Mt. Chimaera (Unfamiliar)
Vancouver’s Brasstronaut sound a lot weirder on paper than on record, but that’s not a complaint. Their name sounds like a dodgy funk fusion band, they use instruments like flugelhorn, lap steel, clarinet and synthesizers, and they cite klezmer as an influence. Somehow, though, when you actually listen to them, it’s clear that they’re just a good indie pop band, albeit a very creative one.
In most musicians’ hands, the unorthodox instrumentation and offbeat influences might come across as gimmicky, but these guys sound completely natural and oddly familiar. Credit the production, which does a good job of capturing their live energy and avoiding cramming too much into every song. Who knew that jazzy horn solos could fit so well into guitar rock songs?
Top track: Lo Hi Hopes
Brasstronaut play CMW showcases March 12 at the Drake Hotel Underground, and March 13 at Lee’s Palace.