Toronto’s Tearjerker are the kind of band that I wouldn’t be surprised to see blow up in the coming months. Their brand new album Rare comes almost a full year after their LP Strangers, which received a ton of great press from outlets like Cokemachineglow and more. You might even remember when I happily stumbled upon that album through a series of seemingly unconnected events and loved it. I was so pleased with Strangers that I made it my business to keep up with the band from then on — which was easy to do with their Tumblr account. It was there that they released a remix album track by track, hyped up the new album with promotional videos and more. It’s safe to say that they’ve been on a steady rise, and the new album seems primed to finally push them over the top.
As of yesterday, Rare is officially out — available to stream or purchase through their bandcamp account — and it perfectly recreates what made Strangers so great, while capitalizing on the promise they showed there. You might call Rare a spiritual successor to Strangers — the band is still playing with fuzzy textures and deep, deep echo chamber vocals — but they haven’t merely decided to streamline the band’s sound this time around. Instead of focusing on either their pop hooks (“So Dead”) or their more ambient shoegaze soundscapes (like opener “Down”), they really allow both sides to have some breathing room. The hooks make for a welcome respite after an ambient passage, but those same hooks make disappearing into the haze equally as enjoyable. It’s a push-and-pull that really sucks you in over the course of the album, and will have you coming back for repeated listens.
I said of Strangers that I found their melodies getting stronger and stronger with every listen, and the same applies here. Tearjerker really seem to harness the power of not only a great hook, but also carve out something of an atmospheric listening space within their songs that I find myself compelled to visit. This is one to crank up on a dark or rainy night, and get lost in the music echoing and reverberating off the imaginary walls these songs contain. Rare makes me even more confident that Tearjerker are one of Toronto’s most promising and exciting new bands going right now.