By Alex HudsonThe Heavy Blinkers have travelled a long road to get to the release of their new album, Health, and now the long-anticipated record is finally here. Ahead of the July 30 release, the entire thing is available to stream ahead of time on Exclaim.ca.
The band began work on the album way back in the spring of 2006. Since then, the lineup has undergone changes, with Jason Michael MacIsaac left as the only founding member still standing. All told, it's been nearly a decade since the Heavy Blinkers released their last album, The Night and I Are Still So Young.
The wartime-themed collection features songs sung by Stewart Legere, Melanie Stone and Jenn Grant, with additional contributions from Sondre Lerche and the High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan.
The record's lush, sprawling sound reflects its drawn-out genesis. It consists of 16 tracks and clocks in at more than hour, and includes choral vocals ("As Long as You Have Your Health), orchestral grandeur ("God Bless Hazel," "Crystal Clear"), tuneful AM pop ("Call It a Day"), and sultry Francophone coos ("Mes Craintes Oubliees").