Albums are pieces of art — living, breathing creations that have the ability to make a listener feel, think, dance, sing, and cry. The following three albums, released this year by Calgarian artists, pulled on all sorts of heartstrings.
Viet Cong’s penchant for experimenting with sounds make for a captivating mixture and the band’s eponymous debut album is a whirlwind of intricate soundscapes that combine post-rock, punk, and garage pop melodies. With raspy vocals, reverberating percussion, and fuzzy riffs, Viet Cong delivers a stunning sonic palate, but what cuts deepest is the substance within the tracks — on “Pointless Experience,” lead bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel sings, “If we’re lucky we’ll get old and die,” which is hard not to associate with the too-soon death of former Women bandmate, Christopher Reimer.
Calgary natives Braids retreated to the mountains of Arizona, Vermont, and upstate New York to record their third album, “Deep In The Iris.” The result of that seclusion is audible — beautifully crafted songs that are powerful yet vulnerable, driven by a gentle balance of acoustics and electronics. It’s an apt foundation for brave lyrics that tackle a number of topics from pornography to abuse, delivered in Raphaelle Standell’s delicate vocals.
“CoCo,” Double Fuzz’s sophomore effort, is a love letter to ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses, and AC/DC — pure, unabashed rock and roll with just enough slathered glam. Power riffs and catchy melodies make the album a fun ride from beginning to end, but like the era Double Fuzz is so influenced by, there is a dark side to the light. Track “Wanna Go For A Ride,” for example, discusses the missing and murdered women of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.