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WEAVES

Weaves

Wide Open

    It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed self-titled debut LP, lauded internationally for its exuberant approach to guitar pop and recently nominated for this year’s Polaris Prize. It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a life changing-experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.

    Their lawless approach to being a band is grounded on Wide Open by Burke’s songwriting, which is both more focused and more personal than on past releases. Burke writes in disciplined bursts, which on the last record consisted of isolated sessions with a looping pedal and a guitar recorded as voice memos on her iPhone, but this time around she varied her technique, often writing on an acoustic guitar, which expanded her songwriting palette in unexpected directions. Both Burke and Waters half-jokingly refer to the album as their “Americana” record, and while the statement is made with tongues placed firmly in cheeks, the album, without discarding the punky pyrotechnics that defined their first LP, displays an expansive and anthemic quality in songs like the opener “#53” and the sweeping “Walkaway,” that makes the joke ring half true.

    The record sees Burke extend herself as a performer - moving more frequently to the center of arrangements and revealing new facets of her unique and powerful singing voice - as the band find ways to interpret the growing diversity of her expression. From the glammy Saturday night strut of “Slicked,” to the stripped-down, pedal steel abetted torch song “Wide Open,” to the searing “Scream,” a warped duet with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq that likely constitutes Weaves’ wildest recording to date, the album captures a band for whom exploration is a compulsion making a self-assured step into the unknown. 

    Weaves

    Weaves

      In a little over two short years, Weaves have gone from a collection of voice memos on Jasmyn Burke’s iPhone to establishing themselves as one of the most stridently individual acts to emerge from the Toronto’s fertile and multifaceted DIY scene. Led by the collaborative efforts of Morgan Waters and Jasmyn Burke, the band have built a devoted audience while capturing the attention of the international media with a brand of ebullient, art-damaged pop music as difficult to categorize as it is to ignore.

      The group began in a series of sessions in the living room of Water’s Chinatown apartment, where Waters and Burke would record increasingly elaborate demos built from Burke’s phone full of songs. They transitioned to a full band line up in late 2013, adding bassist Zach Bines and drummer Spencer Cole, and quickly set to work recording their debut EP which was released on Buzz Records in the summer of 2014. The EP made an immediate splash, garnering praise from Noisey, Rookie and Spin, and earning Weaves a “band to watch” tag from Rolling Stone. Glowing write ups of the band’s performances at that year’s CMJ from The Guardian and NME followed, cementing Weaves’ reputation as one of the year's most exciting new bands.

      Word continued to spread in 2015 with the release of their single “Tick,” ahead of the band’s first European tour, which included dates with Hinds, Dan Deacon and Pissed Jeans, and appearances at Glastonbury and Iceland Airwaves. With their already sterling live show only sharpened by their time on the road, the band returned to CMJ in October and emerged as one of the hottest acts of the festival, earning "best of the festival" write ups from NPR and The New York Times among others, and further building the anticipation for their forthcoming full length.

      Weaves have been working on their debut LP for almost as long as they have been a band, tracking with Leon Taheny (Dilly Dally, Owen Pallett, Austra) in sessions that span most of the last two years. Mixed by Alex Newport (Bloc Party, Melvins, At The Drive In) and mastered by John Greenham (Death Grips, Sky Ferreira), the result is an album that traverses the band’s history, exploring every facet of their always adventurous approach to pop music and leaving no idea unexplored. Filled beyond bursting with hooks and possibilities, it’s the sound of a band propelled forward by the thrill of discovering the limits of their sound and gleefully pushing past them. “We’re always trying to push ourselves,” says Waters, “sometimes it feels like bands aren’t necessary, like they’re not the ones pushing music forward, so I think we’re trying to hopefully prove that bands aren’t boring. If we are going to be a band and if we are going to do this guitar, bass and drums thing then we might as well see how much we can fuck it up.”


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