Track Review: Goodnight, Sunrise- Liar Liar

TRACK REVIEW:

Goodnight, Sunrise

 

Liar Liar

9.3/10.0

Liar Liar is available is available from:

Released:

02 July 2014

Written by:

Vanessa Vakharia

Arranged and performed by:

Goodnight, Sunrise

Produced by:

David Kochberg

Engineered and Mixed by:

Ruben Huizenga

Mastered by:

Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel Mastering, Toronto, ON

Recorded:

May 25 2014 in Toronto, ON

David Kochberg:

Guitars, background vocals, synth

Vanessa Vakharia:

Keyboards, lead vocals

Paul Weaver:

Drums, background vocals

Thor Thunders:

Bass, background vocals

Ruben Huizenga:

Cowbell

D/V 2: Bridgeburner cover art

D/V 2: Bridgeburner is available to pre-order from:

http://gnsr.bandcamp.com/album/d-v-2-bridgeburner

Released:

15 July 2014

Written, Arranged and Performed by:

Goodnight, Sunrise

Produced by:

David Kochberg

Engineered and Mixed by:

Ruben Huizenga

Mastered by:

Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel Mastering, Toronto, ON

Recorded:

May 25 2014 at 12 Bit Studio in Toronto, ON

David Kochberg:

Guitars, lead vocals

Vanessa Vakharia:

Keyboards, lead vocals

Paul Weaver:

Drums, background vocals

Thor Thunders:

Bass, background vocals

GENRES:

Rock, Indie, Rock-Pop, Funk

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Their music is “the feeling of orbiting the sun on the back of a unicorn“: a pretty apt description of Liar Liar. Ahead of the release of D/V 2: Bridgeburner, Toronto’s Goodnight, Sunrise offer something both emotional and insatiable; addictive and compelling: guaranteed to never leave your brain.

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‘COLOUR’, ‘feel’ and ‘fun’ are words that may not mean…

a lot out on context: when applied to music, they are a rare commodity indeed. There are plenty of forceful and heavy bands out there- from all around the globe- yet few employ any sense of fun to their music. My featured act has not negated this important consideration, and as such, their songs have that extra something to them- in addition to fusing multiple genres into the mix. That brings me to my main point: the aspect of musical diversity. Many of the acts I have featured have mingled various genres- when it comes to their music- but to my mind few modern artists have an entirely impressive range- there is a degree of ambition, yet most tend to stick to singular themes and motifs. There are a few problems with this- first of all you have a limited option when it comes to songwriting. By employing various sounds and shades- fusing softer with louder elements- so much more can be achieved. I admit that it is important to have your own particular brand: present things uniformly and solidly as possible- so much more can be elicited when you stretch your imagination and thought process. The greatest music I have reviewed- in addition to the best music on the modern scene- is synonymous with multifariousness and range: the artists that provide the most invigorating movements are those whom expand their horizons. It takes quite a masterful musician to be able to summon up something mesmeric- when sticking to one genre/parable. New music is getting into my mind because so many bright and striking artists are getting things right: retaining a distinct personality but sprinkling multiple scenes and genres into the palette. Before I get down to investigating Goodnight, Sunrise, I shall bring up one more point: Canada. This shall be the last time I bring the topic up- unless a Canadian band mails me some cool music- as there is a rush of talent coming through here. North America’s friendly cousin is offering some of music’s most noble and stirring acts: such a host of different sounds can be investigated here. From David Ward’s falsetto beauty to the Rock and Roll majesty of The Dirty Nil, Canada is on the forefront of a music revolution. We here- in the United Kingdom- have enough diverse strands: the quality is up there with the best of them; the sheer range (compared with Canada) is not there. It is prudent that our musicians look across the water and gain inspiration: my featured act have a sound that is nothing like I have heard- something fresh and vibrant comes through in their songs. I shall go into more depth; for the moment, let me introduce them to you:

David Kochberg– guitar, vox

Vanessa Vakharia– keys, vox

Paul Weaver– drums

Following the 2011 release of the EP Fragments, GOODNIGHT, SUNRISE put the pieces together with its debut full-length titled Create/Destroy/Create (Mar. 2013). The album tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end, exploring musical genres and reflecting on themes of confidence, creativity, and the cyclical journey between question and answer. The album’s introspective lyrics suggest that perfection is myth, control is fiction, and ambition is happiness. This was followed up by D/V 1: Deaf Ears (Dec. 2013) and D/V 2: Bridgeburner (Jul. 2014), the first two installments in an ongoing series of split-singles featuring one song by each of the band’s male/female lead vocalists. GOODNIGHT, SUNRISE draws on influences ranging from Metric to Iron Maiden, and finds DIY inspiration in indie bands like Hollerado. The band has taken its explosive live show across Ontario and Quebec, sharing the stage with bands like Die Mannequin, Bend Sinister, Papermaps, and Graham Wright, with festival showcases at Canadian Music Week, NxNE, and Indie Week. Clearly, this story is just beginning… Goodnight, Sunrise is a 7.2 on the Richter scale. Goodnight, Sunrise is the feeling of orbiting the sun on the back of a unicorn. Goodnight, Sunrise is a 4-piece Toronto-based rock and roll hurricane pulling funk, metal, soul, pop and prog into its vortex. Goodnight, Sunrise is a birthday party in a band. Goodnight, Sunrise is your destiny.

In spite of the Canadians being fun and energised, they offer a lot of depth and intelligence. Their songs look at more philosophical and lesser-heard issues such as truth, beauty and the nature of self: their projection and output possesses a similar originality. It would be an injustice to call the band’s records ‘concept’ pieces- the term is seen as tantamount to off-putting music to a lot of people. Whilst a lot of bands produce concept records- the results are usually not spectacular- Goodnight, Sunrise have hit upon a unique and impressive formula: releasing a series of singles that alternatively feature the group’s leads- David and Vanessa. There are plenty of trios- and duos- that are out there: usually they are too rigid; they have a lead singer and guitarist (and drummer) but never rotate their componency. This is what I mean when it comes to originality and diversity: not only does this concept- switching singers and presenting unique voices- allow creative inspiration, it gives a chance for the band to provide different perspectives. All of this consideration and intelligence has led to success for the group. Their name is gaining momentum and the Canadian masters are preparing for the release of their latest split-single, D/V 2: Bridgeburner. Following on from the acclaim their previous attempt (D/V 1: Deaf Ears) gained, the inspiration and sense of directness comes through sharply. In a scene where so few bands take the time to provide the listener something new and fascinating, Goodnight, Sunrise go that step further- it will see them gaining the eye and attention of hosts of new fans.

The band have evolved and expanded since their initial recordings. In terms of their overall sound and ambition, there is nothing new there: that has been in place since the beginning. Fragments was an impressive beginning from Goodnight, Sunrise. Songs such as Paper Napkins is upbeat and rousing- the instrumentation and composition infuses Funk elements. Not only displaying the trio’s talent for atmosphere and surprise- the electricity and sense of wonder during the chorus is infectious- but showcasing Vakharia’s incredible vocals, it is one of the E.P.’s standout cuts. This is Yours has both leads alternating vocals- the beginning notes for the D/V‘ work- and pioneering: so much life and vibrant passion to the track. The Create/Destroy/Create L.P. expanded their sound and saw the Toronto outfit impressing hard. Wonderlust’s gorgeous opening strings lead to an stunning vocal from Vakharia; the song suddenly jumps and explodes into life- the sheer rush that is elicited is impossible to shake off. The Honeymoon is Over beautifully pairs Kochberg and Vakharia’s voices in an enthralling two-hander; rife with funky strings and Blues-Rock jam. The Ocean is an epic and slow-building finale that twists and mutates: from the get-on-your-feet electric guitars to the rousing vocals it is a hugely emotive number that stirs the soul. The development from their debut E.P.- to their album in March 2013- saw a huge leap forward. All the early hallmarks continued; the trio grew in confidence and stature. Create/Destroy/Create tells its stories of meaning and purpose; questions and answers. Each track acts as a travelogue and piece of the puzzle: the band increased their lyrical ambitions and pushed their talents to the limit. After the rush and epicness of the album came the intriguingly-named D/V 1: Deaf Ears. Calling It grumbles and has shadowy edges: Kochberg’s emtoive and powerful vocals soon provide light and potency. Moving slightly away from their past, there are fewer Funk elements: the trio have a huge range on display yet incorporate new directions. 501 sees Vakharia step into the fold: another rampant and upbeat number, it sees our heroine in full voice and determined. True, there are still some lingers of Funk- the swirling and delirious keys motivate you to move- yet the overall sound (on the release) is Indie/Pop-Rock. From the ambitious and wide-ranging Create/Destroy/Create to D/V 1‘, Goodnight, Sunrise focused their attentions once more- the quality remains impeccable and the sense of confidence shines through. With every release comes new promise: the band are a lot more assured- on their new release- as they did at the beginning. Whilst Fragments was a bold and incredible debut, they are at their very best now: the performances are more compelling; the songs deeper and more developed; the overall sound nuanced and more exciting. The biggest development (you can see on D/V 2′) is the lyrics. There are still lines about truth and ambition- things seem to be more personal and direct now. Personal anger and detrimental relations are looked at; the hardships and downfalls of love are explored- there is some obliqueness to be found to. Liar Liar could be a tale on governments messing with people’s minds; a friend breaking promises or a relationship that is on the rocks. New inspiration has led Goodnight, Sunrise to personal themes and new avenues.

Goodnight, Sunrise have an incredibly original (and potent) sound at work- there are some pleasing embers of other acts at work. The trio themselves rank acts such as We Are The City, Rah Rah, The Zolas, Glueleg, The Cheap Speakers, The Speaking Tongues and The Skirt Chasers among their favourite artists- tiny shades of each present themselves in various songs (of Goodnight, Sunrise): the likes of The Zolas and We Are The City seem to be the biggest source of inspiration. In terms of historical references, Goodnight, Sunrise are fans of Metric, Iron Maiden, Danko Jones, Hollerado, Heart, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga. Quite a heady and diverse range of artists at work there: the Canadians have a similarly great ear for anthemic uplift and impassioned sounds. If you are a fan of Iron Maiden then you will enjoy the trio’s music. Although the two acts are quite disparate and unconnected, you can draw a line between them. Goodnight, Sunrise may present lyrics that are deeper, more thoughtful and nuanced- than the London Metal band- but there are one or two pleasing comparables. The sheer energy and sense of occasion can be detected in both acts: Goodnight, Sunrise take the soul and heart of Iron Maiden and provide a modern take on their mandates. I say the same thing- with regards to every act I assess- and it has to be said again: the aforementioned bands are just a point of reference. To be fair, Goodnight, Sunrise have such a particular sound that it is hard to compare with anyone else. The best way you can approach things is to judge them on their own merits: digest and seek out their music and arrive at your own conclusions. It is true that the trio have a great affection for their favourite and most inspiring acts and go some way to keeping their names alive: the band’s veritable sound is very much their own and it would be a disservice to suggest otherwise.

Vakharia’s cool and seductive is the earliest utterance of Liar Liar. Our heroine is in accusatory mood, and has had more than enough of things- the instant sense of dissatisfaction and annoyance comes through strongly. Backed by a punchy and singular drum beat, there is a pleasing sparseness to the initial moments: it gives the vocal a chance to shine and means things are not cluttered or crowded. Vakharia has some anxiety at her core: the song’s early messages hint at deeper worries. When singing “I’ve got a bad bad feeling/That you’re messing with my mind“, you can that conviction come straight through: the vocal is determined and straight-to-the-point. With suggestions- intentional or not- of Chrissie Hynde and Lana Del Rey, the vocal is imbued with empowerment and grit with some sensitive and beautiful undertones. The song’s subject is “Building crosswords on the ceiling/Rewriting all the things I’ve said.” The language is beautiful here: instantly your mind is fed and you start to imagine scenes; become connect with the song more deeply and start to support our heroine. It may be the case that government forces or disloyal friends are causing pain, yet I get the impression a former (or soon-to-be) love is being examined. Playing her for a fool, Vakharia’s voice strengthens and opens as she is “sick of all your stupid rules.” Leading the music charge is a delightfully delirious keyboard line: it jives and dances and provides a terrific contrast to the foreground. On their last E.P., the trio moved away (slightly) from pure and unadulterated Funk- there was the odd suggestion yet nothing that overt- and toned it down a modicum: on Liar Liar that flair and sway is back. As the chorus rushes in- for the first time- that addictive and catchy underpinning burrows into your brain: you find yourself nodding and singing along (well humming at least); infused and caught up in the momentum. Our heroine has had her fill of deceit and issues: the chorus sees her telling her man “I don’t need your games.” One of the most impressive aspects of the song is the constant movement and energy. It puts me in mind of Kirsty MacColl slightly: I could detect a little of her voice come through but it is the passion and sound of the composition that leads me to her. Mixing Funk click with (a beating heartbeat) of Rock and Indie, the track gets inside your head without apology: a hugely convincing vocal and incredible composition combine with huge effectiveness. As the composition picks up pace- incorporating guitar more heavily- so too does the venom of the lyrics. Although the projection is not wracked or bile-filled, the scenes present see the walls close- our heroine is at her most insistent and on-edge. Testifying that she has “a bad bad feeling”, the noose is around her neck: the song’s snake has been dealing “From the bottom of the deck.” A whirlwind of sound is summoned up as the song develops: synths. and keys mingle and conspire; the percussion smashes and clatters- Thor Thunders’s tight and taut bass manages to add additional drive and energy to the mood. Coming from a deeply personal place, Vakharia’s sense of conviction is unsalable. Whatever has happened- to inspire the song- it seems that some infidelity and double-crossing have occurred. A harder and rawer edge comes through in the bridge: our heroine’s voice is duplicated; backing vocals are incorporated to create a delirious effect. The Funk-laden layers remain but get overwhelmed by pungnaciousness: all of the sonic elements become snarling and dizzying; the energy levels rise and things are reaching breaking-point. The lying wretch has caused damage and seems unconcerned with his actions; Vakharia is determined not to let things get to her as she confesses “You can’t hold me under fire.” The final moments are a blur of frantic vocals- that intertwine and weave- as the chorus is brought back into focus. With a final chance to speak her mind, our heroine is inflamed and motivated. Having washed her hands of her subject, the track comes to its end- and a clear message has been sent.

I have played quite a few Goodnight, Sunrise tracks and am impressed by how diverse and surprising they are. Over the course of a year the band have managed to achieve a great deal. Liar Liar will connect with any fans of the band, yet introduces new subjects and sounds to the fore: the conviction and incredible band performance will draw in plenty of new followers for sure. There are a great deal of songs out there that deal with similar issues- being let down and trapped; played with and messed about- and it is incredibly hard to stick out (if you play these types of songs). The best way to mark yourself aside is to do something unique and unexpected. By contrasting quite upbeat and jubilant compositions notes; pairing them with themes that mix suffrage and entrapment, the group have managed to unveil something new and wholly impressive. Few other acts would think of contrasting such diverse and different aspects together: Liar Liar is one of the most memorable tracks they have released. Weaver’s percussion keeps Funky and tight but is allowed to pervade and dominate (at times): towards the chorus it steps up and unleashes power and incredible momentum. In the early stages it is measured and focused; towards the latter stages it loses its head and matches the fury and determination of the vocal. Thunders’s bass manages to keep the song levelled and in check: ensuring nothing gets too carried away or overwrought, he manages to tie everything together and guide the song forward. Kochberg laces an incredible amount of energy and joy into the track: his guitars and synths. inject colour and vibrancy to proceedings. In addition to providing backing vocals- as do the entire band- his contributions are essential to the song’s success: employing a great weight and support, his sense of urgency and purpose are ineffable. Vakharia herself puts in an incredible performance; not just in terms of her vocal performance, but her musical input. Her keys work gives the song a huge and memorable energy that makes you want to move and dance: the rhythm and pace is infectious as it is intuitive. Her lyrics looks at personal woes and a feeling of suffocation: the way she employs her words (and the images she brings to mind) mark her apart from most other songwriters. The chorus is immensely effective; the vocal performance is direct and instilled with plenty of insistence: she has put up with too much crap and is not going to let it take her down. A song that can perfectly score any scene; speak to all sorts of people; implore you to repeat it time and time again, it has so many layers and beautiful moments. The first release from D/V 2: Bridgeburner, it hints at an incredible strong release: one that picks up from where the band left off- and offer so much new and exciting firepower.

Having had a whirlwind week of reviewing, I am always surprised by the music out there: the new musicians coming through never fail to impress my hugely. Canada is probably not the first country you would think of- if you were looking around for the best sapling sounds- and this should change: too many people naturally look towards the U.K. and U.S. when fostering their favourite new acts. If the likes of The Dirty Nil have proven anything, a lot of treasure can be discovered when you look across the waters. As the quality of mainstream music- in my opinion- starts to decline, we all must look around and see the new generation come through. Goodnight, Sunrise are among a huge new wave of musicians coming through at the moment: they have a long future ahead and are as determined as any act I have come across. Their music is that which compels you to feel energised and alive: it is urgent and impassioned; direct yet thoughtful; deep and considered- the compositions are filled with vitality, life, hard edges and lust. Drawing inspiration from the Metal/Rock gods (and goddesses) of old, the trio update and revitalize the genres: incorporate tiny touches of a few (diverse) artists and instill a bumper-load of originality and unique intent. I am sure that I have not heard the last from Canada’s new musicians- I hope not at least- which gives me cause for celebration: every time I survey an artist from this nation, I take away something different. In addition to being one of the most compelling new acts I have witnessed, the trio put their fans first: the fact that they have such an authoritative and complete online portfolio speaks volumes. As hard as I have proffered with regards the quality of North American music, another- and even more popular- topic needs to be dusted off: the nature of online representation. In a developed age- where so many online options exist- there is no excuse for presenting the absolute minimum. Too many acts are contended to merely have a Facebook and Twitter account (maybe SoundCloud too): this is fine if you have all the information required here, yet most acts do not. Goodnight, Sunrise have gone the extra mile: they have an official site; their music is available on music-sharing sites- it is impossible to miss them. It may seem like a minor consideration to those reading but it points towards a wider malaise: if you do not put yourself out there then you run the risk of being overlooked altogether. By taking the trouble to fully stock their online shelves, the trio have already overcome a big hurdle and ensured that plenty of people will be able to access them. If you tie this to the fact that their music is filled with passion and energy; intelligence and rare power takes the three-piece even further- I hope that all of this quality pays dividends. Initial signs are incredibly impressive, so it should not be too long until Goodnight, Sunrise augment their good name. The guys are making plans to tour the east coast of Canada and bring their music to eager fans. Let us hope that plans are afoot to visit Europe: we over here would love to see them play and there is a big market available. Whether that is in their minds or not, I am unsure, yet it is clear that their latest sounds will resonate hard with new listeners: Liar Liar is an intriguing and hugely memorable song from a band that already have a hugely impressive back catalogue. The release of D/V 2: Bridgeburner is going to recruit a lot of new supporters to their cause- it is going to be rightfully deserved. If you have not experienced the trio before, Liar Liar is a great starting point- that will lead you to investigate their past. I have been impressed hugely by Goodnight, Sunrise and everything they have to offer. Having surveyed and re-played Liar Liar, I find myself longing to hear it again. My words do little justice to the full force of the song, mind. That being said…

IT’S up to you now.

 

 

About the Author:

https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/about/

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Follow Goodnight, Sunrise:

 

Official:

http://www.goodnightsunrise.ca/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/gnsrband

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/gnsrband

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/goodnightsunrise

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/gnsrband

BandCamp:

http://gnsr.bandcamp.com/

Last F.M.:

http://www.last.fm/music/Goodnight+Sunrise

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Goodnight, Sunrise’s music and merchandise is accessible at:

_____________________________________________________________________

Gig dates available via:

https://www.facebook.com/gnsrband/app_308540029359

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Goodnight, Sunrise videos accessible at:

http://www.goodnightsunrise.ca/#!video/cqbs

 

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