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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"...first great musical suprise of the year"

"The first great musical suprise of the year has to be this EP from Vancouver trio Bossanova. With their deep vocals and melancholy pop songs they sound a bit like The Smiths with distorted guitars. Songs like "The Gin Game" and "Hollyburn" are sophisticated blasts of adolescent angst played with intense conviction. In the best track on the disc "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" singer Chris Storrow calls out "Oh woman you bring out the man in me" without a shred of irony. The fact that Bossanova can make lines like that sound cool is just one of many reasons to pick up this EP. Definitely one of the most refreshing pop releases I've heard in a long time" -Scott Ferguson, Chart (Toronto), 4/98 - Chart

"'s going to be pretty hard to escape the army of fans that are sure to flock their way."

Do a search for Canadian indie-rockers Bossanova on the internet, and chances are, you won't find very much. After trawling through the numerous websites dedicated to the Brazilian 'Bossa Nova' genre, you'll finally come across the band's official website; consisting of a logo, their Myspace address, and a link to Washington DC label, Teenbeat.

Yet whilst the band themselves may be as elusive as Bigfoot, their debut album Hey Sugar, is an unmistakable, universal sound recognised the world over.

Whilst references to the likes of New Order and Joy Division's Ian Curtis are unavoidable, there's something more to this album that makes it one of the freshest LPs of the year. Add the darkness of Interpol, sniping guitar reminiscent of the Strokes, and even a nod towards the aforementioned 'Bossa Nova' genre and cool jazz, and you've got something that's both exciting and melancholic, breezy and brooding, fun and sad.

Opening up at snails' pace with "In the Immortal Words Of You," and closing with the same on "Lullaby," Bossanova rarely put the pedal to the metal. Instead, they choose to cruise down an open highway with the top pulled down in a light breeze on a summer's day. Though, as with all good albums, there's an exception here on Hey Sugar, in the form of "Rare Brazil," a definite dancefloor-filler with a seriously groovy bassline and some trigger-happy high-hats.

Yet that's not to say the rest of the album won't make you feel like cutting a proverbial rug, as the likes of "Cavalry," with its funky piano and bouncing guitar, bop along with the kind of euphoria usually experienced on a Friday night at your local indie club.

Which is exactly where these tunes are likely to end up. For whilst Bossanova, featuring members of the New Pornographers and Black Mountain, are currently revelling in their own obscurity, with songs this good, it's going to be pretty hard to escape the army of fans that are sure to flock their way. - Big

"...not a wasted moment on any track"

Go ahead and try to be in a bad mood when Hey, Sugar, the debut CD from Vancouver area band Bossanova, is blasting from the stereo speakers; it can’t be done. C’mon, feel the love. Initially you might think the lyrics had to be about love for a record to exude romance, but Hey, Sugar proves otherwise. Mellifluous synths ebb and flow over catchy guitar riffs and Chris Storrows’s lovely singing.

Storrow sounds at turns like Bryan Ferry and Brian Wilson, so it doesn’t matter that sometimes his lyrics are a little, well, violent. For starters, “I’ll Leave of my Heart” seems like it should be a love song, albeit one that features the refrain, “now that hunting season’s here, again,” over a super happy organ hook. “Calvary” begins: “It’s time to kill/ They’re waiting on top of the hill/ A passenger borne from the ride/ Hoping to come out alive.” Still, probably because it’s not all about the lyrics, Hey, Sugar leaves you feeling like you might after a great first date. You’ll want to join in on the chorus, singing “Goodbye Old Rome. I’ll see you’ll burn bright now that I can strike a blow,” and you will have a good time doing it.

“Rare Brazil,” is seven minutes of near instrumental perfection, and is the ideal song to kick off a summer of beach going and barbecues, with its bass groove supporting catchy organ riffs and handclaps. “Blue Bossanova” and “Lullabye” slow things down a bit at the end, letting the listener drift blissfully off to whatever CD you plan to listen to next, though I can assure you it won’t be as good as this one! Although the album took a long time to make (work started on it in 1998), the sound is timeless, and there is not a wasted moment on any track. “Come Down Easy” is a classic pop song that personifies the Teenbeat sound – a blend of upbeat danceable music with a stroke of intellect. You can’t always judge a CD by its label, but with its homage to Unrest in particular, Hey, Sugar is a perfect fit. - AmpCamp

"...a promising start"

"...Vancouver's Bossanova works minor chord drone and chord repetition to great emotional effect. My favorite of this five song EP is the New Wave homage of "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning". The leaden lyric "woman you bring out the man in me" is almost a spoiler, but the fluttering organ drone and pure pop arrangement saves the day!...Bossanova band leader Chris Storrow has got a big voice and he sings alone. It adds weight to the dramatic lyrics he pens. Word has it that this three-piece is actively recording its debut album. This is a promising start." - Exclaim

" f**king thing I've heard all year."

"The way I figure it , everybody is entitled to one album per year they buy for only one song. And since by their very nature label samplers are generally pretty useless, when you find yourself a label sampler that fulfills said entitlement, you've got it made-particularly since samplers usually retail for less than half the price of a regular full-length CD, enabling you to pretend you bought a great single with, in the case of Teenbeat 1999, 19 pretty-good-to not-so-good B-sides.
SO let's acknowledge that there's some nice stuff here: Versus are swell, the Rondelles' charming garage-rock cover of "Like A Prayer" deserves all the college-radio play it'll get, Hot Pursuit shows plenty of pep and promise and all that stuff that the kids are buying these days. And then let's cut to the chase, which is the first cut, "Rare Brazil" by Vancouver-based five-piece drone-rockers Bossanova-the best fucking thing I've heard all year.
The first thing you notice about Bossanova's loping, grimly determined punk-disco groove-manna from heaven for black-clad, gentle-souled suburban misfits looking to shut the world out and drown their sorrows in rolling overpowering noise is how reminiscent it is of a sprightlier, more incandescent version of early Public Image Ltd. or Joy DIvision; indeed "Rare Brazil" recalls "Love Will Tear Us Apart". The song begins with a lone, creaky-sounding bass (played by Mike Boegh) slowly, tentatively playing four notes; then again, only this time he's found a groove, switches to a lower reiteration of the theme, almost bombastically in-the-pocket, and then we get three snare hits, a thick-sounding chord played on a cheap-ass synthesizer, and we're off. As drummer Tony Koelwyn does his best slowed-down imitation of Earl Young's hi-hat/kickdrum patterns on the O'Jays' "I Love Music" and Boegh digs a groove pitched perfectly between the Buzzcocks' "Why Can't I Touch It?" and Chic's "Good Times," three keyboards (played by Heather Campbell, Brian Wieser and vocalist/songwriter Chris Storrow) play chords, harmony chords, counterharmony chords, occasional whoosing flourishes-pretty much the same thing as each other, with minute differences tha result in generating engrossing texture-the effect is like a swarming, hovering horde of honeybees, and just as sharp and sweet.
There's a groovy (not quite funky) guitar strum, too, courtesy of Storrow, who sings like a closet romantic in love with Jim Morrison and Ian Curtis but sounds sweeter than either of them-he comes dangerously close to sounding like a wet romantic, almost a complete dip, actually, particularly when he gets to the lines about "We did it to the loooove song/Candles and the whole round, bay-beeee." By itself this could be unbearable. But with the organs cascading all around him and the rhythm section assuredly moving everything forward, such overblown sentiments sound beautiful and wholly necessary: ye, of course, that's exactly what it feels like to remember making love to someone you're not with anymore but acutely miss. It's melodramatic, but it's also completely convincing, particularly when the verses are over and the guitar begins exploring the joys of the slowly deployed, iris-lens wah-wah pedal while one of the organs plays around with the main vocal melody. You also get some mumbly, background-mixed counting off, drumrolls that sound like they've been put through a filter, and such cheap, homemade charm it'll knock your socks off. Collegiate angst hasn't sounded this mesmerizing in years, nor been as much fun to dance to."- - NY Press

"...Chris songwriter Vancouver has produced...Bar Bone."

"Bossanova's sound is that of the perpetual dead and buried, with the corpses of every late-sixties AM radio track and those 'whatever happened to...' Pebbles and Highs in the Mid-Sixties garage band compilations all gussied up for breakfast. What prevents Bossanova from being run out of town on a rail is that frontman Chris Storrow is the best songwriter Vancouver has produced since the days of the Collectors and the Poppy Family. Bar None.
And so, with foundations of cracking tunes laid with the likes of Mysterious Female Bass Player" and "Echo is My Name", Bossanova make the prospect of french-kissing the carcass of the Left Banke not such a bad thing after all. Again, though, the size of the stage presents its myriad problems (i.e. the 200 ways it's too damn small), with half Bossanova's keyboard section in the audience and Storrow confined to wearing Ray-Bans for the only theatrical effect there seems room for. Bossanova in Best Band in Vancouver shocker? You heard it here first..." - Drop-D


Bossanova-S/T EP 1998
Bossanova-Hey Sugar 2006.



Finally, it's safe to be Canadian. Cool, even. Heck, we've even heard rumours of bands pretending to be from the Great White North--shameless musicians who don toques and Mac jackets in an attempt to infiltrate the indie-rock scene with some readymade credibility, the kind that comes from sharing a prime minister and a passion for hockey with bands like Black Mountain, Arcade Fire, the New Pornographers and Loverboy (trust us--they're so uncool they're cool).

Anyway, Bossanova isn't faking it--they really are from Canada, though I'm not sure how they feel about hockey or red leather pants. They're from Vancouver, to be exact, a land of ocean, mountains, and home to two of the above named bands. In fact, members of Black Mountain and the New Pornographers are responsible for the drums on the debut Bossanova disc, Hey, Sugar.

But don't let the star turns throw you off--this is perfectionist tinkerer Chris Storrow's odyssey. Over seven years in the making, Hey, Sugar is Chris's vision of a perfect cocktail party, a free-for-all where Brian Wilson gossips with Burt Bacharach, Sergio Mendes mixes a Zombie for Stevie Wonder, and members of Stereolab and New Order play DJ. Like all great pop records, Hey, Sugar's heart lies not in any one era but in several all at once, tuning into all the sounds radio has unashamedly used to seduce untold numbers of lovestruck boys and girls since the British Invasion. You know the wavelength Chris is on immediately-it's in the way opener "In the Immortal Words of You" builds from swooning whisper to earth-shaking anthem, in the shiver-inducing falsetto chorus of "I'll Leave of My Heart", and in the space-age tropicalia of "Rare Brazil." In the end it doesn't matter what country Bossanova is from, because Hey, Sugar hits the universal sweet spot every time.