When Broken Social Scene put out Hug of Thunder, its first album since 2010, every one of my social media news feeds exploded with excitement. The wait was well worth it, as unanimously expressed by fans and outlets from The New York Times to Pitchfork.
Hug of Thunder recalls everything that is loved about Broken Social Scene. The album embodies feelings across every inch of the emotional spectrum, and expresses them all with musical ideas that make you feel on top of the world, while simultaneously tugging at your heartstrings.
Adding to the list of things to gush about: Broken Social Scene is making its Bay Area return for the first time in six years! The Canadian super group will be playing at the Fox Theater in Oakland on October 26. To prepare for the epic performance to come, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tracks from all throughout the collective’s diverse catalog. Listen and find ticketing information below!
1. “Stay Happy,” Hug of Thunder (2017)
Starting with ethereal hums that feel much like a Stars track, “Stay Happy” breaks into a groovy bassline that sets a completely different mood. The song continues with more charismatic twists and turns that are indubitably head nod-inducing all the way through.
2. “Water in Hell,” Forgiveness Rock Record (2010)
With jangly guitar riffs and energetic vocals, this track is pure rock and roll fun. There’s a wild west-esque breakdown in the middle that’s kind of unexpected, but surprisingly works with the energy of the song.
3. “7/4 (Shoreline),” Broken Social Scene (2005)
Kicking off with a gloriously math rocky intro, this song goes on to describe a relationship that’s just as tumultuous. “You can own what you choose / But you want to live a lie / And love what you lose” are words that cut deep, yet Broken Social Scene manage to turn it all into an upbeat listening experience. The song ends on a more grounded, yet still rhythmically complex note with lyrics like “While you’re walking away / I will try to get through.”
4. “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl,” You Forgot It in People (2002)
This was one of the first songs I’d ever heard from Broken Social Scene and it’s probably the one that crosses my mind the most, especially the opening, recurring lines: “Used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that.” While the song is simple in vocals, backed by just plucks of a banjo and the cries of a violin, it still hits you with a colossal wave of nostalgia that’s both haunting and comforting.
5. “Guilty Cubicles,” Feel Good Lost (2001)
“Guilty Cubicles” captures a melancholy that reminisces the tones of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The purely instrumental song feels like tangled sounds, but somehow, the way they weave together make perfect sense.
Get your tickets to see Broken Social Scene at the Fox Theater here.
Words by Rianna Chloe Catajan. Photo courtesy of Norman Wong.