Tag: Sunglaciers

New Video: Calgary’s Sunglaciers Share Brooding and Uneasy “Best Years”

Calgary-based post-punk outfit Sunglaciers can trace its origins back to 2017 as a caollaboration between its founding — and core — members: multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Blanchard and lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Evan Resnik. When they started the project, Blanchard had completed his studies in medicine, working in family medicine and addiction and Resnik had returned from a trip hitchhiking through France.

Since the project’s formation, the Calgary-based act has released a couple of EPs and their full-length debut, 2019’s Foreign Bodies. Foreign Bodies saw the Canadian post-punk outfit saw them crafting a maximalist approach that saw them blurring the lines between dazzling indie rock melodicism and icy, post-punk experimentation.

During that same period, the duo have seen a steadily rising profile: They’ve shared stages with the likes of JOVM mainstays Preoccupations, Omni and Daniel Romano while topping the charts of college radio stations across Western Canada.

When the pandemic put their touring plans on a then-indefinite pause, the band quickly shifted their focus to writing material, dedicating 40-plus hour weeks to music during the early months of 2020. Those writing sessions wound up becoming their sophomore album Subterranea, which Montreal-based purveyors of all things psych and trippy, Mothland released today.

Continuing an ongoing collaboration with Chad VanGaalen, who co-produced the album, Subterranea  sees the band eschewing the maximalist approach of their previous releases and crafting material with a decided laser focus. The end result is a frenetic, breakneck album of material that never overstays its welcome. “We tried to write vertically instead of horizontally,” Sunglaciers’ Matthieu Blanchard explains. “Our last album Foreign Bodies and the EPs that came before it had lots of long songs with different parts drifting back and forth. For this album, we decided to strip our songs down to two or three minutes with only a few ideas in each of them.”

“The bulk of this album came together during the pandemic and the changing of gears that we had to do,” Sunglaciers’ Evan Resnik says. “I was out of work and Mathieu was working half as much as usual, so we had lots of time on our hands. We flipped a switch and started playing music everyday. It’s a good indicator of how we were writing at the time while we wrapped our heads around some new gear and saw what came out of it. Essentially, we took all of our favourite musical tendencies and put them together. We were listening to a lot of McCartney II at the time and loved how eclectic it was, which led to us mirroring that vibe.”

With an extended timeframe to write and record, the album, which was recorded at Bruce Crews’ voiceover studio On Air Studios allowed Blanchard and Blanchard the opportunity to learn engineering skills and for the opportunity to experiment with swapping the instruments that each member typically played, a strategy that was employed during the writing and recording of Portishead‘s Third and David Bowie‘s “Boys Keep Swinging.”

The album also features contributions from the aforementioned Chad VanGaalen, Hermitess‘ Jennifer Crighton and Roman66′Louis Cza The Black Greek God. The end result may arguably be Sunglaciers most urgent and cohesive batch of material, an effort that draws from the likes of DeerhunterTotal Control, and BEAK> among others.

In the lead up to the album’s release today, I wrote about two of Subterranea‘s singles:

  • Avoidance,” a woozy and uneasy ripper full of guilt and recriminations delivered with a breakneck freneticism centered around a persistent synth-driven groove. And while sounding a bit like Plague Vendor and Atsuko Chiba, “Avoidance” lyrically touches upon themes of alienation, abandonment and guilt in a way that should feel familiar to most of us during this unusual moment of our lives. 
  • Out of My Skull,” another breakneck track full of foreboding, uneasy menace centered around hypnotic, glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming paired with Resnik’s anxious delivery. And as a result, the song evokes a frustrated, restless boredom — and it should feel familiar for most of us, stuck at home with nothing to do, nowhere to really go and no one to see. 

“Best Years,” Subterranea‘s latest single features a guest spot from the aforementioned Chad VanGaalen and may be the dreamiest, most Wolf Parade-like song on the entire album with the song featuring wobbling synth arpeggios, a slow-burning grinding groove, glistening guitars and Resik’s plaintive vocals. But underneath, the seemingly placid surface is a gnawing and uneasy dissatisfaction.

“The song is about getting stuck in what comforts you and losing years inside passive contentment,” the band’s Evan Resnik explains. “Time passes, you realize all those plans you had for yourself have charred on the back burner or disappeared completely. You thought you were happy, but it was just the safety of your situation, a relationship or a decent job, that made you feel this way. Suddenly the world is dull and you feel like your time is up. I’m very afraid of that feeling and these days I try my best to avoid it.

The video was made by Calgary-based multimedia artist Ryan Kostel. He reworked old film footage and ran it through different media (weird lenses, old TVs, VCRs, etc.) to create a visual story for the song.”

Co-founded by three New York music industry vets and longtime friends, Lorimer Beacon‘s founder and head Mike Bell, Kanine Records‘ founder and label head Lio Kanine and Kepler Events and Dedstrange Records co-founder Steven Matrick, The New Colossus Festival over the course of the past couple of years have featured a few hundred handpicked, emerging indie bands and artists from across Canada, the UK, the European Union, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the States.

By design the festival normally takes place about a week or so before SXSW; the festival’s co-founders have long viewed New Colossus as a pre-SXSW stopover that will give its lineups an opportunity to organically gain exposure, while filling a critical void in the city’s festival circuit.

Obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Colossus wasn’t able to happen as scheduled but last year, New Colossus and 18th Ward Brewing hosted a live, outdoor concert series featuring local and regional acts at the brewery’s Bushwick location.

Thankfully, COVID and its known variants have been on the wane for a while now, and we can have the live music experience fairly safely. So, New Colossus is back y’all! Over 100 bands playing in six venues across the Lower East Side — Piano’s, Mercury Lounge, Berlin Under A East Berlin, Arlene’s Grocery and The Bowery Electric — over the course of four, breakneck days this week.

I’m looking forward to an insane four days of live music from a handful of JOVM mainstays and for some new discoveries. You can check out the lengthy New Colossus Spotify playlist, which features curated tracks by the artists performing this year. But personally, I’m looking forward to the following acts:

Badges are still available. And it’s truly a real bang for your buck. More information can be found here: https://www.newcolossusfestival.com

New Video: Sunglaciers Share Uneasy Ripper “Out of My Skull”

Calgary-based post-punk outfit Sunglaciers can trace its origins back to 2017 as a collaboration between its founding — and core — members: multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Blanchard and lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Evan Resnik. When they started the project, Blanchard had completed his studies in medicine, working in family medicine and addiction and Resnik had returned from a trip hitchhiking through France.

Since the project’s formation, the Calgary-based act has released a couple of EPs and their full-length debut, 2019’s Foreign Bodies, which saw them crafting a sound that blurred the lines between dazzling indie rock melodicism and icy, post-punk experimentation, centered around a maximalist approach. 

During that same five year period, the members of the Canadian post-punk outfit have seen a steadily rising profile, as they’ve shared stages with the likes of JOVM mainstays Preoccupations, Omni and Daniel Romano while topping the charts of college radio stations across Western Canada. Understandably, when the pandemic put their touring plans on a then-indefinite pause, the band quickly shifted their focus to writing material, dedicating 40-plus hour weeks to music during the early months of 2020. 

Those writing sessions wound up becoming the Calgary-based outfit’s sophomore album Subterranea, slated for a March 25, 2022 release through Montreal-based purveyors of all things psych and trippy, Mothland. Continuing an ongoing collaboration with Chad VanGaalen, who co-produced the album, Subterranea reportedly sees the band eschewing the maximalist approach of their previous releases and crafting material with a decided laser focus. The end result is a frenetic, breakneck album of material with songs that never overstay their welcome. “We tried to write vertically instead of horizontally,” Sunglaciers’ Matthieu Blanchard explains. “Our last album Foreign Bodiesand the EPs that came before it had lots of long songs with different parts drifting back and forth. For this album, we decided to strip our songs down to two or three minutes with only a few ideas in each of them.”

“The bulk of this album came together during the pandemic and the changing of gears that we had to do,” Sunglaciers’ Evan Resnik says. “I was out of work and Mathieu was working half as much as usual, so we had lots of time on our hands. We flipped a switch and started playing music everyday. It’s a good indicator of how we were writing at the time while we wrapped our heads around some new gear and saw what came out of it. Essentially, we took all of our favourite musical tendencies and put them together. We were listening to a lot of McCartney II at the time and loved how eclectic it was, which led to us mirroring that vibe.”

With an extended timeframe to write and record, the album, which was recorded at Bruce Crews’ voiceover studio On Air Studios allowed the members the opportunity to learn skills in engineering and for the opportunity to swap the instruments that each member typically played, a strategy that was employed during the writing and recording of Portishead‘s Third and David Bowie‘s “Boys Keep Swinging.” The album also features contributions from the aforementioned Chad VanGaalen, Hermitess‘ Jennifer Crighton and Roman66′Louis Cza The Black Greek God. The end result may arguably be Sunglaciers most urgent and cohesive batch of material, an effort that draws from the likes of DeerhunterTotal Control, and BEAK> among others.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Avoidance,” a woozy and uneasy ripper full of guilt and recriminations delivered with a breakneck freneticism centered around a persistent synth-driven groove. And while sounding a bit like Plague Vendor and Atsuko Chiba, “Avoidance” lyrically touches upon themes of alienation, abandonment and guilt in a way that should feel familiar to most of us during this unusual moment of our lives. 

Clocking in at just about two minutes, “Out of My Skull” is full of foreboding, uneasy menace centered around hypnotic, glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming paired with Resnik’s anxious delivery. And as a result, the song evokes a frustrated, restless boredom — and it should feel familiar for most of us, stuck at home with nothing to do, nowhere to really go and no one to see.

Directed by the band’s Evan Resnik, the accompanying video is shot in a brooding and cinematic black and white, and interestingly, it conveys both menace and playfulness simultaneously.

“’Out of my Skull’ is dark but it’s lively. I shot in black and white to lend a bit of a classic, noir vibe to the video, which also helped bring out some of my innate 90s influence,” the band’s Evan Resnik says in press notes.

“The lyrics loosely reference Miles Davis and a few moments from his life: his hiatus from 1975-80, a shooting in 1969, being assaulted by a cop outside Birdland in 1959. I watched a lot of music documentaries in early 2020 when we began writing this record. Miles was a mysterious and brooding artist, and that initial inspiration helped me get into that mindset during songwriting and throughout the video production. The video is intimate but detached, with close-up faces in contrasting, unreal environments. We’re in your face, but we’re not really there. 

“We had a lot of fun shooting, and I think that comes through in the video and adds a bit of levity.”

New Video: Calgary’s Sunglaciers Release A Feverish Visual for Breakneck Ripper “Avoidance”

Calgary-based post-punk outfit Sunglaciers can trace its origins back to 2017 as a collaboration between its founding — and core — members: multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Blanchard and lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Evan Resnik. When they started the project, Blanchard had completed his studies in medicine, working in family medicine and addition and Resnik had returned from a trip hitchhiking through France. Since the project’s formation, the Calgary-based act has released a couple of EPs and their full-length debut, 2019’s Foreign Bodies, which saw them crafting a sound that blurred the lines between dazzling indie rock melodicism and icy, post-punk experimentation, centered around a maximalist approach.

During that same five year period, the members of the Canadian post-punk outfit have seen a steadily rising profile, as they’ve shared stages with the likes of JOVM mainstays Preoccupations, Omni and Daniel Romano while topping the charts of college radio stations across Western Canada. Understandably, when the pandemic put their touring plans on a then-indefinite pause, the band quickly shifted their focus to writing material, dedicating 40-plus hour weeks to music during the early months of 2020.

Those writing sessions wound up becoming the Calgary-based outfit’s sophomore album Subterranea, slated for a March 25, 2022 release through Montreal-based psychedelic purveyors Mothland. Continuing an ongoing collaboration with Chad VanGaalen, who co-produced the album, Subterranea reportedly sees the band eschewing the maximalist approach of their previous releases and crafting material with a decided laser focus. The end result is a frenetic, breakneck album of material with songs that never overstay their welcome. “We tried to write vertically instead of horizontally,” Sunglaciers’ Matthieu Blanchard explains. “Our last album Foreign Bodies and the EPs that came before it had lots of long songs with different parts drifting back and forth. For this album, we decided to strip our songs down to two or three minutes with only a few ideas in each of them.”

“The bulk of this album came together during the pandemic and the changing of gears that we had to do,” Sunglaciers’ Evan Resnik says. “I was out of work and Mathieu was working half as much as usual, so we had lots of time on our hands. We flipped a switch and started playing music everyday. It’s a good indicator of how we were writing at the time while we wrapped our heads around some new gear and saw what came out of it. Essentially, we took all of our favourite musical tendencies and put them together. We were listening to a lot of McCartney II at the time and loved how eclectic it was, which led to us mirroring that vibe.”

With an extended timeframe to write and record, the album, which was recorded at Bruce Crews’ voiceover studio On Air Studios allowed the members the opportunity to learn skills in engineering and for the opportunity to swap the instruments that each member typically played, a strategy that was employed during the writing and recording of Portishead‘s Third and David Bowie‘s “Boys Keep Swinging.” The album also features contributions from the aforementioned Chad VanGaalen, Hermitess‘ Jennifer Crighton and Roman66′s Louis Cza The Black Greek God. The end result may arguably be Sunglaciers most urgent and cohesive batch of material, an effort that draws from the likes of Deerhunter, Total Control, and BEAK> among others,.

Subterranea‘s latest single is “Avoidance,” a woozy and uneasy ripper full of guilt and recrimination delivered with a breakneck freneticism and featuring a nagging and persistent synth line-driven groove, angular guitar attack, driving four-on-the-four, dryly delivered vocals and screams by Louis Cza. Sounding a bit like JOVM mainstays Plague Vendor and Atsuko Chiba, “Avoidance” lyrically touches upon themes of alienation, abandonment and guilt in a way that should feel familiar to most of us during this unusual moment of our lives.

Directed by the band’s Evan Resnik and Ryan Kostel, the video is a paranoid and uneasy fever dream in which the video’s protagonist is tormented by figures that he thinks are his friends — but prove to be in his own head.

“The video depicts a nightmare scenario with the protagonist in a panic as he is tormented by figures he thought were his friends, ultimately coming face-to-face with himself,” Sunglaciers’ Evan Resnik explains. “The fogged-out rooms, varied lighting, and overlaid shots pull the viewer inside this dreamscape and accentuate the anxiety and trepidation we explore in the song.”

“When filming ‘Avoidance’ I really wanted to mimic the anxious, unsettled mind,” Ryan Kostel adds. “Constantly shifting angles, I used long fluid shots and shifts in time to create an unbalanced sensation. Rapid fluctuations of light and color layered over kinetic and sometimes violent imagery help to convey the subject’s mental unease.”