New wave post-punk rockers Cygnets go international on fourth album

Monday 24th, November 2014 / 15:01
By Jenna Lee Williams
Photo: Ashley Kowal

Photo: Ashley Kowal

EDMONTON — The day Cygnets met up with BeatRoute to discuss their upcoming release over cold beers in a warm pub, their track “There Is Something Wrong with Us” was number eight on CBC’s top 30 Canadian indie song list for the week. It’s due to their cyber rock sound and extremely hard work. Case in point: since their incarnation in 2009, Cygnets has released at a ferocious pace, resulting in three full-length albums, two EPS and one reinterpretation.

“We always have a wealth of material we are sitting on,” explains Chris Bruce, who plays guitar, bass and does vocals for the band.

Their fourth album Sleepwalkers will be released on CD this month. Previously, Cygnets were vertically integrated in terms of making album art and recording and mastering tracks, but the production of Sleepwalkers has become a global affair: with Rodolfo Reyes (Mexico) creating the cover art; Cygnets recording the album here in Edmonton; Michael Conn (Germany) mastering the album; and the label Negative Gain (USA) releasing it.

“We have spent so much time making music and we have done all the other things partially out of necessity and partially out of interest. It is awesome to see how other people work with our music,” explains Dan Snow, who plays synth and does vocals in the band.

After they released Isolator earlier this year and played the burgeoning Terminus festival in Calgary, Negative Gain approached them to make an album. Many of Sleepwalkers’ tracks have been performed for a few years before making their way onto this record.

“Half of the album is newer stuff we recorded while working on our last album that we didn’t know what to do with. A lot of these songs we have playing for the last couple of years that we all liked but never had a home, so this was a great opportunity. Everything came together in a great way, in a way we weren’t expecting,” explains Snow.

When asked if their latest album was very different stylistically, the band all agreed it was still a Cygnets record.

“This album is fairly representative of our music overall. These songs have had more testing life, and had a longer time to develop. Isolator was a studio recording. The songs on Sleepwalkers have evolved over the years from the writing to the recording,” says Snow.

Lead vocalist, lyricist, bassist, and guitarist Logan Turner discusses the style, citing diverse yet fluid genres ranging from synth-pop to shoegaze to rock to post-punk.

“This record is all over the place stylistically. The songs still fit together … it is just hard to pick a genre for iTunes.”
Lyrically it is a Cygnets record as well.

“The song ‘Life is Suicide’ sounds dark but it is actually about a picnic,” reveals Snow.

The musical influences for this release are similarly varied.

“Several songs on the new record that are heavily noise influenced that wasn’t really present on other releases,” Turner notes.
“Like My Bloody Valentine,” adds Snow.

“Especially for guitar sounds compared to the last record, there is more guitar present. I have been listening to a lot of Television and The Cars. These bands have stuck in my mind guitar tone wise for a long time,” finishes Bruce.

Catch Cygnets’ record release at Lord Nelson’s Bar and Grill in Calgary with Tekhnotron, Twitch, and DJ Chameleon on December 5, and at the Pawn Shop in Edmonton as part of Transmission with DJ’s Eddie LunchPail and Blue Jay on December 6.

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