Album Review: Brendan Canning – You Gots 2 Chill




You Gots 2 Chill, the new solo album from Brendan Canning, a founding member of Canadian music nucleus Broken Social Scene, feels like a decidedly low-stakes affair. Fresh off of composing the moody, synth-soaked soundtrack to The Canyons, Canning’s currently in the process of reviving pre-BSS band Cookie Duster and developing a curious project that blends video games and film, and, for some reason, involves David Cronenberg. You Gots 2 Chill, then, from its goofy title to its airy tone, feels like an anchor, something to keep Canning grounded amidst so much experimentation.

Unlike his previous solo effort, the alt-rocking Something For All Of Us…, Canning keeps guest appearances to a minimum, allowing his relaxed fingerpicking and hushed vocals to be the album’s driving force. Opener “Post Fahey” sets the homespun tone straightaway, with acoustic curlicues that consciously echo avant-folk pioneer John Fahey, but also subtly evoke ex-Girls frontman Christopher Owens, as well as Canning’s fellow Canucks in Do Make Say Think. Nods to “Stars and Sons”-era Canning appear during the closing minute of “Turn Again”, which transforms the heretofore straightforward affair into a flurry of softly swelling synths, creaking strings, and fervent plucking.

Snowblink’s Daniela Gesundheit steps in to take lead vocals during “Bullied Days in Buenos Aires”, a Camera Obscura-like ballad that breaks up the monotony that inevitably arises from 14 tracks of gentle psych-folk. Aye, and there’s the rub: By being so low-stakes, the album struggles to justify itself as anything more than a cozy sweater’s worth of songs. But, hey, it’s cozy sweater season, and Canning’s stitching is sure. Maybe I just gots 2 chill.

Essential Tracks: “Turn Again”, “Bullied Days in Buenos Aires”, and “Post Fahey”