One thing about writing a blog is that it’s hopefully educational in some way, in the “here’s something you didn’t know” sense. I’m not sure it’s mean to be an education for the writer, but in my case it is. For the entire period of my life when I’ve been aware there was a place in the world called Winnipeg, I thought it was in America. It’s not. It’s in Canada. Who knew? Not me.
Animal Teeth probably knew, because they come from Winnipeg. Their new album is called Happy To See You and it was released on February 1oth on Slow Shine Records. 10 songs of dreamy indie pop with enough of a dark edge to keep even this miserable auld punk happy. Opening track Pussycat has a rumbling bass hook combined with crashing drums and a brilliant guitar sound that’s almost out of tune but not quite. Put them all together and you’ve got a warm feeling all over, in spite of the repeated lyrics – “I’m not your little pussycat anymore, it’s not like that” giving a hint of a menacing side to the song. Dirty Room carries the mood on, the bass continuing to carry the song along it’s route from despair to hope and back again. Don’t think it’s all doom and gloom though, dream pop doesn’t have to be all about bad dreams. Chair and Coming Over are joyful affairs. I’ll get kicked out of some venues in Glasgow for saying this, but the chord progressions and changes on Coming Over made me think of Rubber Soul/Revolver era Beatles.
Yolo has a brilliant Tom Verlainesque guitar solo, rounding off another track that’s “full of hope”, which is how it left this listener. Twenty Two is a great track about love and loss (funny how they always seem to go together..), with the great line “sadness is for sissy’s”! Trying is the longest song of the album, just under 6 minutes, features the same vibrato/tremolo guitar from earlier tracks. It’s kind of painful to listen to, in that you feel the pain of the lyrics. I have no idea what BQE means, other than it was the name of a Sufjan Stevens album, but in this case it’s the shortest track on the album, with some more great guitar licks. Closer Ghosts is the closest to a “straight” rock n roll track, mixed with a little pysch rhythm & blues for good measure.
Yet another example of the glorious music coming out of Canada at the moment, you can buy the cassette or download a digital copy from Slow Shine Records here. Do it!