Junetile All Things (Un)clear

It’s been a long time coming, but after a string of three excellent EPs, Toronto’s Junetile have finally unleashed their full-length debut, All Things (Un)clear. The album is a bristling and emotional journey through what singer Jonathan Relph describes as "melodic and monumental pop,” that brings together a vast array of sounds, both acoustic and electronic. According to Relph, "We use the tools afforded to us — we also use various sounds from other types of music that we are currently inspired by.” Capturing the moody and celestial sound of their live performances on disc is a tall order. "One of the hardest things was maintaining a sense of urgency about it — and not allowing the ideas to grow stagnant.” Fortunately, they had help from award-winning producer Michael Wojewoda, who handled mixing duties with bassist/keyboardist Chris Stringer, as well as taking a seat behind the drums. At times, the album reveals a fragile beauty, especially when Relph’s voice is allowed to shine alongside that of Sam Simmons, whose masterful cello playing is used to great effect throughout the album. Then the layers begin to build, and with Stringer and Wojewoda all on board, the sound is almost magical. On epic tracks like "Telemessage” or "Away” the processed guitars and driving bass lines drive the intensity level up, but it comes gently back down, giving the album a real sense of flow. There are fragments here of artists like Talk Talk, Red House Painters, and yes, Radiohead, but there is a distant, intangible quality to Junetile’s music. This is music made by people with a passion for sound, and more importantly, for performing with each other. As Simmons puts it, "I used to feel an urge to be focused on outside stimuli while playing songs with Jon, just to stay grounded or to find something outside of the song to inspire parts. But after several shows together the music itself became enough to inspire, and the focus came from playing with Chris and Jon.” This focus has paid off, and All Things (Un)clear is a testament to that. (Independent)