Toronto-based record company, Arts & Crafts released a very spectacular collaborative album a couple of weeks ago, containing a good chunk of artists signed to their label. The album is fittingly titled Arts & Crafts: X, and features artist pairings that are unexpected and rewarding. However, that’s not to say that the pairings are a huge stretch, considering most of the artists singed to Arts & Crafts can be considered indie rock. The album and the songs produced are fantastic, nonetheless.
A few collaborations and artists on this album include Broken Social Scene and Years, Zeus and Apostle of Hustle, The Darcys and Ra Ra Riot, Hayden and Jason Collett, and many more. The songs are exactly what you’d expect from each artist, but are also completely different because of who they’re working with. Each song is an equal part one band as it is the other, and the results are amazing.
This album is also a great gateway into some bands that you may not have known existed. And it’s the perfect introduction for each of those bands, because it gives you a taste of what they’re capable of, without showing you everything they can do, since they’re working with another band. I, for example, had heard of a couple of the bands featured on this album, but had never listened to them. But then, after hearing them on this album, it made me want to check out more of their stuff.
Of course, another reason this album is so great is because of the return of Broken Social Scene, who haven’t been completely together for a while. It’s fitting since Kevin Drew is one of the founders of Arts & Crafts, but it’s still a nice touch to have them on this album. It would have been interesting and cool to see other Arts & Crafts bands such as Bloc Party or Feist on this album as well, but as mentioned before, the album still rocks.
Arts & Crafts: X is a must have for any indie rock, or even music fan. The album takes bands that are amazing by themselves and pushes them together creating something that’s even more amazing without sacrificing any of what made each band amazing in the first place.
It’s available here or in stores.