Ode to Abner
Duties of a Lighthouse Keeper
I Wish I Knew
Both Guthrie and Thorburn have been long-time fixtures of Canadian pop music. Jim is best-known for his releases on Three Gut Records, both with Royal City and as a solo artist, when he received a Juno nomination for 2004's Now, More Than Ever. Thorburn first gained international exposure with the Unicorns in 2003, and now fronts the super-pop group Islands. The two first came together during the recording of the first Islands record (Guthrie toured with the original line-up of the band, and also appears on the recording), and it was only a matter of time before the mutual admiration turned into a collaboration.
Fittingly, Human Highway began on the road. “For me, Human Highway started in a hotel room on a U.S. tour with Islands,” Guthrie says. “Nick had this rad song called 'My Beach' and asked me if I wanted to help him record it. He played and sang at the same time and let me be for a bit to do harmonies.” At the time, however, there was no explicit goal to make a full record. Time passed as Thorburn continued to tour and work on a new Islands album (the recently released Arm's Way), while Guthrie spent time at home in Toronto, working on his own material. Then they decided it was time to finish what they had started. Thorburn spent a week with Guthrie in his Toronto apartment in 2007, and Moody Motorcycle was the resulting love-child.
"Plenty of charm, a warm and welcoming bedroom recording feel, and songs that stand among the best that either artist has ever written..."
"The harmonies on Moody Motorcycle are so dense and lushly constructed that it’s hard at points to discern who’s doing the singing most of the time." Prefix rating: 8.5
Yup, that's right. If you've been revving to hear more swoony sweetness from Human Highway, look no further. The album is currently streaming in its entirety on the band's Myspace page.
It'll be in stores across Canada next week, and as always, you can pre-order the thing directly from us, too.
Little known fact: the Human Highway album, Moody Motorcycle, was the first thing to be played over the big fancy sound system at the new Apple Store in Montreal. Ok, so it was only full of employees and members of Adam & the Amethysts (Miracle Fortress fans take note!), but still. Anyway, the fine folks at iTunes are also offering an advance single from the album for your purchasing support. Check it out!
"Full of lazy Sunday afternoon strums, sweet and subtle harmonies, and the kind of breezy pop you might hear on AM radio if you traveled back in time to the 50s, it's a collection of songs even your grandma could warm up to."
"The interesting breakdown and depression that riddles the tropical vibe of My Beach (the whole album really) might go unnoticed until you get crank up your headphones, but shows how creative this duo can be when focused properly. The arrangements are complex, but never overwhelming."
"There's a time and a place for trying everything, but there's no explicit genre-specific which came with this record. That was just kind of what we underlined it with just to give it some perspective, some placement. It's not pastiche; it's not like we're doing "Earth Angel" or whatever, and it sounded so ridiculous. It's just that we're both fans of the music-- the Everly Brothers and early Simon and Garfunkel or whatever. We're just trying to sing together. I love Jim's harmonies and wanted to harmonize."
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