The other day for some reason I just googled the population of the United States. The result was that in 2014 there were approximately 318.9 million people. I did it for selfish reasons. From an artist’s standpoint if you will. You see there are billions of people in the world but there are really a handful of them who are known by most of these billions. It’s called fame and it’s what keeps a lot of people in business. I mean just about every person in the world knows who the most famous movie stars of the last twenty years or so are. Also likely the leader of the free world whose helicopter and large air force unit flew over my house earlier today causing me to think the world was ending. Athletes are also well known depending on sport and where in the world they are. Same with musicians but perhaps on a lesser scale. Famous writers get recognized probably even further down the totem pole.
I mention all this because I often find it hard to find things I really like and that most of those things exist far off the radar of the mainstream. I’m not trying to sound like a dick or a hipster here, only trying to segue into introducing a band I liked within the first three seconds of hearing them. This band is Canadian duo Dirt Farmer, Scott Cryer and Rob MacDonald, and their album Canadian Beach deserves to be heard in my opinion.
The pair have been playing music since, as they put it, “before the Internet was born.” The song that hooked me “Your New Mornings” is milky and moody, meandering and quiet yet extremely powerful. It’s a slow moving avalanche of piano and acoustic guitar pop. It picks up the pace next with “She Needs You” a rowdily restrained pop song with the poetically brilliant line “she lost her love / should she call the police?” Then comes the brutally lovelorn slow beats of “Love Broke.”
Later on “Pocket Call” is a wholly different take on pop and shows a bit of a stringed and country spin but also shows Dirt Farmer needs to not box themselves into something. They branch out even more on the playfully poppy “Writers Block.” The closer “Bottomless” is a crushingly beautiful closer.
There’s a lot of music in the world and a lot of people. Odds are Canadian Beach ain’t gonna chart the top 40 anywhere or anytime. It’s a fact of numbers. But I feel lucky to have heard it and to have it at hand for when I want to be reminded that there is plenty of great music being made by the stars our rockets will never reach.
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