Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Brendan Canning: "You Gots 2 Chill" (album review)

Right out of the blocks, Brendan Canning's new solo album, You Gots 2 Chill, is a bit of a shocker.  The Broken Social Scene founder first offers up "Post Fahey", a multiple guitar part instrumental that sets the laid back tone that runs through the record.

Given the album's title I suppose I really shouldn't be all that surprised by the dream-inducing contents.

Hushed harmonies are the hallmark of "Turn Again".  They reappear on "Late Night Stars", a cut almost danceable enough to have made Canning's Cookie Duster project.

Minimalism and simplicity are keys to most of these songs.  The breezy "However Long" sprinkles effects on top of a simple acoustic guitar bit. You can actually hear the sound of fingers moving on guitar strings up and down the fretboard on "Plugged In".

The album's true standout is "Bullied Days".  The incredibly gorgeous and mesmerizing vocals of Snowblink's Daniela Gesundheit make it a remarkable experience.

On occasion, the Postal Service-esque "Makes You Motor" comes to mind, the pace does become a little bit too glacial and the arrangements a little too loose to be engaging.  A slight tempo bump on the gauzy "New Zealand Tap Dance Finals" bumps that instrumental into Yo La Tengo territory.

If you're looking for a soothing soundtrack for your next Sunday brunch, or for a late night tryst, then You Gots 2 Chill can definitely be a go-to record for that space.

Brendan Canning plays Lee's Palace in Toronto on November 16th.

Best tracks: "Bullied Days", "Late Night Stars"

Track listing for You Gots 2 Chill:
  • Post Fahey
  • However Long
  • Turn Again
  • Makes You Motor
  • Never Go To the Races
  • Plugged In
  • Long Live Land Lines
  • Bullied Days
  • New Zealand Tap Dance Finals
  • Once a Lighthouse
  • Lightfoot Returns
  • Late Night Stars
  • Heading There
  • Last Song for the Summer Hideaway

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