A lush, far-reaching soundscape introduces Bravestation’s Giants and Dreamers. Much like the cover art so accurately depicts, the opener washes away in a swath of tropical rhythms and huge, echoing vocals. Just as the context of the cover art sets up the theme of the album, its colors similarly hint at its genre. New wave would be an accurate description, however easy it is to lump into that category. But there’s something more happening beneath the surface… something novel about this Toronto band’s brand of new wave.
I don’t profess to be a connoisseur of 80′s music, but much of the quartet’s appeal stems from their willingness to revisit this troubled musical era and emphasize what was done right. Instead of focusing attention on the vocals (a trait of most popular music of the moment), the band sets them back in the mix. This stylistic approach allows for the instrumentals to shine, and shine they do.
Space is as much a player in this production as any single instrument – a trait that compliments Devin Wilson’s soothing howl beautifully. Electronic textures and synths scattered throughout the album help to engineer the upbeat-but-laid-back atmosphere, while muted guitars and tribal rhythms beat as the album’s pulse.
As mentioned above, Giants and Dreamers imparts a certain novelty factor in that it experiments with a formula not visited for quite some time. But it’s not enough to say that the novelty is all that elevates the record beyond the realm of the mediocre.
Instead, the group nonchalantly paints the album with vibrant colors. They go the extra mile and sculpt their sound with meticulous attention to detail. This concerted effort brings about a distinct sound that culminates by the end of Giants and Dreamers. It’s a sound all their own, one that makes for a greatly entertaining half hour stretch. All it takes is just a few listens to find out for yourself.
Sounds like: Lord Huron, Phil Collins, 80′s New Wave
Stand out tracks:
Take a listen to my home-brewed instrumental/electronic/indie album
"Where Were We When" and download it for as many coconuts as you can spare.
Coconuts are delicious, though their milk tastes like pond water.