Album: Basement Years
Release Date: January 27, 2019
Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Rock
Basement Years is Ottawa’s The Folks Around Town‘s first full-length album after a series of EPs.
The tone of Basement Years is upbeat and youthful, but with melancholic lyrics – somewhat reminiscent of early 2000s indie-pop. The album uses lots of layered electronic samples, keyboard, electronic guitar, and primarily auto-tuned male vocals. Basement Years is a collaborative work as well, so guest singers and musicians appear on other tracks. The result is Basement years has a very busy and energetic soundscape that was clearly a large team’s effort. As the band’s namesake goes, collaboration with ‘The Folks Around Town’ is an important goal to the band.
Standouts on the album for me were the tracks “Interlude” and “Conditional”. Interlude is a very experimental track that showcased the best of the band’s layering techniques. The track “Conditional” built some great imagery in its lyrics with lines such as “on the boulevard with a sober friend” speaking a “nonsense pond” about wanting a love that feels profound, and may even be – but between the drinks and the depression it’s hard to tell. I think this is a very relatable track to anyone who has been single and intoxicated in their twenties.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.