By Trevor Morelli
Arts & Crafts
If you’ve ever wanted a beautiful collection of songs that perfectly sums up the creativity, passion and raw energy held by some of Canada’s most interesting artists today, Live at Massey Hall Vol. 1
might be it. It’s a great reminder of the underappreciated talent we have here in our own country.
Recordings taken from different concerts over the last few years at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall make up this moving Record Store Day Black Friday release. Constantines’ “Nighttime Anytime (It’s Alright)” stands out as an early highlight with its head-bobbing guitar hooks and faux-disco breakdown. Dan Mangan provides a spirited, fresh take on “Vessel,” a song you’ve probably heard a million times by now. Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton look inward on the sensitive yet haunting “Fatal Gift,” and Bahamas utilizes a simple bed of bare guitar chords to bare his soul on “Like A Wind.”
Focusing largely on indie and folk artists, Live at Massey Hall Vol. 1 ventures into a huge wall of sound, created by Japandroids’ sharp, fuzzy riffage on “The House That Heaven Built” before closing with the soft lament of Whitehorse’s “Die Alone.”
Rounded out by more fantastic tracks by Destroyer, Hayden, Andy Shauf, and Couer de Pirate, you’ll want to refrain from using the skip button on this one. Each tune on this carefully curated roster of talent lends itself to have more emotional depth with every listen.