The Heart and Soul of Small Town Canada in Words and Music.
We loved last year’s 7” single Trains, from Toronto band LeBarons and have waited impatiently ever since for the follow up; and whoopee-doo it’s actually a 6 track EP.
The atmospherically claustrophobic sound on that single continues on opening track Think Of You, with vocalist (and songwriter) Chris MacDonald and the band sounding like they were recording in the tiniest booth in the world, creating a song that sounds both intensely intimate and passionate in equal measures.
Track #2 The Brave has a slow and brooding opening with MacDonald baring his heart to a lover who may, or may not feel the same way. Band-mates Evan Levy on lead guitar, Casey Irvin on lap-steel, Po Karim on drums manage to create a pensive almost death-rattle behind him, as Megan Tilston provides ghostly harmonies. Tragically beautiful, is the best description I can come up with.
Things perk up with the inclusion of I’ll Come Back, a rollicking bar-room stomper full of grunge guitar, a fiery pedal-steel and machine-gun drumming rattling along behind MacDonald and Tilston.
That exceptional single Trains, is added and sounds just as wonderful as when I first heard it; but gets overshadowed by two new songs.
The album closes with a mournful and bittersweet Freightliner, that is quintessentially Canadian; effortlessly blending Lo-Fi sensibilities with an Alt. Country freshness and Celtic Folk story telling.
But; by far our favourite track, and the one on heavy rotation this morning is Oh California. The song rattles along like a Classic Muscle car on a sweeping highway, and MacDonald’s way with words (written and sung) is perfectly matched by Megan Tilston’s harmonies and a band playing as one.
LeBarons are one of those bands that are probably, sadly destined to be a ‘cult band’ with a hardy bunch of fans who pore over their every utterance…..don’t let that be the case…..buy this EP….tell your friends…..buy a copy for your parents/lovers Christmas Presents….whatever it takes. Make them stars!
Released October 10th 2016