By: Curtis Sindrey –
Winnipeg indie pop quintet Boats’ new album A Fairway Full of Miners, the follow-up to their acclaimed 2011 album Cannonballs, Cannonballs, might sound overwhelming and over-the-top at first listen but as you glide further into Boats’ quirky and bouncy melodies, you realize the new tracks are sharply composed with scrappy vocals, energetic electronics, and bright guitar riffs and trumpet lines.
With the ballad-like “Advice For Bears,” vocalist Mat Klachefsky advises listeners on the age-old saying that bears are more afraid of you than you are of them. Klachefsky avoids a stern lecture by keeping the guitar hooks light and the melody breezy.
“O Telescope” drives Klachefsky’s vocals up several decibels and launches his trademark nasally vocal into an overdriven, almost grungy wall of noise.
Tracks like “Animated GIFs,” and “Getting Worst.JPG.” chronicle what many of us feel in the modern electronic age, loneliness, but it will all be better soon, right?
Despite the album’s catchy melodies and high production values, some might disregard the album due to Klachefsky’s often-cartoonish vocals, but with a band that has done eight North American tours during the past few years, they’ve lyrically matured and have abandoned their former themes of giddy exuberance and youthful rebellion to growing up and finding a place in the world.
While Boats may be considered the eccentric cousins to bands like Los Campesinos! or Architecture in Helsinki, they succeed with their tight instrumentation and their eagerness to experiment.
Essential Tracks: “O Telescope,” “Animated GIFs,” and “Getting Worst.JPG.”