Live at Holocene: Boats

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Last night Holocene hosted Winnipeg powerhouse Boats, with the fresh sounds of Portland folks WL and Great Wilderness. The Holocene is responsible for some awesome shows with fun, intimate atmospheres on random nights of the week, like Sundays, when everyone else is at home watching Walking Dead.

First up, Great Wilderness sounds like Joanna Newsom’s voice on Sam Beam’s fingers, hauntingly beautiful and with a deep empathy for nature. The growing and cascading harmonies of two female vocals are accompanied by organic folky guitars and rhythmn. Their debut, Rest EP was just released in 2011, which makes it seem less ridiculous that Great Wilderness isn’t gigantic, yet. Check out a track from their new album The Enemy, out soon.

Next up on the bill was Houndstooth, one of Portland’s extremely talented songcrafters, but there was a last minute change to feature their side project WL (pronounced “Well well”) instead. The guys rock super hard too. Live, they sound like a female-led Joy Division, and on record like a My Bloody Valentine clone. These elements of overstated fuzzy droning new wave compositions and classic 3-piece rock and roll dynamism make WL a great listen.

Killing Sasquatch recently caught wind of what Boats is accomplishing with their new album, a Fairway Full of Miners, and we like it immensely. From the snowswept Northern plains of Manitoba, which has produced such other deeply sincere and well-written acts such as The Weakerthans, Boats represents the absurdist’s solution to realistic crises. Their music is dense with abstraction and whimsy, but strangely compassionate and focused too. Suggested on long introspective walks through your inner sub-conscious, and at dance parties between the capacity of 4 and 40, Boats is chicken chili for the modern soul.

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