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Sunset Rubdown

By: Kristina Grinovich

Known for his “fancy claps” and keyboard mastery in Wolf Parade, Spencer Krug initially started Sunset Rubdown in Montreal as a solo project, which produced one full length, Snakes Got a Leg and one EP, both released on Canadian label Global Symphonic. Now, Krug has strayed bravely from the pack — or rather, the parade — to join forces with multi-instrumentalist Jordan Robson Cramer, performance artist Michael Doerksen, and former Pony Up! singer Camilla Wynne Ingr. While Krug may work well as a lone wolf, the freshest Sunset Rubdown album, Shut Up I Am Dreaming, proves that sometimes it takes more than one pair of hands, albeit a multitalented pair, to make a great record.

With tinkling toy piano, wistful guitar, cabaret style beats, and a variety of synths and samples, Shut Up becomes quite the musical reverie. Even the song titles show off the Rubdown’s eloquent whimsy: See “I’m Sorry I Sang On Your Hands That Have Been In the Grave,” whose swelling organs mystically ease the heavy, processional drumbeat. In the less elaborately titled “Swimming,” Krug’s vacillating vocals seem drowned beneath a wash of synth and electronics. The album concludes with “Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings,” which slowly builds from a bashful guitar strum into a full opus of sound, a place worth flying to, indeed.

Sunset Rubdown tour dates:

5/9, Calgary, AB (Broken City) 5/10, Edmonton, AB (Starlite Room)5/12, Winnipeg, MB (Collective Cabaret)5/13, Fargo, ND (VFW)5/14, Mount Vernon, IA (Cornell College)5/16, Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)5/17, Northfield, MN (Carlton University)5/18, Chicago, IL (Schuba’s)5/19, Toronto, ON (Opera House)5/20, Montreal, QC (El Salon)5/23, Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church)5/24, New York, NY (Mercury Lounge)5/25, Cambridge, MA (TT the Bear’s)

Sunset Rubdown at Absolutely Kosher Records