The Canadian Shield
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The Canadian Shield

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


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Songs for the Dead in Love - 2012


Feeling a bit camera shy


The musical terrain on The Canadian Shield’s debut EP, Songs for the Dead in Love, is as mountainous and harsh as the band’s name suggests. Its peaks and valleys create a rugged, but gorgeous landscape, where love roams free in the wild and drinks from the riverbank.

Once again, we encounter a band that consists of two bodies: a guitar and a drumkit. However, unlike other duos where the drums are drowned out by the other half of the band, Doug Gorrie (guitar, vocals) and Mike Bone (drum, vocals) actually share the spotlight really well.

The drums perfectly capture the erratic palpitations and fitful emotions of each track’s heart, alternating between rapidfire exhilaration and slow and pensive reflection with ease. ”Oh My Soul,” “66 Spadina,” and “Out of My Hands,” are great examples of this.

Gorrie’s guitar, on the other hand, more often acts as a catalyst for the explosive howl of his vocals. Certainly the guitar has its moment to shine on each track, matching Gorrie’s own howl note for note in a burning emotional fervor of resentment or longing; but for the most part, the dirty guitar simply carries Gorrie’s windswept cry across the land, like an echo that rings out from the top of Maple Mountain.

Adding to the awesome vocals on the record is Toronto’s own Wildlife, who perform backup vocal duties and provide a beautiful panoramic view of songs like “Oh My Soul,” “Out of My Hands,” and “66 Spadina.”

Lyrically, one particularly interesting tune is “HMS Erebus.” It is a heartbreaking song about the ship that was lost during its attempt to cross the Northwest Passage in 1845. It tells the story of a man trying to “hold on to the morning, hold on to the evening,” thinking about his pregnant wife. The stomping kickdrum calls to mind the image of a man running desperately on the icy terrain, tears freezing to his face before they even have a chance to drop. With only the image of his wife in mind, he trudges through, lifting the heavy weight of the snow with each step. The rolling drums gradually build up steam, until the run turns into a mad dash, and Gorrie’s vocals ring out with an echo effect, crying, “when I see you running!”

The composition on many of the songs share this dramatic flair. Like any good storyteller, Gorrie and Bone control the tempo of the narratives with amazing precision. When the songs finally build to their elevated peak, there is a brief moment of absolute silence, save for the beat of your own heart, before a gust of wind sweeps in, leaving you to tumble and roll uncontrollably until the colours of the sky and the ground blur together