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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Kids These Days. In fact, I have only good things to say about them. The band, that is. All These Interruptions, the Vancouver-based quintet’s debut album is an astonishing collection of carefully crafted and sundry indie-rock tunes.

Made up of a diverse musical collective, Peter Doig, Ryder Havdale (of The Mohawk Lodge), Rob Josephson, Marc Morrissette, and Jason Starnes, each with projects of their own on the go, the five members take turns on everything from song-writing to lead vocal. And in the process, they create a graceful and cohesive aesthetic, with inventive melodies and compelling instrumentation.

There isn’t a weak track on the album. “Rest Tonight,” the best tune on the record, is so good that it might actually be an addictive substance. Like the album itself, the song has a little bit of everything: a spacey guitar riff that could go on forever; a hazy harmonica; elegant and intuitive lyrics; and a plush, chiming drum beat holding everything together. And while “Sink In Your Teeth” is perfectly ambient, “Node Worries” and “Drinking Wine, Talking Art” are ardent and fuming. The album ends, though, perhaps in an attempt to de-escalate things, on something of a cathartic note, with “The Details” and “Aging Friends (Snowcapped).” This record is a drug and a cure in one.

You needn’t listen closely to hear some scaled-down Coldplay, some of the manic twinge of Radiohead, or some of the kinetic energy of Canada’s own Broken Social Scene. But Kids These Days aren’t borrowing, let alone imitating anyone. Rather, they’ve put together a unique, imaginative, and multi-layered record that has something entirely new to offer on every listen.

Released on Havdale’s own White Whale Records, All These Interruptions has already cracked the Canadian campus radio Top 50 and garnered serious attention from CBC Radio. Let’s hope this is only the beginning. I realize it’s only May, but I’ll venture a guess that this album will be on everyone’s top ten lists by the end of the year. Or at least it should be. I recommend it to anyone with a CD player.

Rating: 9
- Matthew McKean
- UmbrellaMusic Review


It's one of those things that shouldn't work but does. All These Interruptions, the debut album by Vancouver's Kids These Days, is the work of several tunesmiths with distinctive voices, but it hangs together as a cohesive group effort thanks to the uniform strength of the songs. The tracks range from the angular indie pop of the synth-fortified opener, "About Every 12 Hours", which is led by the choirboy clarity of Jason Starnes, to the harmonica-gilded "The Details", a plaintive, twangy outing showcasing the weary-voiced Marc Morrissette.

The group's other singers, Ryder Havdale and Peter Doig, add still more dimensions to the multifaceted disc. What ties it all together is a rich sound, full of chiming guitars and buzzing EBow and driven by the kinetic Rob Josephson, a postrock-influenced drummer whose seemingly endless rhythmic ideas often take the songs in strange but pleasant directions. Critics have already been stymied in their efforts to describe Kids These Days, but if you can imagine a more laid-back and slightly rootsier version of Pavement, that's a good starting point.

The Kids started a couple of years ago, when Morrissette decided to throw a band together so he could enter Shindig, CiTR-FM's annual battle-of-the-bands competition. It soon became apparent that Morrissette's newfound bandmates were capable of doing far more than merely backing him up, and the group turned into a showcase for all of its members' songs.

That the writing styles of all the Kids mesh well is evident from one listen to All These Interruptions. Morrissette, interviewed alongside Doig at a Kitsilano café, says there's no set-in-stone formula for crafting a Kids These Days song. "A really nice melody and good lyrics are extremely important, and then everything else just supports what the song is supposed to be," he says. "We're not so much concerned with 'Let's try to sound like this band, or this scene.' That all kind of comes naturally. It's more so about the actual art of songwriting."

Since its release by the local indie collective White Whale Records in September, All These Interruptions has seen some serious airtime on college stations across the country, even cracking the top 50 on the national campus-radio chart. But the band isn't relying on radio to get its music to the masses. In addition to hitting major festivals such as North By Northeast and Pop Montreal, Kids These Days has toured the West Coast once and ventured across the country a couple of times, dipping south for gigs in New York. More recently, the quintet has been covering territory closer to home, with shows on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
Morrissette notes that, somewhat ironically, spending so much time away helps build the Kids' reputation at home. "It seems like the local crowd is more interested in a Vancouver band if they have toured," he says. "After both of our tours, we've had really good turnouts and really good shows. And that's quite common. You know that the band has improved, and there's a bit of a mystique about a touring band playing in all these... Not exotic cities, but they're pretty romanticized. Like New York City, playing CBGBs or the Knitting Factory, or playing in L.A. off of Hollywood Boulevard. And then you play them, and you realize that they're no different than any other city. And the irony is that the bigger the city we've played, in a market where we're not known, the smaller the turnout, because there's so much competition. And so when we come back to our hometown of Vancouver, we do appreciate the friendly crowd, and the fact that there actually is a crowd is definitely a highlight."

The Kids, then, should be in their glory on Saturday (December 11), when they play for a roomful of hometown fans at the Media Club. Morrissette and Doig--both of whom are from Ontario--assert that they find Vancouver's scene to be a supportive and creatively fertile one. As others before them have noted, the city's relative isolation from the corridors of music-industry power lends itself to the development of musicians who are more interested in their craft than in their careers.

"When we were in Hollywood, we stayed with a friend of a friend," Morrissette recalls. "He's a big music lover, and he said that L.A. has the worst bands. And his reasoning is because all these bands from all over the U.S.--and Canada--move there to make it big, because there's so many labels based out of there. They don't move there to meet people and play music, they move there to get a record deal. And that leads to them playing the type of music that they think will get them signed, whereas somewhere like Vancouver, where there really isn't a lot of industry or label headquarters, people are making music for the fun of it and the love of it. Nine times out of 10, that leads to much better results. When you're trying not to get noticed, sometimes that's when you do get noticed."

With the amount of hard work and - Georgia Striaght


Discography

All These Interuptions (White Whale Records), our first release, had been featured on CBC , cracked the college charts at #34

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

What’s wrong with Kids These Days? Not a heck of a lot – “All These Interruptions”, the Vancouver-based quintet’s debut album is an astonishing collection of carefully crafted and sundry indie-rock tunes. With tracks ranging from the angular pop of the synth-fortified opener, "About Every 12 Hours", which is led by the choirboy clarity of Jason Starnes, to theharmonica-gilded "The Details", a plaintive, twangy outing showcasing the weary-voiced Marc Morrissette.

Kids These Days were formed in 2002 when Morrissette recruited some of his buddies to compete in a Vancouver radio station’s battle of the bands (which led to North by North East / Pop Montreal then a tour including CBGB’s in NYC and The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA). It was evident that Morrissette’s new found band mates were capable of doing far more than merely backing him up, and the group turned into a showcase for all it’s members’ songs.

Since the release of “All These Interruptions” last fall by local indie collective White Whale Records, critics have already been stymied in their efforts to describe Kids these Days with references being made everywhere from Pavement, Radiohead and Broken Social Scene. But the Kids aren’t imitating or borrowing. They have created an imaginative collection of original, inventive melodies with a refreshing approach to songwriting.

With “All These Interruptions” building genuine momentum, having cracked the top 50 campus radio charts across the country and garnering serious attention from CBC Radio and ZED it’s only logical that Kids These Days hit the road for = the third time since their initial invention.

Press Reaction For “All These Interruptions”

“Vancouver 'collective' responsible for one of the best Canadian releases of this year” The Vancouver Province

“All These Interruptions, is a remarkable collection of carefully crafted indie-pop numbers, and it marks Kids These Days as an act to watch.” The Georgia Straight (The Best of = Vancouver Issue)

This record is a drug and a cure in one. I’ll venture that this album will be on everyone’s top ten lists by the end of the year. Or at least it should be. I recommend it to anyone with a CD player.
UmbrellaMusic Review (Toronto/National)

All These Interruptions is a virtually flawless, brilliant album. Art disguised as a rock record and if there is justice in the world Kids These Days will end up on the covers of all sorts of glossy magazines. Auralminority.com

www.kidsthesedays.ca / www.whitewhale.ca