Sloan at the Boyce Farmers Market, Dec. 6

Category: music 199

Canadian indie-rock icons Sloan return to the East Coast in support of their latest album, 12.

Photo: Vanessa Heins

Canadian indie-rock icons Sloan return to the East Coast to perform in support of their latest release, 12, at the Boyce Farmers Market in Fredericton.

Together for almost 30 years, Sloan are arguably the only band to make it to their 12th album with four original members who are both equally prolific songwriters and all still working at the top of their respective games, sounding utterly ageless in the process. 

On 12, Sloan’s four principals each contribute three stellar songs that play to their core strengths: Patrick Pentland with the soaring rock anthems, Chris Murphy with the playful, participatory sing-alongs, Jay Ferguson with the jaunty prog-pop gems, and Andrew Scott with the whimsical innerspace explorations. Says Murphy, “I guess with the album title, we are showing off the fact that we have 12 records.”

On their previous release, 2016’s Commonwealth, each member of Sloan was granted their own side to use as a blank canvas, resulting in a collection of de facto solo EPs packaged as a double album. This time, the band were eager to initiate more creative cross-pollination—well, at least to start. “We’d hoped that this LP would be more of a reaction to Commonwealth,” Ferguson says. “Whereas that album was more of everyone retreating to corners to produce and sequence a side of their own material, this one would potentially have more collaboration than usual.” Alas, as Murphy notes, with three parents in the band, “It’s hard to get everyone in the room with kids, and people getting sick from their kids, and hockey practice with their kids.” Still, that collaborative spirit shines through.

Some of these tracks won’t just remind you of older Sloan songs, they are older Sloan songs. As Pentland notes, when you have four songwriters playing together for the better part of three decades, “there’s a lot of riffs leftover.” By his estimation, the music for The Day Will Be Mine has been kicking around for 20 years in search of the right lyrics; All of The Voices dates back to the sessions for 2003’s Action Pact, but, he says, “nobody cared about it when I wrote it and we demoed it. Then, when we got together for this record, I gave everybody else the demo for that song, and they were like, ‘Where did that come from?’ And I’m like, ‘I wrote that 15 years ago—you all played on it!’”

Sloan | December 6 | Boyce Farmers Market | Fredericton | Tickets (on sale Friday Oct. 19)

Tickets available at the etixnow kiosks in Grimross Brewing, Grey Stone Brewing and Backstreet Records, and online at
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