Toronto’s melodic post-punk trio The Black Fever recently released their EP Unarticulated Wants on June 14th via Soundcloud. The band celebrates 10 years of being together this year and in those 10 years, their releases include three albums – Romanticism (2009); Revisionist (2012); and Midnight Century (2014). The band also released, aside from this last EP release, a three-song EP in 2013 and a remix cassette in 2015.
We caught up with the band and asked them what three albums influenced them and their music. These are their picks:
Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
Two of us used to be in a band together before The Black Fever. Up until that point, the songwriting was more inspired by the classic British bands from the 60s to the 90s, with perhaps more of a conventional “rock” approach to songwriting. But after really getting into Interpol‘s first album, my songwriting switched. I had always drawn inspiration from post-punk bands like Joy Division but hadn’t really tried to channel that in my music, partly because I didn’t know how to incorporate those elements into our songs. But after Interpol, everything changed. From there, I really explored the back catalogue of bands like The Chameleons and Gang of Four. I shifted my guitar sound, adding more reverb. And the songs incorporated more eight-note rhythms. At the same time, I tried to marry these different sounds and rhythms with the conventional verse-chorus songwriting that I loved. Interpol opened the door to all of that. While I love all their music, the arrangements on the first album are so intricate and effortless. Truly timeless.
Death Cab for Cutie – The Photo Album
This is the indie pop/rock record I keep going back to. Is it their best album? Probably not. There’s just something about the sound on this one that I enjoy. Higher production values than their previous albums, but still willing to distort the vocals if the song needs a bit more grit. The drums are pattern based and machine-like at times, even a bit hypnotic. This is something I often try to mimic in my playing style. My guess is that this is an artifact of their writing process, working off of demos originally produced with a drum machine, which also echos our own process. There are moments of angst and vitriol on this record, that I sometimes miss on their later albums.
The Knife – Silent Shout
I first heard Silent Shout in the summer of 2006 at a friend’s dance party and was immediately captivated. I was amazed at how skillfully The Knife balanced seemingly conflicting moods and styles. Silent Shout is simultaneously ominous and playful; cynical and romantic; unexpected while channelling something familiar. The songs are at times wonderfully strange and unnerving while displaying an infectious dance-pop sensibility. The track ‘We Share Our Mother’s Health’ is a masterpiece. As a musician, Silent Shout sparked an interest in producing my own synth-based music and absolutely broadened my horizons in terms of musical influences. It is an album I return to often and remains my synth pop gold standard.