Boreal Sons, the piano-led, art-rock band from Calgary, have been making music heavy on thoughtful lyrics and lush melodies with unconventional chord structures and arrangements and quietly converting fans over the release of two EP’s,Read More
Boreal Sons are a piano led art-rock band from Calgary, Alberta. As a group they strive to create intelligent music that pairs thoughtful lyrical narratives with lush melodies and complex yet accessible instrumentation.
Boreal Sons started strong, honing their live performances into masterful displays of musicality and deliberately crafting their debut so as to eradicate any notion that the band was still young and forming. Vocalist/pianist Evan Acheson used to steal cassette tapes from his father, obsessing over classical compositions until circumstances allowed him to learn the piano. Before long, Acheson was writing his own music and he requested that three of his closest friends collaborate with him to create something beautiful and new. The quartet practiced in bassist Reagan Cole McLean’s living room, each of the four members shifting their focus from classical pursuits to a more contemporary sound. Boreal Sons weren’t officially formed until 2009 but their first EP, 2010’s Whom Thunder Hath Made Greater, was the product of several years’ writing and practice. The following year, Boreal Sons poured themselves into Bedtime Briar, a concept album based on the sleeping habits of McLean’s dog. Drummer Zach Schultz’s production and engineering lent a wistful flow to the album’s sound while extensive overdubs and studio experiments pushed the Sons’ imaginative compositions into new magnitudes. 2011-12 saw Boreal Sons increase their live schedule as well, playing shows across Western Canada as often as their busy schedules would allow.
Their first full length album, Threadbare, holds fast to the Sons’ delightful panorama, at times overwhelming in its grandeur, at times captivating in its intimacy. The music has grown alongside the four men behind it; the title evokes a weary vulnerability but never confirms whether it was borne of love or abuse. As an adjective, “polished” fails magnificently to capture the arresting wholeness of Threadbare. Boreal Sons worked with producer Jonathan Anderson, taking full advantage of his expertise and using his advice to help perfect their songwriting. Whereas their earlier music told stories, complex narrative fictions meant to excite the imagination, Threadbare’s lyrics look inwards, desperately searching for respite from the overwhelming pressures that come with adulthood. Acheson’s tales here are more personal, his voice now wholly intertwined with the songs’ subject matter. Guitarist Logan Gabert’s contributions helped shape Boreal Sons’ new sonic footprint, allowing Schultz, McLean, and Acheson to create songs better suited to live performance than their previous projects. Threadbare also features guest instrumentation by Julia Wakal and Hannah Epperson. This latest effort overflows with ingenuity and integrity, harboring at once elation and dread but never once losing faith.