Saturday, February 26, 2011

Apologies to the Queen Mary (Wolf Parade)

Wolf Parade is an indie rock band formed in 2003 from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The band is currently on an indefinite hiatus as of November 29, 2010.
They have released three albums and one EP on the Sub Pop label (the other two EPs are also named Wolf Parade, and are self-released), and their debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, saw the light of day in September (25, to be exact) of 2005.
Apparently the band was on the RMS Queen Mary (II) and decided to destroy a ballroom door and act stupid, thus getting thrown off the liner. Out of politeness, I suppose, they put their sincerest thoughts where every true indie rock band does, and that is on the:

a) album title
b) album cover
c) song titles

And here are the songs on the album:

  1. "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" (Krug) – 2:54
  2. "Modern World" (Boeckner) – 2:52
  3. "Grounds for Divorce" (Krug) – 3:25
  4. "We Built Another World" (Boeckner) – 3:15
  5. "Fancy Claps" (Krug) – 2:51
  6. "Same Ghost Every Night" (Boeckner) – 5:44
  7. "Shine a Light" (Boeckner) – 3:47
  8. "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" (Krug) – 3:39
  9. "I'll Believe in Anything" (Krug) – 4:36
  10. "It's a Curse" (Boeckner) – 3:12
  11. "Dinner Bells" (Krug) – 7:34
  12. "This Heart's on Fire" (Boeckner) – 3:59

Wolf Parade is:

  • Dan Boeckner – vocals, guitar
  • Spencer Krug – vocals, keyboards
  • Arlen Thompson – drums
  • Dante DeCaro – guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards

Everything [in the album] has a very natural sense of dynamics to it. Each song is something of note. I love the moderate use of fuzzy synth sounds, as well as the toy keyboard, and the back vocals, which I would call queer. There is a definite David Bowie feel on some of the songs. I was prejudiced towards everything 'Indie' before hearing Wolf Parade. While I still don't like pretentious singing, I am a firm advocate of creativity, and that specific type of voice-twisting nestles itself perfectly in the band's twangy music.
The songwriting speaks to me, and their lyrics give me a strange sensation of hope. The resounding "I'll believe in anything and you'll believe in anything... If I could take the fire out from the water, I'd take you where nobody knows you. And nobody gives a damn. Nobody knows you, and nobody gives a damn" in I'll Believe In Anything, as well as the subtle defibrillator sounds reminded me of Elliott Smith. And it was curious to find out that Wolf Parade recorded this [album] in Portland, Oregon (apart from Montreal, of course), where Steven lived and recorded.

It's A Curse has got to be the most infectious song on the record. This was also the first Wolf Parade piece I heard. A couple of friends came over one time to get Ubuntu up and running on my computer, and when that happened, one of the brothers (really into indie pop-rock) showed me this fun online radio website. Indie Pop-rocks was the station, and this came on. I had never heard anything quite like it before, and asked if we could find out what the song was called; and the quirky voice (Boeckner's, I believe) reminded me of one Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson); not just the high notes, but also the pronunciation. It was something you could dance to, bang the keys on the piano, too, sing to, go anywhere (on foot or soaring), to.

I had an immediate liking to this track, too. I must have listened to it at a hundred times while reading Gantz
And that brings back fond memories.
And that is how the album ends.

And here is the album version, as ethereal and mysterious as ever.

I have for you, here, uploaded the album Apologies to the Queen Mary

Dive in to Wolf Parade 

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