IV is the new release by Bravestation, brothers Devin (vocals, keyboards) and Derek Wilson (guitar, keyboards) alongside childhood friend Jeremy Rossetti (drums, percussion). Together, they began making music in the City of the 1000 Islands several years before moving to Toronto in 2008 and adopting the moniker Bravestation. The name is derived from the titles of Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World and Robert J. Hasting’s inspirational essay, The Station. Like their previous releases, IV draws upon themes written in these evocative literary works through lyrics that shape fantasy and reality into a speculative fiction over top of colourful and winding song structures. "We use emotional experiences from real life and try to recreate them in another world" says Devin. While ethereal vocals, spaced-out guitars, intricate percussion and peculiar synths have always been characteristics of the group's sonic identity; these four tracks are decidedly more electronic and beat-oriented than their predecessors.
The band’s 2010 EP (released for free download) was a dark and brooding post-punk affair, characterized by reverb-laden guitars and a live off-the-floor rhythm section that was described by the Toronto Star as an "atmospheric and rhythmically daring beast" and deemed by Dazed Digital as 'charming'. In the wake of this widespread support, the band embarked on a national tour of the United Kingdom following an invite to play on the main stage at North England's largest music festival, Evolution.
Returning to Canada on a wave of gusto, the trio bunkered down at Canterbury Studio in Toronto and finished their long-in-the-making debut full-length, Giants & Dreamers (2012). This airier and tropical-tinged collection of songs evoked the group’s own ‘Tribal Pop’ genre descriptor throughout the blogosphere and garnered several unlikely comparisons to Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads and Wild Beasts. The Toronto Star remarked that they “could be mistaken for a different band altogether” in reference to a sound they described as “Spritely, sun-kissed, electroshocked equatorial pop”. Following the release, Bravestation played an array of diverse local support slots with the likes of Tanlines, Yacht, Young Empires, 2:54, Nightbox and Imagine Dragons – illustrating the band’s unique range.
IV continues the band’s audible metamorphosis, mixing elements of R&B, New Wave and Electronic music into an atmospheric pop landscape. The noticeable shift in style is influenced by the unfamiliar environment it was created in. "We self-recorded these songs in the cloud, it allowed us to be creative when we were feeling inspired. It was nice to escape the hands on the clock that inevitably take a hold of you when you're in a professional studio." notes Derek. Collaboratively, the group gathered on weekends to shape, produce and mix these digital figments of recorded imagination in their makeshift studio/downtown apartment with help from long-time collaborator/mix engineer Andrew Heppner and live sound engineer Alexander Wessel. The result is a reflection of a band interested in exploring new musical ideas and following their artistic vision down whatever path it chooses. It’ll be interesting to hear where it goes next.
released 14 May 2013
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