Heavy Eyes (Sonic Unyon/Fear of Missing Out) is the debut album from Canadian dream pop band Basement Revolver. As its name suggests, there’s an air of hard-won wisdom and weariness pervading the album. Its sleepy title sums up a bone-deep exhaustion, and hints at a heavier direction as the band deftly merges ’90s-infused indie rock with fuzzy dreamy pop and poignant, yearning lyrics. Unable to disguise the emotion in her voice, songwriter Chrisy Hurn shares intimate stories and personal wounds from her past, revealing a deeply affecting and rewarding set of songs.
Basement Revolver's ascent to the spotlight has been on a steady trajectory, capitalizing on the success of their buzzworthy debut single “Johnny”, which earned them wide critical attention (tastemakers Gold Flake Paint named it as a “‘favourite song of the year” contender) and saw them signed by Memphis Industries’ UK sub-label Fear Of Missing Out, who released their debut self-titled EP in 2016. The band followed this with 2017's Agatha EP, with single “Bread & Wine” garnering support from Radio BBC 6 Music and John Kennedy at Radio X.
To record their debut full-length, the band returned to Hamilton studio TAPE (Memoryhouse, Dirty Nil, Edgar Breau), where they had recorded their first two EPs. Working with producers Adam Bentley and Jordan Mitchell, they continued to hone their signature sound, finding the freedom to get heavier for some songs and more laid-back for others.
And what great songs they are. The lyrics are assured yet open, beguiling yet honest, heartfelt yet playful. Opening track “Baby” is an expansive and echoing anthem laden with emotion and melancholia. “Dancing” is about confronting feelings of boredom and seeking adventure, while “You’re Okay” is about struggling with self-confidence and body image. “Knocking” is probably the heaviest song emotionally on the album. Penned after writing her family a long letter coming clean about her past, it left her feeling vulnerable and raw. “I basically kept telling myself that I was garbage, broken, unlovable,” Chrisy says. “‘Knocking’ was my way out of that dark place.”
That sense of release, revelation and healing pervades Heavy Eyes. The album's reception by fans and critics has been glowing, and have earned Basement Revolver tour slots supporting the likes of The Go! Team, Amber Arcades Nêhiyawak and Ellevator on tours of the northeast US, UK and Ontario respectively.
Vocals/Guitar - Chrisy Hurn
Guitar - Jonathan Malström
Bass/Synth - Nimal Agalawatte
Drums - Brandon Munro