Boards of Canada break new ground with Tomorrow’s Harvest
It’s been almost seven years since the Edinburgh boys of electronica “Boards of Canada”, released an album. Not quite sure at what point they became the Sade’s of dance music, but it stands to reason that with so much time to create something beautiful, that something beautiful would be created…and they did. With all the lead up to Tomorrow’s Harvest release most BoC fans, myself included, where eagerly anticipating this album and after having listened to it, it was well worth the wait.
The album starts off innocent enough, you’ll notice this weird bumper music, like an intro one would hear before a grindhouse film and then it starts. The beginning is relatively strange and unusually ominous and other-worldly with a track called Gemini. Right away, I said to myself, this is going to be one of the most soundtracky BoC albums ever. It continues on with their first release “Reach For the Dead”, that’s easily one of the highlights of the album and rightfully deserved to be the album’s first single.
For those unfamiliar with BoC, you’ll unknowingly experience what it is they do best in songs like “Cold Earth” and “Sick Times”. These two tracks are text book Boc. Their mastery in synth’s and catchy break beats, has helped them build an impenetrable reputation as one of electronica’s four fathers. Of course the album is not without it’s truly experimental elements and “Telepath” is a brilliant example of that. Slow and methodical, “Telepath” is as much improvisational jazz as it is hypno-therapy. At first listen, it almost seems that BoC gave themselves permission to create something from scratch. The track trades sounds back and forth like a conversation between sentient beings, whom have no idea their language is music to those unlike them. The track breaths with a life of it’s own and crescendo’s gloriously to climax.
At this point I’m realizing how seamless and meticulously orchestrated the songs on this album are.
As I continue on this journey it becomes apparent to me, wait…it’s always been apparent to me, that BoC are quite the soundtrack composers and this album is a testament to it. Perhaps Tomorrow’s Harvest is their subtle way of letting artist like Kavinsky (who wrote Nightcall for the “Drive” soundtrack), Daft Punk, Com Truise or the whole chillwave genre for that fact, know that we’ve been doing this shit for years and we are still the best at it.
Songs like the cyber-cultish “Palace Posey” carves an anthem straight through your chakras and then finishes with digitized chants at the end that’ll make you strip butt-naked and run through the woods. I felt like a character in Logan’s Run about to “Renew”. The song is a pleasant surprise, but only a note in this impeccable opus and just when you don’t think you can go any further, BoC grabs your hand with “Nothing Is Real” and pulls you back, ever so gently into the light, a place that I think most would agree, is where everything they do or have done, is born.
The bottom line is Tomorrow’s Harvest is more than what I had expected. There are subtle and calculating moves all throughout this album, enough that’ll keep it on repeat for the next few months. To be honest I would’ve taken newer versions of older BoC works any day, but they clearly didn’t allow themselves to become complacent because of a fan base. I don’t want to speculate but something tells me there is much more to be had and we should expect to hear it in the coming months. Pick up this album, because I promise you you wont hear anything like it again.