Formed in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2005, explosive indie rock septet Hey Rosetta! craft emotionally resonant rock anthems that echo Brit-pop outfits like Hope of the States and the Veils while channeling the orchestral rock of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. Hey Rosetta! released their debut self-titled EP in 2005 followed by the full-length Plan Your Escape in 2006, both of which received positive critical and commercial response in their native Canada. In 2008 the band released Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on Through Your Blood), produced by legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman, followed by Seeds in 2011. Second Sight, Hey Rosetta!’s first album in nearly four years, represents the longest musical gestation in the band’s history.
Yukon Blonde have always flirted with elements of electronic music. Even when their self-titled album came out in 2010 and early press photos found the Kelowna, BC-bred indie rockers sporting long-haired hippie chic like ponchos, leather jackets and flannel (and lots of it), their studio and stage presence was far too refined, groove-filled and focused for them to be lumped in with other more fanciful, seemingly throwback rock acts.
That’s reflected in “Confused,” the opener of Yukon Blonde’s most ambitious, captivating and strangely accessible album to date, On Blonde. Casual listeners (and perhaps even long-time fans) may be mystified to discover that, from the outset of the album, the onetime Sheepdogs-supporting rock outfit have been replaced by a swaggering, synth-loving quartet (a quintet live) that’s more concerned with atmosphere, undeniable hooks and the maximalist expression of both, rather than the pub-thumping sounds found on their previous two LPs. It’s confusing at first, but makes sense the more you listen to each of the album’s ten tracks.
Tickets are $32 in advance, and go on sale at noon on Friday August 14th. Available at the Broadway Theatre box office, by phone at (306) 652-6556, or at broadwaytheatre.ca