Since releasing a new song after a 7-year hiatus (“Halfway Home”), and member Feist releasing a new album (Pleasure) last month, Canadian indie rock collective Broken Social Scene appeared at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (understandably without Feist) and fans are expressing high anticipation for their momentous comeback.
Side note: In the Colbert vid, I got REALLY confused and mystified with the girl in the onesie. I saw her perform with Broken Social Scene at Pitchfork 2016 but I arrived at their set late so I wasn’t so sure who she was. Apparently, she is Andrew Whiteman’s wife and they are together in a band called AroarA. If the rumors about Whiteman x Feist back in the day were true, wouldn’t it be awkward if she was there?
Although their debut album, Feel Good Lost, was released in 2001, BSS has been making music together since 1999. Giving us a few EPs in 2004-2006 and 2010, plus a remarkable B-side album in 2004 (Bee Hives), we expect no less than amazing from them. And while we are pining on a new LP, let us bask in the beautiful tracks that they have given us in their 18 years together. These are my personal Top 10 songs:
- Shampoo Suicide (You Forgot it in People, 2002)
I need, went on to, can feel it
I’m a broken heart, in a room
The song is simply enchanting with amazing build up, beautiful “chaos,” and vocals unsuspectingly coming in and out.
- Cranley’s Gonna Make It (Feel Good Lost, 2001)
It’s an instrumental track, but I like the dialogue when they were asking each other, “are you gonna play along?” It still makes a good lyrical component in my opinion.
- Love and Mathematics (Feel Good Lost, 2001)
Another awesome instrumental. It is more upbeat with fewer distortions. The title alone is genius, perhaps the reason it did not need lyrics. The thought of it as a musical representation of two highly intimidating concepts juxtaposed with each other is the mind-blowing part for me: the unexplainable and the explainable – which are both difficult for the most of us.
- Sweetest Kill (Forgiveness Rock Record, 2010)
And all the time we were the right
Was it just retract?
Another fave line:
All the time, we get by, trying to figure our lives
Like a fadeout
This track got a little more controversial when the gory video was released – raising reactions when actress Bijou Phillips graphically dismembered a lover with an axe.
- Lover’s Spit (You Forgot it in People, 2002)
You know it’s time
That we grow old and do some shit
This very memorable track was in one of my favorite movies, Wicker Park, in 2004. Despite the lyrics (which generally talks about giving head), people must know that this song actually and essentially talks about true love (oh yes!). It talks about loving the one you’re with instead of wasting your life in meaningless relationships.
- Major Label Debut (Broken Social Scene, 2005, which is my favorite album)
Forced to live like it’s a curfew
It means I love you
I really like this version more than the fast one (which is also amazing). Too many emotions in one track. Definitely Broken Social Scene. At one point you will realize the title has everything to do with it – having to sign with a major label, until it takes you to a whole new direction.
- Sentimental Xs (Forgiveness Rock Record, 2010)
Off and on is what we want
What we want is off and on
We all know that Broken Social Scene is more of a musical collective than a band with a permanent structure, so members come and go. And this song speaks well of friendships. Could it be about their group dynamics? And the past members are “sentimental?”
- It’s All Gonna Break (Broken Social Scene, 2005, which is my favorite album)
I got buried rumors waiting in the woods
And they try to climb awake
Another fave line:
I don’t love, I just fight with the violence in ourselves
It’s all gonna break
And you all want the lovely music to save your lives
It was suspected that this song was about the band on the brink of breaking up because of the fragmentation created by numerous issues and emotions. If you think about the strained relationships amongst the members at the time of recording, you will have a better understanding of the explicit expressions of anger and frustration in the lyrics.
- Anthem of a 17 Year Old Girl (You Forgot it in People, 2002)
Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
8 years after the release of this awesome song, it was used for an equally awesome movie, Scott Pilgrim VS the World. It might be because the song talks about growing up and leaving adolescence behind; or growing “apart” from someone whom you’ve shared your innocent phase with, which is a great match for the film’s plot.
- Swimmers (Broken Social Scene, 2005, which is my favorite album)
And that’s a shame
‘Cause I like you
I never see you
My #1 favorite song easily gets two interpretations because of the narrative’s sexual innuendos. But looking from a more wholesome perspective, it suggests about how two lovers are having a hard time being in sync relationship-wise, with the girl constantly waiting for the guy to take action or maybe get his shit together so they can (maybe) move to the next level.
Like it? Share this post so your friends can also rekindle (or get introduced to) the great music of Broken Social Scene! Thank you for reading. (: Here’s a virtual donut as a token of my appreciation: