Canada seems to produce more than its fair share of inventive off-pop and indie rock musicians: Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire and the multitude of artists on Constellation Records form just a brief survey. Aside from national origin, the bands all share an ability to compose music that is as intelligent as it is emotive. From this background emerges Brasstronaut with their second album ‘Mean Sun.’
Brasstronaut have made an engaging set of songs around some often beautiful lyrics, “Our love grew like coral wreaths beneath the mellow waves of a warming ocean,” is one of the best examples, from opener ‘Bounce’. Vocalist Edo Van Breeman wraps his soft drawl around a diverse collection of musical elements: synth drone, rumbling post-punk rhythms, warm and mournful brass, electronic manipulations, and some delicate guitar work. There is an enjoyable looseness to the slower songs that recalls the Flaming Lips circa Clouds Taste Metallic or the Grandaddy of ‘The Sophtware Slump’ and its soft fuzz of machine replicated strings.
Brasstronaut are a band for those who like their pop balladry literate and expansive without any sacrifice in emotional engagement.