Formed in Toronto in 2002 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning from an assortment of their very talented musical friends, lovers and strangers, Broken Social Scene very quickly established themselves as one of the most vital voices in independent music.
Their albums were cinematic, critically-acclaimed and lovingly-wrapped parcels of concepts and melodies that married a dizzying onslaught of sounds with finely-crafted choruses, and saw them instantly recognised on the international stage.
Between 2002 and 2009, Broken Social Scene were everywhere; touring from Mexico City to Moscow, winning Juno Awards, writing scores for film (such as the Hollywood acclaimed Half Nelson), appearing on music television shows, and more. They also made their own videos and artwork, and live their shows were infamous for lasting over three hours; the result of just wanting to keep playing.
Also with their solo endeavours, Broken Social Scene’s members released some of the 00’s most notable independent albums, predominantly from under the umbrella of their own label, Arts & Crafts. These together with the Broken Social Scene catalogue cemented the status of the band and its members as one of Canada’s most important musical exports.
After almost a decade together, Broken Social Scene deliver their first album of new material in five years this May, ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’.
Written and arranged by the collective’s current line-up (Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger) the album was co-produced by the band and mentor John McEntire (Tortoise) and features guest turns by BSS alumni Leslie Feist, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley (Stars), Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw (Metric), Jason Collet, Ohad Benchetrit (Do May Say Think & Years), Jason Crossingham, Marty Knack, Leon Kingstone, and Julie Penner.
The record also includes contributions from McEntire, as well as Sam Prekop (The Sea And Cake), Doug McCombs (Tortoise), Spiral Stairs (Pavement), Sebastian Grainger (DFA 1979), Susan Voelz (Poi Dog Pondering), Alison Chesley (Helen Money), and Jason Tait (The Weakerthans’).
The pairing down of the band’s massive personnel list for the first time proved extremely fruitful; they created songs as a band, resulting in more cohesive compositions than previous BSS output. With around 40 songs penned, they decided to record outside of Toronto for the first time and decamped to Chicago.
This allowed them to fully immerse themselves in the recording process, and as a result have delivered a considered and complex album of stories about love and forgiveness. Broken Social Scene are back, and in an era of flash-in-the-pan supergroups, we welcome them with loving open arms.
Forgiveness Rock Record is out May 7, 2010 on Spunk.