Don Giovanni Records releases another gem here in the form of 13 great songs by this indie group that refuses to stick to any one format. This is my first listen to Laura Stevenson and The Cans and I admit to being much more than mildly impressed.
"Halloween Pts. 1 & 2" opens this record up with a beautiful build up into some explosive instrumentation. The dynamic here is well executed and had me thinking "Ok, I'm ready to hear more". Songs like "Master of Art", "The Healthy One" and "Peachy" take on a more fun, upbeat sound, that almost has a theatrical quality to them. Conversely you get songs like "Caretaker", "Finish Piece" and "The Weight" that have a very slow, serious presentation. This is clearly a great display of talent and versatility.
The epic waltz of "8:08" has some very strong vocal work and great musical dynamics, making me think, this could work for the triumphant scene in some indie film where the characters resolve their conflict. The accapella track, "Red Clay Boots", has a low fi sound to it that creates sort of a vintage sound and texture. I could have done without the horn section in "Barnacles" as they make the song sound a little on the "ska" side of things at times and sort of break up the nice vintage era sound the vocals carry.
Things come to a close with "I See Dark". The beginning is accordion led and soon gives rise to some experimental volume swells of noise and unsettled instrumentation. It comes together soon after in a clear, quiet waltz.
Listen to some songs here.