Sunday, November 13, 2005

album review: FAUNTS "High Expectations/Low Results"

It's an understatement to say that Canada is where it's at right now in terms of state-of-the-art new music. Perhaps redeeming itself for all the Loverboy's, Celine Dion's, Corey Hart's and Alannah Myles' they've exported, they've certainly made up for it recently with the new crop of musical innovators we've seen waving the red and white flag. Recent records and tours from Arcade Fire, Hidden Cameras, Broken Social Scene/Stars/Feist/Metric and the rest of the seemingly endless Arts & Crafts roster have made Montreal and Toronto look like New York and London in terms of indie-rock geography. It may be time to add the northern Canadian city of Edmonton to the list of cities hipsters need to add to their musical maps.

Hailing from the home of Wayne Gretzky's best NHL years, Faunts are a four-piece specializing in a kind of atmospheric and beautiful sound that lends itself to comparisons to bands like Sigur Ros, Pale Saints, Slowdive, and even Red House Painters, but their formula also veers off to other places both prog and poppy, making their sound wholly unique and very compelling. Soaring guitars, distorted synths, haunting melodies, and vocals that are more instrumentation than storytelling make their debut, High Expectations/Low Results, fifty-eight minutes of intense pleasure.

This album's rollercoaster ride of tempos and emotions allow the listener to not just stay involved in listening, but challenges him to anticipate the next mood, unlike many records by the new wave of purveyors of Dreampop/Shoegaze/Floatcore that sound great at the start, but forget to change things up a bit to keep the listener from losing interest. The fact that the record has been released by Friendly Fire Recordings, home of the amazing Asobi Seksu, is a seal of quality as far as I'm concerned.

Warning: Playing this album on a quiet evening through headphones while dozing on a couch may induce feelings of levitation. I did just that the other night...very cool.

Download "Memories Of Places We've Never Been" here.
Download "What I'd Love To Hear You Say"(non-album) here.
Download "Will You Tell Me Then" here.

Buy Faunts "High Expectation/Low Results at insound.

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