I’m a steadfast believer in the appeal of stuff, the trinkets and collectables of interest to no one but yourself that accumulate about a lived-in residence à la a Mogwai reproducing once it’s been inadvertently dunked in a reservoir. One man’s crap, of course, is another’s cherished heirloom-to-be, and it’s absolutely human nature to fill our everyday surroundings with reminders of adventures beyond the ordinary: souvenirs, photographs, et cetera. Broken Social Scene, all talk of supergroups aside, are something akin to aural stuff: they pack into an otherwise fairly standard-issue indie-rock song a good couple of dozen sparkling departures from the routes marked ‘generic’ and ‘predictable’.
Today’s case in point, on ‘7/4 Shoreline’, are the luscious guest vocals from Leslie Feist – she brings an air of glamour to a boys-own affair, her silken tones painting broad brushstrokes of femininity across a riotous affair that’d otherwise have only BSS lynchpin Kevin Drew’s borderline-annoying whimpers for vocal direction. The multitude of musicians that provide the clattering music about her prove themselves to be polished professionals – the record’s tantalisingly ramshackle traits are balanced superbly by the compositional tautness that expertly underpins such apparent recklessness – but it’s Feist’s brassy work at the microphone that delivers this single’s sole Wow Factor.
Let us celebrate stuff, then, because without it Broken Social Scene wouldn’t sound half as joyous as they do today. They are proof, positive, that the accumulation of many existence-enhancing morsels adds up to an end product worth treasuring, and one that possesses idiosyncrasies enough to keep those undesirable final destinations at bay for the foreseeable future.
7Mike Diver's Score