Fans of Amos the Transparent have been waiting nearly four years for the band’s next album. Well it’s here and it was worth the wait.
The release of Anniversaries marks 10 years of making music together. Throughout this decade, Amos the Transparent has made some big moves in the Canadian folk-rock world; they’ve played several major festivals, been showcased on shows like CBC’s Q and The Strombo Show, and have even had their music played on the hit TV show Degrassi. The band describes Anniversaries as an album about reflection, growing, and acceptance — qualities that all shine through in the songwriting and arrangements. The whole album exudes a wisdom and refinement that demonstrates that the band hitting their stride, both with their songwriting and each other.
The current iteration of the band includes founder Jonathan Chandler on vocals and guitar, Olenka Bastian on guitar and vocals, Dan Hay on guitar, James Nicol on bass and vocals, Christopher Wilson on drums, and Mike Yates on Cello. Chandler’s knack for lush arrangements, instrumental layering, and playing with timbres and textures through varied production techniques are a hallmark of Amos the Transparent’s sound. The whole band is present on the album in a way that gives each room to breathe, but they are also integral to support the structure as a whole.
The record is incredibly dynamic and carries momentum all the way through; each tune on the album is a drama in its own right. Intimate sentiments are balanced with raucous choruses, driving instrumental sections, and graceful blending of male lead vocals and female vocal harmonies. Honesty and heartfelt performances are what make Anniversaries a thing of beauty.
The first track on the album immediately draws you into the record: “I’m Going to Make You Cry” instantly relays the band’s pop disposition while showcasing the dynamism of stratified textures, and deceptively simple, ear-catching composition. Songs like the nuanced “Troublemaker” demonstrate the attention to detail that Amos the Transparent is so adept at executing. This is especially apparent in the interplay between Chandler and Bastian’s vocals, yet just about everyone shines on this tune that falls on the rockier side of indie rock.
Another standout song is “Annabelle,” a lullaby-like song that doesn’t abate, but propels itself forward. A beautifully constructed song that besides its sonorous mix of ambient and crisp timbres, features a dancing melody that seems to graze the surface of the song. Tracks like “Over and Over” and “It’s Only Getting Better” are also absolute “must-hears” on Anniversaries.
Amos the Transparent is releasing their new album Anniversaries at the 27 Club tomorrow night, Saturday, May 12 (8 pm doors, $12). They will share the stage with Ottawa indie pop legends The Love Machine, and Toronto’s Rum Fit Mosey. PLUS you can try Big Rig’s special “Amos Anniversaries” beer, which will be served at Amos the Transparent’s upcoming shows. Listen to Anniversaries on Spotify or buy the album from the the band’s website (vinyl available). Keep up to date with Amos the Transparent’s next moves on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.