Published Feb 17, 2016Rae Spoon is nothing if not accurate in their titles. While My Prairie Home was as wide open as the land west of Regina, Armour is as tightly contained as the armadillo on the cover. This album is less about telling all, and more about excavating how and why to confess, renewing the power of secrets. The result is a self-produced album that's both stark and lovely.
In an interview, Spoon has talked about performers their age, learning how to make music from Canadian gay bars in the 1990s, where big country sounds would bleed into techno and how learning about lesbian folk happened in the same places as learning to love house music. Thus the sound here, where an amalgamation of synthetic drum machines, analog synths and the usual exquisite vocals obliterate the usual arguments about the authentic in favour of a belief in earnest artifice. (Call it indie dance or folk house, though, if you must.)
Berlin's Alexandre Decoupigny, whose work is an encyclopaedia of current drum sounds, provides percussion production on the track "Can't Go Right," driving home the earnest house sound by walking the thin line between danceability and rueful mourning, attempting to dance yourself sad. It's just one of the ways that Spoon is expanding and complicating what it means to make dance music — by continuing to be one of the best storytellers now working in Canada and finding boundary-pushing peers to help them. (Coax)