The third instalment of Kevin Drew’s isolation playlist is here. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these playlists. Chilled, thoughtful, and moving. Exactly what I’ve needed to get through my never-changing days at the moment.
From Broken Social Scene’s Facebook page: “Volume 3 takes you to the isolation airport. Movements for the pick me up’s and the “hold on” way of living. Enjoy xo”.
Let’s hear your own isolation playlists, folks. Send them over and we’ll feature them; we should spread some cheer while we’re all in lockdown mode.
Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene is busy crafting some delicious playlists during these times of lockdown, quarantine and self-isolation. This first one embraces the ambient compositions of some of his favourite artists. I’ll continue to post his updates over the coming days. Enjoy, and stay safe.
So, the millennium is suddenly ten years old, and the initial growing pains and troubles have been dealt with, and everyone is left looking forward in collective optimism. How apt it is then that the bands that carried the people through the bad times, remain as the soundtrack to their lives ten years on.
In 2010, Broken Social Scene continues to shine a light through the darkness.
Having released their forth studio album, Forgiveness Rock Record in May of this year, the Canadian mass ensemble seem to have created not just another skilled blend of sounds and emotions, but also a hugely credible indie-rock album. As a collection, Forgiveness Rock Record is arguably the band’s most accessible album yet, and certainly has a mood for any listener.
Opening with the epic and achingly beautiful World Sick, it is also noticeable that the group has perfected some true anthems here. As a gentle guitar refrain meanders against an ethereal pulsing rhythm, the chanting lyrics break in, just as the guitar sprinkles off, up into the atmosphere, culminating in a ‘smile on the face, hands in the air’ moment of bliss. Similar moments occur in Texico Bitches and inverse romantic ballad, Sweetest Kill.
However, the true gem of the collection is All To All; an interstellar blast that fuses together everything that the band, and their previous work, is all about, dream like emotional escapism. It achieves this euphoria through its use of tinkling guitar and synth effects, with the addition of a crisp drum machine beat, laced with mouth watering vocals.
The most striking element of this current album is the transition Broken Social Scene has made, and the path that led them to it. As one trawls through the unique band’s back catalogue, one cannot help but be amazed at just how different each collection appears; From the wispy instrumental debut, through the dark You Forgot It In People, and eventually landing in the anthemic power house of sound and feeling that they find themselves in today. This journey has molded the group from being simply another experimental indie band, to becoming fully fledged artists. After years of lulling the listener through a sweet dream, Broken Social Scene have finally escaped and now exist within their own sun soaked dream.
As you know, we went to see Broken Social Scene (one of our favourite bands) on Saturday night with our competition winner, Rhys Howell. Rhys has written a review of the gig for us, which you can read after the break.
We’ve embedded a live vid of “The Sweetest Kill” for those that couldn’t make it (shame on you!).
On discovering I’d won Compisfaction I thought wouldn’t it be great to write up a review of the Broken Social Scene gig I’d just won a ticket for. I then had another brainwave. Why not do it in the form of Haiku? So I have. Part 1. The competition and pre-gig.
Late night I enter, “Mr Blue Sky” is the song.
Will I win or not?
Discover a text;
Hypothetical, it is:
If win can I go?
I reply to the message.
Still not offical.
Check on the website –
Amazingly, I have won!
Ready to drive South.
Ignorant of band,
Wikipedia’s my friend.
Safe, blood. Tomorrow evening, a bunch of us are going to Birmingham’s O2 Academy for the first Spotisfaction Meet-up. We’re going to see Broken Social Scene and Sky Larkin, and it’s going to be a fantabulous time. If you’re in the area, I believe there are still tickets available – come along and I’ll buy you a beer (I originally typo’d ‘bear’, which would have been a much better incentive).
In other news, if you’d like to become a contributor to Spotisfaction, we’re always looking for feature writers, reviewers and people that can comb the web to collate interesting music news. We’re also looking for an art director. If you want to get involved in our lovely little site, please get in touch. We still want your playlists and one-off articles or reviews if you don’t want to sign a contract in blood / formally become part of the team, too!
Take it easy, sleazies. See you tomorrow night.
Above are a collection of songs by Broken Social scene, bands whose members comprise them, their support act on Saturday, and a small selection of artists on their Arts & Crafts label. Enjoy. And please buy a ticket to see these guys at some point on their tour if you can possibly make it.
Following a brief hiatus in the first half of the decade, the Canadian musician ensemble, Broken Social Scene released their second album, “You Forgot It In People”; an album that was sure to carry more weight to it due to the further addition of artists to the already heavily populated group.
With the surplus members and ideas, the band, namely core founders Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew, expanded their sound and embraced new moods still allowing the listener to escape real life, but this time without the dreaming.
“You Forgot It In People” offers a more accessable selection of ‘indie-rock’ gems then previous album “Feel Good Lost”, in the sense that the intimate ambiance has been replaced with vocals and stronger melodic hooks. The band have not however abandoned their initial dream state sound completely. Essences of ethereal lifts and heavy orchestral tones are still present throughout, but are now supported by poetic lyrics, attempting to make sense of the real life one had left behind.
A track that perhaps breaks this rule, ‘Cause = Time’, strikes hard at the album’s heart and tells of the how society resorts to sex and selling its body, in an attempt to find meaning in life. ”And they all want to love the cause, ‘cause they all need to be the cause, they all want to fuck the cause”. Yet, such a dark message is still accompanied by melodic guitars and a pulsing tempo, making it almost anthemic and full of emotion. Another significant track here is ‘Looks Just Like The Sun’; a chilled and relaxed refrain that doesn’t just look, but also feels like the sun, as the lyrics describe someone whose presence radiates on the listener. Both tracks giving justified backing to the album’s title, suggesting that such individual florishes, and human error, has been taken for granted in society as a whole.
As with their debut, the band take the listener on an exploration through a series of ideas and visions, and peaks and troughs, but overall have managed to create a fine fusion of dark imagery with their trademark escapist tone, culminating in a very strong follow up album. At the time, this quality was recognised as the band recieved awards and accolades from right across the board; a just victory deserved for a group with such a unique vision and sound. From here, it is possible for Broken Social Scene to go anywhere, having both existed in beautiful dreams, and now harsh, yet lucid realities.
The year 2000; the start of the new millennium, but more importantly the birth of new ideas, perspectives and emotions.
Around the same time as the world welcomed in this new decade, a fresh sound was growing from the suburban basements, and urban meadows of America and Canada. A sound that projected pure poetry and delicate lyrical narratives, set to beautifully crafted instrumental dream states. Circa 2000, the pioneers of this ‘post-rockesque’ styling included bands such as Bright Eyes, The Shins and Death Cab For Cutie, all of which continue to evolve and develop this glorious sound 10 years on. But one group who appear to have nurtured the genre throughout the decade, and are still exploring it to this day, are Broken Social Scene.
Formed in Canada in 1999, Broken Social Scene originally existed as a mix of collaborators, musicians and friends who blended an array of musical projects and ideas together. After two years of fine tuning, founding members Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew wrote the band’s debut album “Feel Good Lost”; a myriad of moods and tones that truly paints a picture of the mass artist collective present and the new millennium perspective.
“Feel Good Lost” is apt as a debut as it consists mostly of instrumental stylings, and in many ways acts as introduction to the band’s avant-garde direction. The moods contained in the album rise and fall and a series of emotions, and dreams are explored in intimate detail. ‘Alive In 85’ capturing a rather more jovial mood setting with muffled yet busy tempo, and gently wafting guitar melodies. Whereas, ‘Stomach Song’ represents a more claustrophobic, enclosed atmosphere, with its murky orchestration and eerie collection of vocal clips looped over and over throughout. The collection of work here tends to float along sweetly, culminating in the heavy ‘Last Place’, that acts as the awakening from the troubled, yet peaceful dream of the album.
As “Feel Good Lost” reaches it’s optimistic closing track ‘Cranley’s Gonna Make It’, one can’t help but agree with the album’s title; that it has felt good being lifted out of the harshness of real life, and left alone to wonder in this pure dream state. Admittedly, Broken Social Scene’s debut isn’t one of strength or power. But what it does hold is potential, promise and the odd sense of escapism that exists so beautifully in the music of all those visionary band’s way back in 2000.
It’s time to announce our competition winner! It was a close-run thing, with a large selection of utterly awesome feel-good songs being sent our way. However, as with all these things, there can be only one winner (no matter how much we wish we had a decently sized prize fund). Our top three are as follows:
We definitely hope to run more competitions like this, so if you have any ideas do get in touch.
PS. A massive honorable mention to Rob Morgan, who would have won with his entry: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys – however, he couldn’t make it (and indeed was the person who kindly donated his ticket!). Cheers, bro.