Stonetrotter, the self-titled full-length debut from the Barrie, Ontario quintet, out October 30, fulfills the promise of their first two independently released EPs.
The album’s sonic tapestry has been woven by each member’s unique touch, exemplified by lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Allen, whose approach consistently treads a fine line between plaintive and radiant. Complementing that is pianist Courtney Dubois and her ethereal vocals, which add further depth to the storytelling.
The colour and texture provided by lead guitarist Ben Pearson, bassist/vocalist Ben Lemen, and drummer Evan Dwinnell complete the overall portrait of their ability to combine their identities for the common benefit of the music.
For this reason, it’s difficult to impose labels upon it such as “folk-rock” or “Americana.” Key tracks range from the jagged rocker “Born Stiff,” to the classic country weeper “Duets,” and the Bahamas-ish neo-soul of “A Ghost In My Own Skin.” The overall effect leaves a startling first impression of a band fully capable of transcending indie rock’s inherent limitations.
Stonetrotter chose to make the album’s first video for the Andrew Shropshire-produced track “Back At The Boneyard,” which director Dave Murray of Paper City Films turned into a psychedelic spectacle.
Dave Allen says, “We shot it in a cottage in Wyebridge, Ontario. It was formerly owned by Franz Johnston of the Group of Seven and he supposedly crafted the stained glass windows seen in the video. The song is about revisiting the boneyard, the skeleton room — the place where you’re confronted by old habits, shortcomings and feelings. It’s a little meditation on being aware of old bones and conscious of the process of growing out of them, or, letting the earth do what it does best, decompose them.”
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