Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
"When I get back home/I won't be the same no more," sings Dan Boeckner on Sound Kapital's opening track, "When I Get Back." He's not kidding. Much of the material on Handsome Furs' third LP was inspired by the duo's travels in Eastern Europe and Asia, and these experiences clearly had a life-changing affect on Boeckner and wife Alexei Perry. The electro-punk rager "Cheap Music" includes shout-outs to Bucharest, Belgrade and Bangkok, while the politically-charged "Serve the People" paints an apocalyptic portrait of citizens rebelling against oppressive governments around the world. Adding to the foreign flair is the fact the album is named after a book about Beijing's underground music scene. But Sound Kapital is much more than an impassioned and deeply personal travelogue, since it also includes no shortage of pulse-racing electro bangers and synth-heavy rock anthems. Upbeat standouts "Bury Me Standing" and "Repatriated" employ repetitive, gradually-building structures that culminate in shouted crescendos and sound a bit like Bruce Springsteen might after a bender in an all-night dance club. If you were worried about the rumoured dissolution of Wolf Parade, don't be ― with Sound Kapital, Boeckner has proved that synthesizers work just as well as guitars and drums when it comes to crafting a kick-ass rock record.
FeaturesMay 28, 2015
Patrick WatsonBlinded By Science
An album about robots may seem suited for the kind of experimentalism seen in science fiction, but Patrick Watson — the Montreal-based...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
Samantha Savage SmithSteps Outside the Box
It took four years for the release of Calgary singer-songwriter Samantha Savage Smith's follow-up to her 2011 debut. In that time Smith has ...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
High EndsClass Act
There's a line at the start of "Working Man's Blue," the last song on Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes's debut LP as High Ends, that goes...
StreamsMay 25, 2015
Pick a Piper"Dinghy in a Quiet Cove" on Exclaim! TV
Although Pick a Piper started as a group that aim to bring "organic dance music," their switch to electronic instrumentation did not stop th...
NewsMay 25, 2015
Shamir Finds His Disco-Pop Voice on 'Ratchet'
One of last year's best new discoveries was a confident debut single called "If It Wasn't True" that sounded straight out of the DFA laborat...
FeaturesMay 22, 2015
How I PlayDine Alone Records' Joel Carriere
It all started in a mall. Joel Carriere was working at Sam the Record Man in St. Catharines, ON. Still in his early 20s, the local show prom...
NewsMay 21, 2015
Patrick Watson Melds Flesh and Machine on 'Love Songs for Robots'
Patrick Watson's new album may be called Love Songs for Robots, but it was inspired less by science fiction than science fact. The Montreal-...
NewsMay 20, 2015
Brandon Flowers Goes in Depth on the Killer Collaborations of 'The Desired Effect'
Brandon Flowers is best known as the frontman for the Killers, but for the second time in five years, he has gone out on his own. While the ...