If there’s one thing Canada can be somewhat renowned for it’s indie music. Some of the fame can be credited to the Scott Pilgrim comics which (loosely) coined the terms ‘hipster’ and ‘indie’ but regardless; we have enough big names to prove it. From Metric to Death From Above 1979, we’re a good eye for indie rock and even a bit of indie folk.
I had gotten an offer to review a band’s latest EP, What I Was Worth, just before they release their new album, which has since dropped on May 24. The Writer’s Society is a five-piece band consisting of a wide variety of instruments, including mandolin, ukulele, glockenspiel, cello, and many percussion pieces.
The band’s sound splits between indie rock and folk rock, which gives them this strange contrast, because the two don’t blend very often in the band’s sound. Some songs just stick to the folk sound and some just stick to the rock sound, few songs actually blend the two properly.
The title song has this very upbeat indie rock kind of feel, with the bright guitar notes and fast-paced vocals that lack range. While songs like ‘Bare Bones’ have no drums whatsoever, they do have these sweet mandolin lines layered over the weeping cello. It adds a weird contrast to the band’s overall sound, like they can’t really decide what they want to sound like.
It’s not particularly a horrible thing. What I’m saying is this: the band is working with two genres that they pull off really well; it gets people moving and it makes people feel a little down at the same time. However, the band has stated that they are “sometimes folk, sometimes rock and always distracted.” So, perhaps, the shifting genres might be what the band is aiming for. I can’t say I approve, but at least they play both very well.