As the last bit of ambiance on “(ending)“ trickles away, I’ve come to the realization that I am head over heels for my dad vs. yours’ latest release, Little Symphonies
. Yet it isn’t my unrequited love of the genre that’s caused this enchantment, but rather, the bands’ ability to create something unique, something wholly welcoming and fully realized; ultimately something insurmountably enjoyable. And it damn well better be; after all, my dad vs. yours have taken three years to craft Little Symphonies
, and honestly, that hard work and dedication has most definitely paid off.
You see, Little Symphonies
can best be described as refreshing
. Sure it doesn’t completely tear down post-rock conventions, but it has something that many other genre pieces scoff at--fun factor. Yes that’s right, side stepping the apocalyptic, suicidal, doom and gloom concepts that a lot of other bands embrace, my dad vs. yours celebrates life, and the jovial emotions that come with it, making for an all around convivial experience. And it isn’t the fact that they do
toy with this concept that makes it great, but it’s that they do it so well
, touching upon the emotions of the listener, transcending simple “happy tunes to make you happy.”
Aside from mixing up the typical concept, my dad vs. yours embrace a different sort of post-rock formula. Truth be told, Little Symphonies
can very loosely be described as such, adopting a more “instrumental indie-rock” type sound. The songs keep at an average length, and move at a moderate to quick pace, completely abandoning the “build/climax” dynamic. The songs rock and flow much like Enemies’ 2009 effort, We’ve Been Talking
(sans the math-y influence), and move with the emotive qualities of Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky.
It’s beautiful, really, despite the hyper-textured staples being absent. That’s because my dad vs. yours work incredibly well with what they have at their disposal, creating densely layered pieces out of a basic “guitar rock” set-up. The production is pretty outstanding, giving the album a very natural feel, with every instrument audible and in-check. The musicians themselves do a great job as well, with the multiple layers of guitar and bass weaving to make one solid entity, rather than a group of separate members. It’s not frighteningly deep, introspective, or thought provoking, but I’ll be damned if “En Plein Soleil” isn’t one of the catchiest pieces this year. “Wildcat Strike” has the same effect, with it’s slow burning, purposefully meandering, funk. And therein lies the allure--the hooks, the goddamn catchy, can’t-stop-listening tracks that stay stuck in your head, causing you to tap your feet and bob your head.
Although this reviewer spouts on about how much “fun” the album is; how frighteningly enjoyable the whole package is, don’t pass Little Symphonies
off as a novelty--it’s got much more gall than that. Not every track features the same boisterous energy as the above mentioned tracks, as there’s a fair bit more diversity .The band dabbles a tick in ambiance and electronica, giving many of the tracks a wonderful atmosphere to them. “Against Tide and Wind,” with it’s lush piano melody, is one of the albums more “chill” pieces, opting for a much more low-key mood. It is the eponymous track, however, that steals the show. It’s in the vein of and Explosions in the Sky piece; uplifting and bombastic, the song absolutely soars above the rest. It’s really the definitive piece, displaying the strengths of the album--the lighter moods and down-to-Earth songwriting-- whilst offering something elegant and grandiose.
My dad vs. yours sophomore effort is simply a wonderful record. It’s takes the best parts of the genre, trims some of the fat, adds a certain flavor of its own, and in the end is all the better for it. At times, the record can be a tad shallow, and some parts raise questions(the weird, techno/spoken word “Nonno” still confuses me), but it always gets back up when you think its down. This little Ottawa act deserves the attention they’ve so long gone without, for Little Symphonies
is indicative of a band bursting with creativity; a band whose music needs to be heard.