Broken Social Scene, Canada’s multi-sized, multi-faceted touring indie miscellany, is coming to San Francisco this week, playing The Independent on Friday, August 10th. If you don’t know their work, the band is less of a unit and more a glorious mob, with its size ebbing and flowing like a communal musical wave. Depending on the project, you might see a six-piece or a nineteen-piece group – but irrespective of its size, the band has always given fans some stellar albums that sparkle with the collective musical geniuses of artists like Kevin Drew, Leslie Feist, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Jason Tait, and Elizabeth Powell, among others.
In the two decades since it’s been active, Broken Social Scene has taken North American creative arts by the scruff of the neck and danced with it – creating soundtracks for movies like “Half Nelson,” “The Invisible,” “Snow Cake,” “The Tracey Fragments,” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” and achieving the almost-impossible in creating a cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (featured on the soundtrack to “The Time Traveler’s Wife”) that does justice to the epoch-defining original version by Joy Division.
An act that’s built around artistry means that Broken Social Scene makes great albums, and follow them up with great shows. Although the total number of their albums adds up to a relatively meager five since 1999, the band has pulled off something wonderfully different and far-reaching with each record.
Their latest, titled Hug of Thunder, is one of the most incredible albums 2017 gave music lovers across the world. Seven years after their last album, the band came together to give us a carefully-curated and thoughtful record where each track stands out with a brilliance of its own. About the album’s title, band founder Kevin Drew explained, “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder,” saying that the title captured the essence of what he wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and about how they sound when they play together again. And if you’ve listened to the title track, you’ll agree that the number brings Drew’s concept to life grandly.
The band’s founders were very vocal about what they hoped the album would accomplish in the lives of its listeners. Brendan Canning was quoted as saying that he wanted the album to make you “pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes.” As for Drew, he genuinely believes in the album’s name. Speaking of how the title translates to his purpose when the band is on stage, he said, “When we do shows, I’m not: ‘Look at me, I’m elevated up on the stage,’ It’s: ‘We’re here with you, this is us together.”
If that sounds like your scene, you’re in luck, the show at The Independent on the 10th of August promises to see Broken Social Scene turning heads and winning hearts. It’s an intimate and cozy venue with a no-frills atmosphere, perfect for the all-in-it-together vibe of the band (and the perfect medicine for our times). For the band, it’s all about connecting with the audience, and the show promises to be a special one. Make sure you’re there because this is one show you don’t want to miss.
Broken Social Scene plays the Independent on Friday, August 10 // Doors 9:30 PM / Show 10:00 PM // SOLD OUT!
Photos courtesy of Press Here Now