in honour of the brilliance and absurdity of real life. Those bittersweet experiences continue to be what drives the band and record.1. Burial Suit
2. Dancing Spines
3. Mourning Trance
4. Aim and React
6. In Enemies
7. Revolving Doors
8. Deer Hologram
9. Thinking About Our Plans
10. Hanging With Our Family
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.