Dame Nature is a new project from the members of City on the Coast, a group that played through their high school years and beyond, with plenty of notable gigs from 2011 onwards.
With this new project, the group shed their folksy roots and find a more cathartic, indie rock approach, exploring new sonic territory and a fresh tonal language along the way. Electric guitars, catchy vocals, thoughtful horns, and a propulsive rhythm section move this album from start to finish, growing and falling in a triumphant fashion through danceable songs.
The sounds echoing from track to track reflect a major tip of the hat to household names of the Canadian indie rock scene of the early to mid 2000’s. Groups like Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Stars, etc. Interesting layers, heavy on the gang vocals, with different leads, and a feeling of emotional investment. There’s a timeless edge in this sound, that will undoubtedly feed nostalgia for future generations.
It’s also interesting to hear a strong influence of Hey Rosetta. It’s encouraging to hear this ripple effect in a new generation of musicians; all great players, interesting in their own right. Kudos as well to Kristian Leslie for the high production value of this album.
We’re led off the top with the pulsating, ambient drone instrumental “Solstice,” which gives way to the strumming of track two, “What You Want.” Kicking things off with its catchy and soothing verse, veering off into a jittery wordless chorus, with full intensions of a dance party.
On “Seventh Wave” the HR influence is apparent from the start (think “I’ve Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time”). Great vocals between brother and sister (Peter and Mari Lannon) here, with Peter Lannon’s soulful leads sometimes reminiscent of Win Butler.
“Age of Persuasion,” led by Sarah Harris, rolls out a pleasing verse over Jack’s great snare work. The chorus borrows from the natural minor with a punching feel change, exploring great use of backing vocals throughout.
A standout track. “Old Beginnings” again shows some more experimentation for the group, with heavy drones and a driving rhythm that’s instantly excitable. Great use of noise and feedback, with Sarah jumping to her upper register, keeping vocally interesting moments throughout. The group are in a transitional phase, trying to establish a new sound and identity while still holding on and revamping older ideas.
In “Ritual,” a literal song of doubt and reflection, the group join their voices in singing “Who could I become?” The band are ultimately still growing and dialling into what makes them unique, but the great musical trust between these old friends provides an audible sense of joy and accomplishment.
Dame Nature is currently working on new material, with plans for more recording in the near future. You can buy Dame Nature’s new album at Fred’s or at damenature.bandcamp.com