Broken Social Scene: Halfway Home

Broken Social Scene: “Halfway Home” (Arts & Crafts): The long wait for new music from the on-again, off-again collective is almost over. BSS remains coy over a release date for an as yet untitled new album (fall has been whispered) but whets appetites with the release of an advance single that was debuted in performance last week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The muscular performance pulled out the stops with a wailing horn section and a chorus of female singers including Emily Haines of Metric and Amy Millan of Stars underpinning frontman Kevin Drew’s passionately expressive vocals.

No slow build here, as chiming guitars and massed vocals give the song an anthemic feel right from the get-go. In typical fashion, though, the group changes time signatures and tempos to avoid cliche and allow for some flexible showcasing.

The lyrics reveal a sense of hard-earned optimism, with Drew affectionately and respectfully closing with “friendship, ladies and gentlemen- thank you.”

Wise words in perilous times.

Expect BSS to preview more new material at Toronto’s Field Trip on June 3 and Osheaga in Montreal on Aug. 5.

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