By Regina Sienra / Picture by Lindsey Rewuski
Life on the Canadian prairies seems to be marked by extremes. Think of the weather, for example: blissful summers and harsh winters. The starring antagonisms and paradoxes of their hometown seem to be the moving forces behind 100% Sunshine, Slow Down Molasses’ new album.
Through the eleven songs that form this record, the Saskatoon band acknowledges the trick is to always bring out the most of both parts – despite the tongue-in-cheek feeling this thought can instill, and how it is perfectly reasonable to carry the anxiety triggered by these conditions on your sleeve.
100% Sunshine was produced by experimental Saskatoon musician Chad Munson and mixed by Tony Doogan (known for his work with Mogwai and Belle & Sebastian) in Glasgow. “He manages to find a great balance between the huge, widescreen wall of sound stuff we love and getting clear, concise rock sounds,” singer and guitarist Tyson McShane told OurBasement a few months ago.
For the second time, the band had a consistent line up as they walked into the studio – a contrast between the shapeshifting pop collective that served as a foundation for the band’s earlier recordings. “The new songs came very quickly and we actually took time off from playing live. We had a six month period where we didn’t play live, which was the longest we’ve gone without playing a show in about seven years” said McShane. Most of the songs on 100% Sunshine were written between July 2015 and February 2016.
Joining McShane are bassist Chris Morin, Jordan Kurtz on drums, guitarist/keyboardist Aaron Scholz and Levi Soulodre on guitar. Keyboardist Jeanette Stewart will not join the band in the supporting tour for 100% Sunshine, but she played on the album as well as writing and singing on the last couple tracks.
With this album, Slow Down Molasses has reached the balance between hazy and direct, dream-like and forceful. 100% Sunshine is a carefully detailed collection of songs that depict the band’s will to push the boundaries of their sound. From the loud “Moon Queen” to the haunting “You Made Me a Ghost”, the band’s craft shines bright and proves to be of a world-class quality.
Stream 100% Sunshine below or get it on Bandcamp.