Friday, 28 August 2009

2005: Broken Social Scene

When The National's Matt Berninger sang in 'So Far Around The Bend' of the song's protagonist 'humming in a haze forever / praying for Pavement to get back together,' he could have been describing Broken Social Scene. The Canadian ensemble craft a far more textured, dreamier sound than Stephen Malkmus' artfully dishevelled rock, but they share the latter's indie spirit, never more so than the moment when this album kicks off proper with 'Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)'. When I bought this record I knew little of either Pavement or the eponymous Ibi [Kaslik], but I knew the song fucking rocked.

It was also indicative of what seemed like a new-found swagger. While the first record noodled along contentedly, and the wonderful breakthrough LP You Forgot It In People took strides towards more traditional song structures, Broken Social Scene feels like the band's all-singing, all-dancing pop record, and probably - though I'd love you to prove me wrong when you get around to it, chaps - their masterpiece. Put this on in the morning, when the sun's shining and it's your day off work. Listen to the impossibly joyous trumpet crescendo that brings '7/4 (Shoreline)' to a close, the irresistably catchy 'Fire Eye'd Boy', the boundless energy of 'Superconnected', and all the classic BSS tender moments inbetween. That's the sound of several of this decade's most creative indie-rock musicians pitching in to make something that sounds utterly cohesive, and having a whale of a time along the way.

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