Release Date: Aug 12, 2016
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Broken Social Scene co-founder Brendan Canning has made indie songs for the dog days of summer on his new record, Home Wrecking Years. He complements breezy pop with languid, downtempo arrangements such as those heard on "Once I Was a Runner."Canning's delicate vocals harmonize nicely on the delightfully horn-filled "Keystone Dealers," while the dramatic guitars of "Nashville Late Pass" are beguiling and insistent. Everything, from the album's artwork to the hazy production, steeps the music in warmth.
The sound of Broken Social Scene has always been the sound of a band finding their groove, of process as product. As fans, we’ve been fascinated by how the instruments of the massive Toronto collective slink in and out of the mix until they land on that sweet spot, only to move on to something else a few measures later. We’ve been fascinated by how instructional ad-libs often find their way to the final recording.
Broken Social Scene (BSS) co-chair Brendan Canning offers up the pleasantly disheveled Home Wrecking Years, his third outing as a solo artist. Fans of 2013's breezy U Gots to Chill will find something a bit more robust here as Canning eschews bedroom coziness for more sprawling and occasionally rough-hewn Baroque pop. Throughout his career, he's seemed to function most naturally as a collaborator, and he finds a place for BSS bandmates Sam Goldberg and Justin Peroff, Stills keyboardist Liam O'Neil, and a host of others among these ten vibrant tracks.
When "Book It to Fresno" blasts off to open Brendan Canning's return to a full band affair you realize how dearly Broken Social Scene has been missed in recent years. There was always an exuberance in the playing of the pioneering mega group from Canada, a harmonious lift from a convergence of musical kinfolk that championed inclusiveness more than a showcasing of any one talent. As co-founder, Canning helped cultivate an organic development of songs that gleaned from life's eye-opening and formative experiences, translating that into themes to rock out to, and bring people together with.
A late-night, homespun feeling prevails across the 10 songs that comprise Brendan Canning’s (Broken Social Scene) latest effort. Certain moments conjure images of Canning and his cohorts trying to keep the volume down so as not to wake the neighbors or summon suspicion that they’re up to something quite amusing. Other moments feel loud, proud and unapologetically rock ‘n’ roll.
What happens when you devise a song so unlike your signature sound that it borders on parody? And what if it’s one of the liveliest tracks on your album? If you’re Brendan Canning, of Broken Social Scene, you openly acknowledge your point of inspiration in the lyrics. The song in question is a jammy number called “Hey Marika, Get Born,” in which the title character does not listen to the Grateful Dead. The song itself sounds a lot like the band he name-checks, regardless of whether or not Marika ever listened to them.