Wednesday 22 May 2013
iNTRODUCiNG Peer Support
I can’t decide who Peer Support remind me of. I’ve been listening to the pair of songs they shared with me from their upcoming EP all night, racking my brain trying to put my finger on their sound. A swift current of shimmering guitars and marching drums carries “Late Spring” into an early summer anthem anthem, while “Nonchalant” powers along on a Galaxie 500-like riff. There’s is a distinctly 90s vintage guitar drone, one that leaves my palette wanting more.
Hopefully the Calgary five-piece won’t be leaving fans waiting long, as all signs point to the EP nearing completion soon.
Bandcamp: Peer Support
Facebook: Peer Support
Twitter: Peer Support
Tuesday 21 May 2013
LiSTEN: Young Benjamins "The Colonial Pt. 1 (You're Only Twenty)"
You know me by now. I’m not the criticizin’ kind. If I post about your music on Quick Before It Melts, it’s ‘cuz I like you, I want others to like you, I want others to know that I want them to like you. I don’t ever write a negative review just for the sake of saying “I really, really don’t like this record”. Sure, there have been disappointed reviews of albums I’ve had high hopes for, but I approach this blog as a curated collection of music that I feel strongly–maybe even passionately– about.
I just wanted to have that said up front, Young Benjamins. Today you are releasing your debut album, Less Argue, and I wish you all the best with its reception and your upcoming performances in support of it. I sincerely do.
For those of you not members of Young Banjamins, I should tell you that the band is a four-piece from Saskatoon, SK, fronted by UK born Neusha Mofazzali on lead guitar and vocals, with Veronique Poulin on violin, keys, glockenspiel and vocals, Brynn Krysa on bass, and Kuba Szmigielski handling percussion. Their stock in trade, soncially speaking, is a combination of indie rock sensibilities with folk sensitivity. There’s any number of RIYL references I could make to place Young Benjamins into context for readers, but they have a sound that stand very much on it’s own and can’t be closely aligned to any one other artist.
That said, you (band and readers alike) might have already noted that this post isn’t a review of the whole album, it’s only about one song. It is possibly the longest post I’ve ever written about any one song, but so it goes when something strikes you as being very special and worthy of distinction. Less Argue‘s opening track, “The Colonial Pt. 1 (You’re Only Twenty)” isn’t the record’s shortest at 1:59, but in my estimation, it’s the record’s best two minutes by far. It also happens to be the only track on the whole record that’s sung by multi-instrumentalist Veronique Poulin, which is perhaps what sets it apart from the rest of the record. Her voice soars in a slow orbit around the song’s spare arrangement, building a sweet tension that isn’t resolved by song’s end, and it’s all the better for it. It would be a striking opening for a record full of Poulin’s vocals, but because it’s the only time she takes the spotlight, it leaves me disappointed that I don’t get to hear her again. As a matter of fact, because I knew going into listening for the first time that the voice on the first song wasn’t going to be featured on the others, I thought to myself midtrack, “Could their main vocalist possibly be better?”. The answer came by the second song, “Out There (In The Wild)”, sung by Neusha Mofazzali: he’s good, competent, and hits some interesting levels, but fails to make the same kind of emotional connection Poulin does in those critical opening minutes.
So, Young Benjamins, I’m just being honest with you; if you had released Less Argue without Poulin singing that opening song, it would have been a decent enough record in my books, probably not one I would have reviewed with any kind of fervor or passion, but I would (and still will) follow your career in “wait and see what comes next” mode. But you did let her sing it, and I’m thankful you did, because this sweet, little slip of a song as become one of my favourite musical moments of 2013 so far.
UPDATE: Thanks to the good folk at Dollartone Records, Young Benjamins label, for providing the SoundCloud embed for Less Argue so that you can check it out for yourself.
CBC Music: Young Benjamins
Facebook: Young Benjamins
Twitter: Young Benjamins