Review- “Giants & Dreamers”- Bravestation

reviewed by Michael Thomas

There are many immediately noticeable signs that Bravestation are tapping into something huge with the release of their first full-length album Giants & Dreamers. There’s the title itself, which brings to mind a whole host of images. There’s the album artwork featuring the band surrounded by a huge, open beach.

It’s been two years since band released their previous recording, and Bravestation have definitely shifted in sound. It wouldn’t presume too much to call this band a Toronto favourite, and this album should also prove that there really aren’t any Canadian bands doing what Bravestation are doing right now.

Their sound is one that has few comparisons- the Toronto Star suggests perhaps Friendly Fires or Foals- and that’s part of what makes the album such a treat. The “dreamers” half of the album title truly describes the dense, layered, tropical landscapes of the album’s tracks.

Another strength of this band is the excellent percussion thanks to Jeremy Rossetti. The very unique percussion sounds have always been with the band, and you can hear that great sound in tracks like “Western Thrills” and “Lines in the Sand.”

Two tags that can be found on the Bandcamp page for this album are “tribal” and “tropical,” two words which fit this album perfectly. It’s immediately apparent from the beginning of album opener “Tides of the Summit” what I’m talking about. The song sounds like the background music of a fireside ritual. The height of the “ritual” sound can no doubt be “Signs of the Civilized.” If you haven’t seen the very fitting video, you can see it at the end of this review.

The album also has plenty of tropical moments, notably in “Fluorescent Scenes” that picks up the pace a little bit from the previous three songs on the album. “Marble Sky” is undeniably infectious, with many finger snaps and hand claps almost taking the place of drums.

“Amaranthine” is a particularly thrilling number, starting off with heavily distorted vocals and instruments before the smooth vocals of Devin Wilson kick in for the song’s remainder. The song shows that Bravestation aren’t afraid to stray from their otherwise-clean sound and that’s what makes the song so spectacular.

“Kaleidoscope” manages to show off a bit of Wilson’s falsetto, while album closer “Future of Love” features a solid background of electronic noises that eerily imitate the sounds of nature. It’s a fitting end to the album, almost a bookend to the shouts that can be heard in the album opener.

Giants & Dreamers is likely only the first jewel in the crown that is Bravestation. The band has shown that it has no fear of growing and experimenting, and this album is proof that a little dreaming never hurt anybody.

The album is available through Bandcamp.

Top Tracks: “Tides of the Summit”; “Amaranthine”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop*

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