Release Date: Feb 5, 2013
Record label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Part of the joy of Boats is their somewhat absurdist nature. Band leader and vocalist Mat Klachefsky has a habit of using surreal imagery in his lyrics, often leading the unwary into a series of dead ends. This time around they’re balanced out with some quite stark images, which along with a more refined musical approach finds the band reaching for something more.
Boats' new album A Fairway Full of Miners is at times jarring, confusing, and offputting. It's also brilliant, bizarre and a tad schizophrenic. If you need proof that indie rock can still surprise you, Boats has the answer in these twelve songs. A resounding hell yes. One thing to get out of the ….
Mat Klachefsky sings like a girl. If you can warm to his yelping there’s plenty to enjoy on Winnipeg indie-poppers Boats’ third record: homespun takes on the solemn twinkles of early Arcade Fire; keyboards and vocal harmonies stolen from the department line managed by Mates Of State. The music’s studied naivety sugarcoats some sombre messages.
Winnipeg's unrepentantly quirky Boats returned with A Fairway Full of Miners, an over the top follow-up to 2011's Cannonballs, Cannonballs. The band immediately calls to mind the meaningful sentiments and clean production style of bands like the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, swapping out some of those bands' urgency and fervor for a more lighthearted feel, still spirited and neatly arranged, but lacking some of the darkness. Tracks like "Great Skulls" and "Sad Legs" show Boats cycling through sharp arrangements of electronics, rigid vocal harmonies, tandem trumpet lines, and tastefully placed blasts of guitar.
Winnipeg indie poppers Boats made the jump to the big(ger) leagues in 2011, teaming with Kill Rock Stars for a stateside release of their Canadian-lauded Cannonballs, Cannonballs. Two years later, Mat Klachefsky and Co. return with their first new disc for American audiences, and A Fairway Full of Miners follows-up on the hyperactive, ramshackle promise.
Attention spans, huh? Boring! There’s a certain type of indiepop collective that sees fit to adopt a ‘kitchen sink’ approach to instrumentation and arrangement, as likely to draw from the cutesiest of fey pop as it is to draw from what The Waterboys dubbed ‘the big music’. You know the types: Bearsuit. Architecture in Helsinki. Los Campesinos! Bands who’ll veer from lo-fi jauntiness to mini-Arcade Fires to nonsensical electro within the space of a single verse.