When most people think Nova Scotian music, they think of power pop or Celtic, so when a bizarre Tom Waits-meets-Moulin Rouge 11-piece band comes along, you can’t help but ask what the hell is going on.
The Tom Fun Orchestra are quirky, to say the least. Lead singer Ian MacDougall has a deep, throaty growl that’s hard to get past, though the complex arrangements, which range from swing and rock to jazz and Celtic, are remarkable.
What’s most stunning is the disc’s variety. Opener When You Were Mine is a soft but sweeping spoken-word track, while the next song is a frantic barnburner complete with feverish horns and violins. Other songs sound straight out of a musical, and one tune, Behind The Fence, starts with a quick-fingered Southern rock riff.
Definitely one of the most interesting albums to come from the East Coast or anywhere else in Canada.
The Tom Fun Orchestra play the Dakota on Friday (March 7) and the Horseshoe on Saturday (March 8) as part of CMW.