4. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
The latest wave of the Canadian music invasion, Wolf Parade's album arrived with almost more hype than it could bear--the next Arcade Fire, the band that was supposed to break out from Montreal first, etc. With such hype, it's amazing that the album wasn't a huge disappointment. All I had to go on before the actual release date were some live recordings for the CBC, and what I heard there was good. I didn't think a whole album could sustain the energy these tracks displayed.
Boy, was I wrong. And how. The album is full of energy,dissonance, hand clapping, and (I imagine) foot stomping. While the comparisons to the Arcade Fire are to my mind wrong (aside from the whole Montreal thing), Wolf Parade creates further comparisons--David Bowie and Modest Mouse--but none fully capture their essential sound. Yes, you can hear the impact of Modest Mouse's lead singer producing the album, but that's about where it ends. Wolf Parade creates much more joyful music, where the dissonance and oddness aren't end in and of themselves.
Stand out tracks from Apologies to the Queen Mary include the opening track, "You are a Runner, and I am my Father's Son" which gets the album off to a great start. My personal favorite song is "Shine a Light" which was the first song of theirs I heard by downloading the CBC live tracks. I defy anyone to listen to it and not nod your head or tap your foot (or both and drum on your desk to boot). One other notable track is "Ground for Divorce." I'm hoping that they make an appearance in Atlanta very soon.
NP "Shine a Light" - Wolf Parade