New Music Review: Library Voices – Summer of Lust

Once in a while I run into a bit of a predicament as someone who writes for a non-living: sometimes I have trouble writing reviews of albums; sometimes I have trouble writing reviews of shows. Yep, it’s true. I, at times, run into a bit of difficulty when attempting to articulate my thoughts. It’s hard being enthusiastic when you’re enthusiasm has skipped town. It must be noted in the same paragraph that writing this review for Library VoicesSummer of Lust was no such predicament.

Nope—it was really quite easy.

You see, what Library Voices do so well is—aside from just about everything—they punch you in the face with music.  It’s not a violent punch, but more of a “Hey! How the hell are ya? This is what we do!” kind of smack.

If you’ve followed this Saskatchewan band of pop gypsies since their debut EP, Hunting Ghosts, you’ll probably understand a little bit about what I’m saying.  Although a little quirkier in their past lives, the 2011 life of Library Voices is still energetic and “Pop as fuck”, and, umm… well, I think that pretty much says it all.  [That “quote” in the last line is as they describe themselves—I’m just quoting, I’m a lot of things but I’m no potty-mouth. Maybe sometimes…]

If you’re looking for something mellow and easy-listening to help you sleep at night, Summer of Lust is NOT the album you want to throw on.  Mostly because it will have you clapping, tapping, bopping, and throwing an all out dance-party in your bedroom, which is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.  It all starts with the second track and first actual song on the album called, If Raymond Carver Were Born in the ’90s:  chugging guitar and drums pump the beat into your veins until Carl Johnson’s vocals blaze in stating, “I’m just waking up. My mouth tastes like rust.  I think I’m still drunk.”  It took me about 30 seconds—if that—to know that this whole album was probably gonna live up to my expectations (expectations that were set high with their home run of a debut LP, Denim On Denim).

The energy flows into the next tune, and first single, called Generation Handclap.  With that single, horns boom, drums pound and lyrics lay blame and accusation to a generation that only cares about itself, and whines constantly about it: “We stand for nothing, sugar. This is generation drunk text. Going to love you like a cherub, going to leave you like a lap dance. Oh! You want to save the world! You keep pouring out your heart but all I ever hear is ooooohhh…”

I rarely come across a band that has music and lyrics which correlate fantastically with their name.  Maybe their music isn’t quite right for a library setting, but Library Voices have spent some time reading.  Their music, lyrically, is littered with as much literature reference as their songs are littered with synth, omnichord and theremin.  Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers references Yates, Hemmingway and Joyce.  Traveller’s Digest makes note of fictional characters such as Moriarty. 

They’re not even afraid to get a little political with one of the stand-out tracks The Prime Minister’s Daughter which is an ode to music and the arts. And how “Parliament is making cuts (to the CBC)”.  And how Rachel [Harper’s daughter] will surely fall in love with a musician and realize that the arts are getting the shaft in Canada. And how that dude she falls in love with will leave her, and she’ll cut her hair and write a song about it. That won’t be funded by the CBC. It’ll happen because “Ordinary people don’t care about art.”

Fun and fancy-free, are the Library Voices.

Lastly, to close out the album is a little tribute to Regina, Saskatchewan, called Regina I Don’t Want To Fight.  Unless you’ve been there—which I haven’t—you won’t be able to relate to the lines, “I know it’s been awhile since I left. I miss prairie nights and northern lights and I miss waking up in your bed. Regina, I don’t want to fight but I will if I have to.”  Even if you can’t relate, you will enjoy the tune. Trust me.

I’d go so far as to say that Summer of Lust is one of the best Canadian albums of 2011, but that would simply be my opinion.  We’ll see what critics think once award season starts.  




~ by DR on August 30, 2011.

2 Responses to “New Music Review: Library Voices – Summer of Lust”

  1. […] in the fall and people getting back to their normal days. With all of that I should try and review Summer of Lust by Library Voices. Summer of Lust is their second album and follow-up to their popular Demin on […]

  2. As someone who comes from Manitoba (and spent a stint in Regina), now living in Europe I can also say, man do I ever miss those prairie nights and northern lights!

    There’s something that can’t be compared with standing on a hay bale with lighting rolling down the southern skies, the Milky way pouring over your head and into the northern lights.

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