Listen to this track by Calgarian art-rock quartet Boreal Sons. It’s “Spin”, the opening track to a thematically connected EP Bedtime Briar, their 2012 follow up to 2010’s Whom Thunder Hath Made Greater EP. This song, and the others on this new EP explores the ideas of inner life, outer appearances, and the nature of identity that are culminated in both. These are big themes indeed. But, the starting point of all of that comes from a simple and single image that forms the central concept of the release; that of a sleeping golden retriever, he being the titular Briar.
“Spin” is rife with changes in tonal direction, lots of momentum built up and then gently wound down again, and sonic spaciousness that gives it all a sense of depth. This makes it a great backdrop to the idea of delving into the mind, and ultimately into the root nature of a sleeping figure whose true identity is hidden from view.
That this figure is a golden retriever, a fact not mentioned directly in the song, or in other tracks, brings out the dimensions of the material. After all, if the dreams of animals can reveal a full-colour sense of spirituality, then how much more complex is the universe itself than how we understand it as human beings? Read more