Influential Album #11 - Wolf Parade - "Apologies to the Queen Mary"

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Feb 25 2010, 3:59

There are sometimes records that can define a year, decade, or entire generation. The record for me that defines the first half of this decade was Wolf Parade’s “Apologies to the Queen Mary.” Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug ruled my iPod from the day I got it. The two main members of Wolf Parade also have an abundance of side projects, so the impact of Wolf Parade doesn’t just stop at Wolf Parade. The main two side projects I’m talking about are Boeckner’s Handsome Furs and Krug’s Sunset Rubdown.

At first I had no idea about the side projects. After I had played “Apologies” on repeat for months, I started to look for more material from them. “Apologies” had me wrapped up for weeks, though. It’s one of those albums that right on the first listen you know there is something different about them. Also the fact that they are doesn’t hurt them either.

One major thing I noticed with the album is how noticeable the split between which band member wrote the song is, but how well the two work together. It’s easy to tell a Dan Boeckner song from a Spencer Krug song. Boeckner applies a much more straightforward “rock” sound to his music, while Krug’s songs are a little more “artsy” and tend to go out on a few limbs. Listen to the difference between the two songs “Modern World” and “Fancy Claps.” They are two of my favourite songs on the album, but both are extremely different sounding.

Maybe it’s the natural chemistry between Boeckner and Krug that has kept me listening to them for so long. Their second album “At Mount Zoomer” was not nearly up to the same standard as “Apologies,” but I still enjoyed it. I have spent a lot more time listening to their side-project albums. Handsome Furs’ “Face Control” is probably one of the best albums of 2009 and Sunset Rubdown’s “Random Spirit Lover” came very close to making this list as well.

Wolf Parade deserves more credit than they have received. They have introduced me to a wide variety of great music, not just under the Wolf Parade name. I hope both Krug and Boeckner keep up the hot streak that they’ve been on. There are very few artists I get as excited to hear from as these two, and it all started with my first listen of “Apologies to the Queen Mary.”

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