Small Band, Titanic Sound
PS I Love You’s Sophomore Album a Symphony of Noise
Turn up the speakers and warn the neighbours, PS I Love You’s sophomore album, Death Dreams, packs a mighty musical punch. With earth-crunching guitar solos, driving energetic drumming, and fluttering vocals, the band’s latest effort is a testament to the amount of volume a two-man band can produce.
“I like it when albums have songs musically and chromatically linked together,” said singer Paul Saulnier. He added that the band likes to weave themes into their songs to create a narrative.
Hailing from Kingston, ON, the rock duo have developed a rich musical style. With Saulnier out front playing various instruments, including a double-necked guitar, and drummer Ben Nelson holding the band’s fast-paced rhythm, the result is a multi-dimensional experience.
Saulnier warns that the album must be heard in its entirety to have the desired effect.
The narrative of Death Dreams centres around life on the road. The name itself refers to dark dreams Saulnier experienced while on tour for their last album. Although the album starts with a macabre entrance, the songs proceed to flow over onto each other with varying distinctive sensibilities. The listener is brought in and out of reality through the eyes of a musician on tour.
According to Saulnier the process of creating PS I Love You’s music is natural and usually starts with a simple guitar melody.
“We kind of make it up as we go,” said Saulnier. “Sometimes it works really fast, and sometimes really slow. But it’s really fun as it goes.”
Listening carefully to the tracks, some of the personal touches added by the band can be heard – including sound from their favourite shows and even waves hitting the Pacific shoreline in California. Not only are these sounds sentimental to the band, but they also add to the narrative elements of the tracks.
“I like having sounds which relate to lyrics,” said Saulnier, “I see songs less as a piece of music and more of a space to get into. Different sounds make songs more three-dimensional.”
One subtle, but crucial, addition to the band’s sound is the presence of Nelson’s backup vocals. This extra layer only adds to the grandness of their sound.
“Ben is a very good singer,” said Saulnier, adding that he hopes to feature Nelson’s vocals more in future compositions.
For their third record, the band is toying with the idea of adding a third musician to their group.
“But that is a long way off,” said Saulnier.
PS I Love You with Parlovr, Ctznshp, Pigeon Phat, Reversing Falls, and Wake Island at Divan Orange (4234 Saint-Laurent Boulevard) / Sept. 20 8 p.m. / $10
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