At the risk of stating the obvious, I’m going to share something with you. Growing up can be a drag. And it sneaks up on you like a sneaky, sneaky time thief. I’m not even thirty yet, and I recently found myself wondering aloud, “Where did the time go!?” Then, with almost perfect timing, I heard Boats’ new album, A Fairway Full of Miners. It’s not the antidote for the grown-up blues; it’s better than that because it’s commiseration. This album is about life, and not any one part of life in particular. It’s just about life. And what’s more, it’s fun as hell. There’s nothing better than a little Canadian indie pop to shake away your troubles.
The music on A Fairway Full of Miners is nice, but it isn’t anything spectacular or special. Most of the songs feature toe-tapping rhythms and basic complements to the real star of the album: Vocalist Mat Klachefsky and his lyrics. The real connection with this album comes from his high-pitched voice and befuddling verses like , “O, frothy eater of sandwiches!” Klachefsky has a real knack for describing things in the oddest, but most heartfelt way. Most of the album is like that; the lyrics seem random and nonsensical at first, but if you take another minute, those words start making sense. Most of the songs have to do with living life and accepting it. Sometimes the sentiment sounds like a resigned acceptance (see “Getting Worst.jpeg”), and other times it sounds like a battle cry (“Great Skulls”).
“Advice on Bears” is one of the standouts on the album because of the intriguing title, catchy guitar part, and practical information. The song ends with the line, “Just remember they’re more afraid of you than you are of them,” which is handy information to remember if you ever run into a bear. The sequel to this song, “Advice on Bioluminescent Bears,” is less helpful, but more dynamic.
A Fairway Full of Miners isn’t deep. It doesn’t present any emotional breakthroughs, and a lot of people probably won’t get it. But it’s endearing through its simple oddness. The melodies are catchy and message is real. And if nothing else, you’ll walk away from this album knowing a little more about bears.