Autumn, with its cooling air and falling leaves, always brings on feelings of change for me. I remember as a kid, the start of a new school year was your annual opportunity for reinvention, to become a new, better, person. It was tricky though—you couldn’t change so much that people would notice, but just enough that they might think better of you. It would still be you, but new and improved, You 2.0. It’s even more common in art, and perhaps most in music. Constant experimentation and the need to create something inspiring, powerful or at least catchy, drives an ever-changing atmosphere.
It’s that autumnal reinvention that inspired this week’s Tuesday Tracks. Be it embarking on a new path, returning to one, or re-imagining someone else’s.
First up is former Barenaked Lady Steven Page with a sample from his first solo album, Page One. After spending roughly 20 years with his old band and cultivating a quirky, almost kid-friendly image, Page surprised everyone last year with his involvement in a drug bust in the U.S. and the subsequent, abrupt split with his bandmates shortly thereafter. It appears though that those events were the catalyst for a bit of an artistic renaissance for him, because Page’s new album might be the best thing he’s done, well, ever. The songs here don’t dwell on departure so much as acknowledge it and move on. It certainly touches on Page’s newfound band bachelorhood, but it’s upbeat, clever and fun. Here’s the first single, “Indecision”:
Next is Dinosaur Bones, a band that had a good amount of momentum behind them here in Toronto a couple years ago and then seemed to slip off the radar for a little while. The good news is that they’re back with a new record deal on the Dine Alone label and a new EP that we can only assume is a little amuse bouche for a full length coming down the road. Here’s the title track from the new release, Birthright:
Finally, there’s Memoryhouse. Sometimes reinvention is not about redefining yourself, but reinterpeting something foreign. In this video, Guelph, Ontario’s Memoryhouse take on My Bloody Valentine’s “When You Sleep.” In this version, the band strips the guitar fuzz right out and replaces it with a stark, clean piano. It’s delicate, pretty and actually quite brave, considering the album the original is from—Loveless—is a bona-fide classic that holds the kind of influence and critical acclaim normally reserved for…well, an album as timeless and brilliant as Loveless.