Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pick of the Week #19: Sunparlour Players - Wave North

The Sunparlour Players are probably my favourite band. And their my favourite for a variety of reasons: they're small enough that they don't play huge venues, they're from Toronto so I can see them frequently enough, and they put on a hell of a live show. I've seen them, in their various incarnations, I'd guess at least a half dozen times (many of which pre-dated this blog), and so my expectations for their album were extraordinarily high. So high, in fact, that I may have made an off-hand prediction that this would be my album of the year.

After spending the last week with the album, I'm awfully impressed. Not just because the album is a sonic step up, the album sounds much 'fuller', the instrumentation is a little more varied (note: it might not actually be, but it feels like it); as the guys from Herohill said, its a step forward. But I think the biggest leap for the SPP is their ability to put the listener in Tomato country (Leamington, On), and to tell stories about the area/the town/whatever (before they were, as HH points out either a bundle of energy or quiet and folky). Songs like "Battle of '77" and "Point Pelee is the Place to Be!" have a kind of Sufjan-esque quality to them, in their ability to create a kind of narrative around people and places, but they do it their own SPP kind of way.

Of course, the most exciting thing about Wave North (available on Tues., May 19.2009) is that having this library to draw on (although fans - not unlike myself - will recognize a number of these songs they've been playing live for the last few years) is that it'll add another dimension to their live show. The shows have always been mind blowingly energetic, but I think adding in the more narrative character in a few of their songs will make the raging foot stomping and gentle picking on the steel guitar stand out that much more... although I hope they'll still leave room for their "Thunderstruck" and "In the Air Tonight" covers...

CD release show Friday, June 26 @ the Horseshoe in Toronto and you can check their myspace for other Ontario tour dates in May/June along with the summer festival sched. through July and August.

[mp3] Sunparlour Players - Battle of '77
[mp3] Sunparlour Players - North (live CBC Radio 2/3?)


Pick of the Week #1:
Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8:
Gentlemen Husbands
Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley
Pick of the Week #10: Alela Diane
Pick of the Week #11: K'naan
Pick of the Week #12: TOR/Sufjan Stevens
Pick of the Week #13: Timber Timbre
Pick of the Week #14: Justis
Pick of the Week #15: Hibiscus & Rosehips Compilation
Pick of the Week #16: Patrick Watson
Pick of the Week #17: Olenka and the Autumn Lovers
Pick of the Week #18: The Liptonians

No comments: