Canada’s Label Obscura has given one of the best independent pop albums of the early 2000s – ‘The Night And I Are Still So Young‘ by The Heavy Blinkers, the first-ever vinyl release for this classic album.
Described by Spin magazine as “one of the greatest bands you’ve (probably) never heard”, The Heavy Blinkers is a five-piece formed in 1998 by Jason Michael MacIsaac and a group of friends, including keyboardist and songwriter Andrew Watt and ethereal vocalist Ruth Minnikin. They are based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
By 2004, the intricate and tightly constructed chamber pop of The Heavy Blinkers had become well known, winning them widespread acclaim, albeit without corresponding commercial success for their self-titled debut release in 2000 and the ‘Better Weather‘ LP in 2002. The band reached a remarkable breakthrough with their fourth album ‘The Night and I Are Still So Young‘ (2004), exhibiting a new maturity in this stunningly orchestrated pop masterpiece.
At the time that ‘The Night and I Are Still Young’ was recorded, The Heavy Blinkers were comprised of Andrew Watt, Greg Fry, Jason MacIsaac, Ruth Minnikin, and Trevor Forbes. MacIsaac is currently the only remaining original member of the band.
Two years in the making, this album consolidates the nocturnal orchestrations of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev and grafts them onto material akin to 70’s era Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman. This has led to the group gathering fans wide and afar, including Sondre Lerche, Van Dyke Parks and The High Llamas.
The luscious pop songmanship of this album has earned The Heavy Blinkers comparisons with Brian Wilson’s best work at his peak, as well as international acclaim and devoted fans. The band’s sonic landscape is rich with multi-tracked vocals featuring an affecting interplay between Minnikin, Watt and MacIsaac, combined with a virtual enchanted forest of arrangements.
Stream below the title track from the LP ‘The Night and I Are Still So Young’:
Noisey recently included The Heavy Blinkers in their Completely Biased Ranking of the 60 Best Canadian Indie Rock Songs of the 00s, with the band also ranking Number 1 in View 902‘s The Top 20 Albums by Nova Scotians.
The Label Obscura release features brand new artwork by Yorodeo and detailed liner notes by Brian Chidester. This is a limited edition of 300 copies, pressed on 180-gram vinyl, sure to bring plent of smiles to fans new and old alike. It is now available via Bandcamp. Tour dates are to be announced soon.
1. Filtered Light
2. In the Morning
3. Mother Dear
4. Try Telling That to My Baby
5. Gentle Strength
6. The Night and I Are Still So Young
7. He Heard His Song
8. Silver Crown
9. Veranda Celeste
10. Fall On My Sword
11. Unreasonably Sad
12. Don’t Get Me Wrong
PRAISE FOR THE HEAVY BLINKERS:
“The Heavy Blinkers are easily the East Coast’s best kept secret, even in their 20th year. Their music is this wonderfully ornate and symphonic indie pop, expertly arranged by lead Blinker Jason MacIsaac, that’s equal parts Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, Ennio Morricone and Carl Newman” – Noisey
“Beyond simple accomplishment and into the realm of masterwork thanks to the production and pure genius arrangements… guileless delight… a tour-deforce of unequalled pop excellence” – Rolling Stone