Newsmen

Newsmen

BandRockAlternative

Toronto's piano-pounders, Newsmen, exist between art and pop. With just a simple instrumental line-up, their songs explode with 90s-era Weezer's energy and Ben Folds Five complex harmonies and melodies. They embrace chaos, as well as melody and songcraft. But mostly, they must be seen and heard.

Biography

Newsmen aren’t a piano-rock band that sings lullabies or Broadway-style tunes, they are a four-piece band that is both aggressive and sensitive, bristly and approachable, melodic and dissonant, embracing ugliness and beauty in equal measure. Newsmen write songs that maintain an irresolvable tension between melody and cacophony, performing a balancing act that places their music somewhere in the borderlands between exploratory art pop and straight-ahead rock.

Newsmen’s debut EP, Wild Histories, transitions, sometimes jarringly and sometimes seamlessly, from bright piano-pop to darker, more brooding, punk and rock sounds. The record consistently expands and contracts, moving from simple, up-tempo three-chord grooves to free-floating solo sections where near-ambient noise squalls take over within seconds and return to their pop origins just as quickly. Wild Histories contains a charming balance between perfection and imperfection, mixing periodically shallow, compressed guitars and bass with expansive piano and drum sounds to provide a multi-layered foundation upon which the band’s vocals play effortlessly. This interplay between raw riffs, polished melodies, and focused rhythms sets up a foundation for the band’s future endeavours and hints toward the unpredictability of their live performances.

The complex and seemingly contradictory songs that Newsmen play are the products of years of work. After cutting their teeth in Toronto’s rock and punk scenes, brothers Andrew and Sean Fitzpatrick formed Newsmen in early 2011 while living in London, Ontario. Finding frustrating over-complications in all of their previous musical experiments with different genres and songwriting projects, they moved Newsmen back to Toronto with a simple goal in mind: to create the most expressive rock music they could with a tight instrumental lineup. The timbres of dynamic pianos, fuzzy guitars, and lockstep bass and drums consistently crisscross under honest and emotive vocals, building songs that both lyrically and musically recall pieces of the past and present and, through this repetition and difference, become more than just sums of their parts and inspirations.

Ben Folds Five, The Weakerthans, Weezer, and many other champions of all things loud-proud-and-weird provide the foundation for Newsmen songs, but the band walks through their own hall of mirrors: reflecting, distorting, and transforming the sounds and accomplishments of their forebears as they move along.

Without the music itself, the performances, recordings, and inspirations that make up any description of Newsmen are largely irrelevant. Wild Histories, from the energetic, syncopated stomp of its opener, “Lucky Days,” to the subtle anger and melancholia of its closer, “The Holes in Your Ear,” is an introduction to an exciting, and excited, new band, with all its flaws and gifts.

Their music doesn’t need to be described. Newsmen need to be heard.

Discography

Wild Histories EP (January 2013)

Available at newsmen.bandcamp.com