We are long standing admirers of husband and wife duo Whitehorse ever since we discovered their self-titled debut of 2011 – eight songs of blues-stomp and seedy ballads.
Somehow we missed their latest album, when it was originally released last summer, but have caught up now as it is seemingly getting a second push with another ‘release’ last month. It takes its title from a Wonder Woman comic glued to a table in a diner in Vancouver, The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss is exactly right for a record that is dramatic, expansive, imaginative and not a little risky.
From the opening salvo of the spaghetti-western psych of Achilles’ Desire through to the quiet desperation of the fatalistic, six-minute closer Mexico Texaco, every song seizes the moment in a way that demands the listener’s full attention. Thankfully this attention is rewarded many times over as bloody-knuckled tales of bad apples are brought to life and mixed in with intimate personal stories and scathing social comment.
At the same time, leading up to their headline debut at Canada’s premiere music venue Massey Hall (2nd March), Whitehorse will be honouring the greats with a series of songs and videos highlighting those who have come to be identified with Canada’s premiere venue through memorable performances and live recordings.
The first in the series is Un Canadien Errant, a folk song that presents a powerful idea of homeland as that which lives in the heart rather than on a map. The song has been treasured by French-speaking Canadians from the time of the Lower Canada Rebellion onward, and it speaks to the pain of exile and displacement. The song has appeared on albums by foundational Canadian songwriters, including Ian and Sylvia and Leonard Cohen.
See Whitehorse perform Un Canadien Errant. Download the pulp-fiction suspense of Devil’s Got A Gun and buy the album here.
Download Whitehorse – Devil’s Got A Gun mp3 (from The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss)Follow @madmackerel