January 26, 2011
Toronto’s Entire Cities released a new album in December – it is called “I Hope You Never Come Home” and it is pretty darn fantastic so I hope you bring it into your home. I’ve seen the band a bunch of times live and love their ep and previous album. Their new record confirms their place as one of my favourite bands.
The band may be best know for their boisterous “Dancing With My Brother,” but, as much as I love that song, it is the softer moments that I have really come to appreciate. They have an amazing ability to balance the tender and the rowdy and, in doing so, write songs that are extremely compelling.
There a lot of really delicate moments on many of the songs on the new record, often springing out of the vocal duets of Simon Borer and Tamara Lindeman (such as on “A Coat of Loup Garou” and “Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear”) and the great harmonies (especially on the closing track “Predator Song”). Along with these lovely touches, however, there are plenty of footstomping to be found on the album – particularly in “A Closed Hand.”
The best parts of the album are where the band shift tones and tempos, a tactic employed across the record. Their track “Zombie Song (Dream Logic)” is where this is used to great effect, where a theremin (? I think), breaks in half-way through the song and it goes off in a different direction from where it began, then coming back with squealing guitars and crashing cymbals by the end.
The production – by Ohbijou’s Heather Kirby – is fantastic. The seven-piece band brings a lot to the table and the sound is spot on throughout. Appearances of organ, banjo, flute and trumpet appear as needed at just the right level. The vocals are crisp and clear and the drumming is present without being overwhelming. It is a great sounding record which deserves to be turned up loud.
Entire Cities are smart without being pretentious; thoughtful while remaining rowdy. This is an album full of hard-won joy.
They are playing THIS SATURDAY at The Mansion (details) with The New Country Rehab. It is only $5! Go, see a great live band and pick up their great new record. More upcoming dates can be found on their site.
Jan 29 – Kingston (The Mansion)
Feb 3 – Toronto (Imperial Pub)
Feb 4 – Ottawa (LiveLounge)
Feb 6 – Windsor (Phog Lounge)
Feb 19 – Toronto (The Rivoli)
I previously posted a few tracks from the last time I saw the band. Here is the full set, which includes two songs off their new record (tracks 8 & 14). There is a bit of chatter (particularly during the cover) but it was a really fun show so I thought I’d post the full thing. For one of my all-time favourite shows, check out their 2007 Grad Club set.
Apple Crisp Music Festival, Next Church, Kingston, 20 March 2009
2. Skeleton Park (talk)
3. Cop Song
4. Dancing With My Brother
6. Accountant’s Dream
8. In Octopus Country
11. a cover (talk)
12. Feel It All (Feist cover)
14. Zombie Song (Dream Logic)
15. new friend (talk
16. Waiting (2000 Years)