With the release of 2018’s full-length debut It Will Come To You, the acclaimed Vancouver-based JOVM mainstay act ACTORS — currently Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Kendall Wooding (bass) and Adam Fink (drums) — quickly established a brooding yet anthemic post-punk sound centered around icy synths, angular bass lines, squiggling guitars and Corbett’s reverb-drenched croon.
Since the release of their full-length debut, the Canadian post-punk outfit had been busy: Until pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions put touring on pause, ACTORS had been on a relentless touring schedule to support the album, including a stop at the long-shuttered Brooklyn Bazaar for a headlining set at 2018’s A Murder of Crows Festival. Interestingly, during that same period of time, ACTORS’ frontman Jason Corbett has become an in-demand producer, who has worked with the likes of Bootblacks, Ultrviolence, SPECTRES, and others.
The Vancouver-based JOVM mainstays’ highly-anticipated sophomore album Acts of Worship is slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Artoffact Records. Recorded and produced at Corbett’s Jacknife Studio, the album reportedly finds the Vancouver-based pushing their synth-driven post-punk sound in a much more dance floor friendly direction while retaining the brooding melancholy and massive hooks that have won them attention across the international post-punk scene.
In the lead-up to the album’s release, I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles:
- “Love U More,” a single that can trace its origins to the band being on the road: While traveling the Autobahn at 190km per hour (about 120 mph), the song’s opening synth melody looped through Jason Corbett’s head. The song itself is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular and reverb-drenched bursts of guitar and a relentless motorik groove in one of the act’s more sensual songs to date.
- “Only Lonely,” Acts of Worship‘s second single, a song that Corbett explains is indebted to Roxy Music — in particular “The Space Between” “Dance Away” and “Love Is The Drug.” And much like the sources that inspired it, “Only Lonely” manages to express a similar yearning and vulnerability.
Acts of Worship‘s third and latest single “Cold Eyes” continues a relatively new run of dance floor friendly bangers. Centered around buzzing bass synths, twinkling synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, Corbett’s breathy vocal delivery dueling boy-girl harmonizing for the song’s rousingly anthemic hook, “Cold Eyes” is all leather, lace and late night come on.
“‘Cold Eyes’ was written and recorded in one day. Sometimes that just happens and it ends up being the band’s favorite song on the new album,” ACTORS’ Jason Corbett says in press notes. “We can’t wait to play it live!”
Shot in a cinematic black and white, the recently released video for “Cold Eyes” employs a relatively simple concept: we see the individual members of the band dancing to the song while occasionally playing their respective instruments. As ACTORS’ Jason Corbett notes, the band’s current lineup perfectly reflects the balance of masculine and feminine energy contained within the songs.
The members of ACTORS had planned a Fall North American tour to build up buzz for the album and them to support it; but those plans have been put on hold because of pandemic. Hopefully, they’ll be able to reschedule those dates.