Release Date: Oct 1, 2013
Record label: SQE
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock
The title may sound like a joke, but the contents fulfill its outspoken purpose. It’s a public offering—the title the recommendation (or warning), the music the method of fulfillment. Chill. Why? Because you forget your loved ones, but remember your cell phone and social media feeds? Not enough living room lounging—time with no intention? Hard to tell.
Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning has kept himself busy since his flagship band announced that they would be embarking on an "indefinite hiatus" in 2011. After testing the solo waters in 2008 with the likeable, meandering, bedroom parlor-pop outing Something for All of Us. .
Compared to the messy, sprawling indie rock churned out by his main band Broken Social Scene, Brendan Canning's 2008 solo debut Something for All of Us was a surprisingly low-key affair filled with humble, simply tuneful songs. Canning's kept busy in the half-decade since that album's release with a wide variety of activities, from Broken Social Scene's studio swan song (2010's Forgiveness Rock Record) to film scores (this year's Lindsay Lohan comeback vehicle The Canyons) to a complex, mysterious interactive multimedia endeavor involving director David Cronenberg and a biotech lab. Given the scope of these projects, it's easy to understand why Canning's approach to his new solo record You Gots 2 Chill was decidedly laid-back and homespun: he put together his own independent label to handle the album's release (named for his home street, tucked into the heart of downtown Toronto), drew the cover art himself, and recorded without help from any of his Broken Social Scene associates.
If you're used to seeing Brendan Canning busting out blistering guitar solos with Broken Social Scene or dropping deep cuts in his DJ sets around town, the gentle, languid quality of his aptly named second solo album might come as a surprise. But anyone who's followed the career of this local scene veteran knows he's always had a keen ear for melody, from his indie pop days with By Divine Right and Len. At first, the minimalist acoustic guitar and Canning's murmured vocals sound almost nonchalant, but his deft playing and nuanced arrangements elevate tracks like However Long and Bullied Days, which sets Snowblink singer Daniela Gesundheit's starlit vocals to an equally ethereal pedal steel backdrop.
You Gots 2 Chill, the new solo album from Brendan Canning, a founding member of Canadian music nucleus Broken Social Scene, feels like a decidedly low-stakes affair. Fresh off of composing the moody, synth-soaked soundtrack to The Canyons, Canning’s currently in the process of reviving pre-BSS band Cookie Duster and developing a curious project that blends video games and film, and, for some reason, involves David Cronenberg. You Gots 2 Chill, then, from its goofy title to its airy tone, feels like an anchor, something to keep Canning grounded amidst so much experimentation.
A lot’s changed in the world of Broken Social Scene co-founder and all-round nice guy Brendan Canning since he released his last solo album, Something for All of Us, back in 2008. His much-loved Toronto troupe offered up a divisive but very good final LP in Forgiveness Rock Record before deciding to call it quits altogether (save for the odd show here and there, of course, as is the done thing these days), he resurrected his long-dormant Cookie Duster side project, oh, and he played football with Ted Leo and Rivers Cuomo apparently. Now, the great indie rock egalitarian returns with You Gots 2 Chill: a sophomore full-length that eschews the more theatrical tenets of his BSS years – anyone who’s ever seen Canning live will tell you how partial he is to a mid-song air kick – for blustery, fingerpicked folk.