Although he has long been known for his self-proclaimed folk “dirge ballads”, Saskatoon’s Shuyler Jansen is finally getting back into making some loud rock noises with his latest album, entitled Voice From The Lake.
But unlike 99% of acoustic dudes who start going bald and worrying about the decline in quality and quantity of the chicks they take home from the bar, Jansen is hardly having a mid-life crisis. In fact, for anyone who has followed Jansen’s career, Voice From The Lake is easily one of his best, most inspired albums to date. Also, he’s totally got an amazing head of hair going for him too.
Now backed by members of Foam Lake – a supercute local boy band who mash up crunky keyboards with plenty of fuzz-driven indie rock – Jansen has found a new home with Scratch Records – a totally huge deal considering he’s now label mates with the likes of Black Mountain.
Opening the album with some telltale alt-country sounds – slide guitars will do that to a song – Voice From The Lake quickly gets cranked up by the second song, “Kill January”. But throughout the album, Jansen’s voice keeps the music rolling and sounding classic and radio-ready. And by mid-album, it becomes apparent that Jansen isn’t pulling any punches, as “Wedding Song” rightfully deserves massive repeated plays with hooky choruses and perfect instrumentation flourishes.
Fans of Jansen’s earlier acoustic work needn’t despair however – Voice From the Lake is hardly an abandonment of past success; call it a mastery of a second language.