Release Date: Oct 6, 2017
Record label: Kanine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock
Weaves’ self-titled debut - which they released just last year - was pretty perfect, unbeatably so. Positioning the oddball outfit as Toronto’s toast of wonky pop, the band also emerged as a ferociously polished live prospect. And cheerfully mixing infatuation, winky face innuendo, thwacking anger and disarming moments of honesty - all in that distinctively powerful waver - Jazz Burke didn’t mess about either, every inch the leader from the very beginning. From the start, Weaves’ lead obsession was pushing the bare bones of a band (drums, bass, guitar, vocals) to their limits, mixing arty polyrhythm with shredding immediacy.
When Weaves wrote their debut self-titled album, released last year, the Toronto quartet were in the business of rattling fixed formulas. They peeled apart the classic roles of an indie rock band—a singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer—so that each member ricocheted off the other, using Weaves as a space to deconstruct and then rebuild songs, like an espresso-laced jazz troupe set loose in a bounce house. As much as their first album was about living in the musical moment, their follow-up, Wide Open, is about reflecting on moments at large.
The hotly anticipated follow-up to the Canadian indie pop outfit's Juno Award-and Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2016 debut, Wide Open is a more polished affair than its predecessor, but Weaves haven't lost their gift for pairing knotty sonic architecture with gale force charisma. Much of that charm comes from frontwoman Jasmyn Burke, a natural scene stealer who can go from feral to heartfelt in the blink of an eye -- imagine Gwen Stefani or Santigold fronting TV on the Radio. That the band operates on her same cosmic wavelength goes a long way in making Wide Open work, which it does at least 75-percent of the time.
Before now, I could never discuss Weaves with any semblance of intellect. Even though I’d never seen the four-piece from Toronto spill their guts on stage - nor locked eyes with chaotic frontwoman Jasmyn Burke, nor danced in the grass and encouraged their entropy to mutate and envelop us all in one last fiery orgy – their self-titled debut LP wooed me utterly. I have moaned, I have cried, I have actually cried, I have pulsed silently in my seat, thinking only “what is this ecstasy?” Even now, as I try to touch on alley-oop follow-up Wide Open, I can’t, really.
Make no mistake, Weaves have no intention of letting go of the late '90s. And that's all for the better. The music coming out of Pavement, Pixies, and, an obvious touchstone of Weaves, The Mouldy Peaches was bursting with fluorescent ease. Not like the rigid, pseudo-'60s revival of the years that followed.