Ensemble-rock renaissance man and Broken Social Scene founding member Brendan Canning has quite the resume. Not only has he released five records with his Toronto cohort and BSS co-founder Kevin Drew (among many other Canada-born collective members), he’s played in bands like By Divine Right, Blurtonia, Valley of the Giants, Len, Cookie Duster, and hHead. But every now and then, Canning strikes out on his own — first on 2008’s Something for All of Us…, then on 2013’s You Gots 2 Chill, and now on the forthcoming Home Wrecking Years, out on August 12 via Arts & Crafts.
Just because this one’s technically a solo record doesn’t mean Canning is actually going at it alone. Among the many guest spots on Home Wrecking Years are Broken Social Scene members Sam Goldberg and Justin Peroff, plus Stills/Kings of Leon multi-instrumentalist Liam O’Neil. The outcome is an expertly assembled selection of baroque-pop gems that layer on the instruments without becoming crushed under the weight of their arrangements.
“Between 2013 and 2015 I spent some time on the road with numerous versions of the Brendan Canning solo band,” he tells SPIN over email. “A band I never really intended on starting, but my life can be so accidental sometimes if I’m willing to surrender to it. Many of the shows I played during those months felt like auditions to me. I’d be onstage and thinking, pretty good, but not quite right. Then I was given a free day of recording at a studio called Revolution Sound in Toronto, where the current version of the band tracked ‘Vibration Walls’ live off the floor. That was the moment when I started really believing in what we had going on.
“Joining me on the album is a serious All-Star cast and many names you may not be familiar with,” he continues. “But the world is full of incredible players if you’re keeping your ears open.”
Stream Home Wrecking Years below.