Published Sep 07, 2016Fresh Snow have been scorching Toronto's experimental scene for a few years now, with an exciting blend of noise-, Kraut-, and post-rock. They've collaborated with numerous Canadian indie greats including METZ, Julie Fader, Carmen Elle and Damian Abraham. With One, they continue pushing their own boundaries as well as those of the genres they draw from.
The album features some of their most concise and delicate songwriting. "Olinda" opens the album with spacious ambience, with a little child's vocal sample layered over warm synth textures. The drums and guitar wails slowly build until they finally hit a Godspeed You! Black Emperor-ish climax around six minutes in. That climax is cut shockingly short after only 20 more seconds, at which point the nasty synths that open "January Skies" take us in a different but equally thrilling direction.
Fresh Snow flex their Krautrock muscles as the drums pound away and the guitar noise continues to build, but the fury is again interrupted around 1:38 for a solo from some quiet electronic drums reminiscent of Radiohead. The interlude lasts less than a minute before we return to the noise-Kraut-groove, as if they were just making sure we're not lost in the noise yet.
"Mass Graves / Dance Caves" features the sort of creepy, shuffling funk that could have perfectly suited a David Bowie guest vocal, were he still around to grace us. "Eat Me in St. Louis" offers our first bit of breathing room, led by delayed piano and sparse electronic effects, while "Three-Way Mirror" features delicately bubbling synths evoking the Postal Service or The Album Leaf.
Great bands know how to challenge themselves while capitalizing on their strengths, and Fresh Snow have done exactly that with One. See them live ASAP. (Hand Drawn Dracula)