We Are The City
For the members of We Are The City, the four years since 2009′s In a Quiet World have been filled with radical change, both personal and musical. They’ve undergone lineup alterations, relocated from Kelowna to Victoria to Vancouver, reached their 20s, built up a fan base across the country and painstakingly honed their sound. All of this experience, both good and bad, went into making their sophomore album, Violent.
Produced once again by Tom Dobrzanski (Said The Whale, the Zolas, Hey Ocean!) at his newly constructed Monarch Studios,Violent is an album of soaring highs and hushed comedowns, with dense syncopations going toe-to-toe with noise-soaked crescendos and delicate pop melodies. “King David” moves from aggressive distortion to gentle acoustic plucking to swirling ambience, while “Bottom of the Lake” places marimba tinkles atop a gritty guitar backdrop, and the cerebral “Baptism” builds towards the album’s most thunderous climax.
Huculiak explains, “What we’re interested in is contrast. Musically contrasting hooky, poppy things with very experimental ideas.” McKenzie adds, “Ups and downs, louds and quiets. Negative and positive themes.”
Violent will be followed by a feature-length film — as-yet-untitled — written by We Are the City and filmed by Vancouver’s Amazing Factory Productions in Norway. With a script penned entirely in Norwegian — despite the fact that the band members don’t speak the language — this subtitled film is a companion piece to the record; the score utilizes melodic motifs from the songs, while the story shares themes with the lyrics. “The film goes as a companion to the record, but it’s not a must-have,” McKenzie notes. “They both stand alone.”
We Are the City’s restless sense of artistry has led the musicians through years of self-discovery as they have continued to strive for the next creative peak. Now that they’ve finally arrived with Violent and its accompanying film, there’s no question that the journey has been worthwhile.