It’s always exciting to review an artist from British Columbia. Having lived in BC for a number of years, more of the sonic and lyrical touchstones are relevant. “New Life” opens with what sounds like a public service announcement, or a HAL9000 intercom. Feels sterile, like what we’ll be listening to on Mars. This could be a transition from “All of us, Together”, a futuristic soundtrack to our utopia released earlier this year. The remainder of the album is more introspective: man’s place in this world of electronic crutches. “Garden 1” describes what sounds like a dream, and “Garden 2” follows this on with a weightless ode; the vocals are so airy, they’re almost not there.
“Discipleship” has a distinctive beat and brings to mind a journey, like telephone poles passing you outside the train window, and is a high point of the album. “By Love” is just as tender as you would expect. There’s even a harp in there! And hold onto your hats, because “Union” featuring Frankie Rose is a departure from the previous half of “Mansions”, as if the album just took a shot of espresso. “Spirit” has Remix written all over it, so keep an eye out for various renditions over the winter. And at 6 minutes long, the song undergoes a couple of different personas; the song at the end is not the song at the beginning.
The Inner Mansions is a great album; a counter to “All Of Us, Together”, two sides of the same coin. More focused on nature, both human and environmental, and a spiritual if not fully religious undertones. This will be what the machines will be listening to once they’ve overthrown our rule and want to feel nostalgic.