Album of the Week: Broken Social Scene’s Hug of Thunder

Hug of Thunder by Broken Social Scene

Hug of Thunder by Broken Social Scene

There’s a sense of reinvigoration these days with the Toronto indie rock collective Broken Social Scene. Kevin Drew and the crew have their first album in seven years out with Hug of Thunder released Jul 7 via Drew’s label Arts & Crafts Productions. It’s a triumphant return to form with each track capturing a vibe of electric unity. Rhythms and noise cover each track with a level of intensity that has never been seen before from the collective’s music. The new album is an immediate album of the year candidate from an act that has come back in a big way.

Brendan Canning, Charles Spearin, Justin Peroff and Andrew Whiteman rejoined Drew for the making of the record for the core writing of the songs. The end result was 18 musicians in total being a part of Hug of Thunder, including indie pop heroine Leslie Feist lending her vocal talents. It’s insane that so many musical abilities come together for each track on the album. There’s an orchestral aesthetic that’s apparent as well. This is what makes Broken Social Scene such an unusual band and it’s refreshing that they’re back.

Now if a person never heard of this act from Toronto before, how would you describe it to them? At the root of the band it’s a musician’s collective. With the wide range of members, it could also qualify as an orchestra depending on your flexibility of definition. There are multiple perspectives trying to see Broken Social Scene as what they are; it’s an excellent example of artistic versatility. Let’s explore that and more via the top tracks on my Album of the Week:

“Halfway Home” has a folky tone while moving at a steady pace; there are also numerous progressions and dimensions added to keep things interesting. Bringing the noise is “Vanity Pail Kids” along with a post-punk essence. Feist makes her presence felt on “Gonna Get Better,” and smooth notes on piano also serve as the backbone for a hypnotic song.

New Englanders have three chances to check out Broken Social Scene when they come through on tour in the fall. They’ll be playing at State Theatre in Portland, Maine, on Thursday, Oct 5; College Street Music Hall in New Haven on Friday, Oct 6; and House of Blues in Boston on Saturday, Oct 7. It’s highly suggested that you go for an unforgettable live music experience. Whether you’re at one of the shows or at all of them, grab a copy of the new album. It’s forceful music that’s honest and true.

Stream Hug of Thunder via Spotify: play.spotify.com/album/3XfF7C3kpI1yo0np3HrtiC

Broken Social Scene’s web site: brokensocialscene.ca

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