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English Words - JPop.com
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English Words

English Words

English Words


**now** The debut album from English Words, Red Potion, is a 33 minute collage of new wave and 80′s alternative, with 70′s synth ambience, bursts of neo-psychedelia and even a hint of Britpop. It all gets pieced together to form a singular vision of original and contemporary DIY pop music, riddled with hooks. The band includes primary songwriters Aaron Crane (synths/sampler/drum machine) and his brother Ryan (vocals), with essential collaborators Todd MacLean (synths), Andrew Murray (guitars), and Thayne Campbell (bass). Read more on Last.fm
**now** The debut album from English Words, Red Potion, is a 33 minute collage of new wave and 80′s alternative, with 70′s synth ambience, bursts of neo-psychedelia and even a hint of Britpop. It all gets pieced together to form a singular vision of original and contemporary DIY pop music, riddled with hooks. The band includes primary songwriters Aaron Crane (synths/sampler/drum machine) and his brother Ryan (vocals), with essential collaborators Todd MacLean (synths), Andrew Murray (guitars), and Thayne Campbell (bass). Produced by Holy Fuck bassist Matt McQuaid, Red Potion was recorded at the Old Confidence Lodge in Riverport, Nova Scotia by Diego Medina, and mixed by Stew Crookes at Stewdio in Toronto. All 10 songs, reverbed, delayed, and neatly crunched, feel like a high speed tunnel drive with the top down – gusty vortexes of moving air, dark mystery at the centre, racing towards the light at the end.

The music layers creative, punchy rhythms with stylish synth lines, efficiently placed guitar, modest bass drops, and a pallet of unlikely samples which include Pakistani surf rock, movie dialogue, and low-fi 90′s indie rock. The songs can be weighty at times, but never off-putting and never feigning pathos. There’s a distinct sounding shrug in the lyrics and vocals, and enough musical anti-drama to keep things from getting too heavy.Red Potion shifts gears between fully charged electro rock, woozy after-hours ballads, and spacey experimental pop, allowing it to resonate during personal listens and in more gregarious settings, as reflected in both the band’s live show and the club-stomping lead single “People I Love” available for free download from their website www.englishwordsband.com. The record was influenced, either sonically or in spirit, by a list of childhood heros which includes New Order, DJ Shadow, David Bowie, early 80′s era REM, and the Replacements, along with more contemporary works from Animal Collective and Deerhunter. Preceding their debut effort, English Words played tightly wound, guitar-and-drum based indie rock.

A four song EP, Customer Appreciation, was released in early 2010 which saw the band’s single “Rope” climb CBC Radio 3′s R30 chart. The band, both as English Words and former moniker Smothered In Hugs (a name stolen from a Guided By Voices song) have played countless shows at home in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and have frequently toured Eastern Canada playing POP Montreal, NXNE, and the Halifax Pop Explosion. **then** On January 15, 2010, surrounded by a typically packed hometown crowd, Charlottetown, PEI band Smothered In Hugs made a liberating on-stage announcement: they were changing their name to English Words. Accompanying this proclamation was a brand new four-song EP, which the band personally handed out for free to each fan in attendance. The EP, appropriately titled, Customer Appreciation, maintains the group’s tradition of intensely melodic, densely layered pop rock, but with cleaner edges, more breathing room and an added rhythmic focus.

English Words consists of two song-writing brothers (Ryan and Aaron Crane), a close cousin (Todd MacLean), a childhood friend (Josh Byrne) and newest member, Andrew Murray. The band’s debut LP The Healing Power Of Injury, released regionally in June of 2008, and nationally in February of 2009 was welcomed by rave reviews. The album received play on CBC Radio 1 (Q, DNTO), CBC Radio3 (R3-30 chartbuster, “Track Of The Day”, various podcasts) and entered the top 50 on Earshot Magazine’s weekly national campus and community radio report. Touring in support of the album found the band playing an Ontario tour with Toronto electro-rockers and ardent fans Holy Fuck. Additional touring included showcases at NXNE, POPMontreal, and the Halifax Pop Explosion with Collagen Rock label-mates Two Hours Traffic, Mardeen and The Danks.

Other highlights include performing as the closing act at the 2009 Canada Summer Games Closing Ceremonies, a nationally televised event. The Healing Power Of Injury recently won 2010 Music PEI Rock Recording of the Year at the 9th Annual Music PEI Awards Gala and is nominated for 2010 ECMA Sirius Satellite Rock Recording of the Year. "Yes, there’s a pronounced affection for the oddball, rapid-fire pop aesthetic of (Guided By Voices), but an almost equally large debt is owed to the early works of R.E.M., particularly in their penchant for unpredictable but wholly memorable melodic lines and the bit of Replacements-esque angst can’t be overlooked. Add in production values which eschews gloss for a certain cassette-tape fidelity and you’ve got a record that triggers a nostalgic aural endorphin rush."
- Chromewaves.net "This is one of the best bands in Canada right now...these guys can’t stay underground much longer."
- BerkleyPlaceBlog.org "8/10...their sound is more classic than retro, with the kind of gorgeous melodies, urgent pacing and reverb-soaked arrangements of riffs, piano and keys that will make some people swoon while others bust out the air guitar."
- Montreal Mirror (Lorraine Carpenter) ".....bright, cleverly articulated and occasionally manic rock of the angular pop variety....."
- Hour/ Ottawa XPress (Jamie O'Meara) Read more on Last.fm.

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