The acclaimed Canadians’ ambitious, allusive third album achieves a new sonic clarity, depth, and range to match the effortless melodies and extraordinary writing. It’s the band’s most transparent and personal set of songs to date, in which singer Nigel Chapman interrogates social, psychological, and spiritual milieus for clues about the elusive nature of knowledge.
“I’m Bad Now” constitutes the third chapter of an implicit, informal trilogy that includes “Whine of the Mystic” (2015) and “Thought Rock Fish Scale” (2016).
The brilliantly reductive title is something I’ve heard my four-year-old son and his friends announce verbatim when roleplaying the perennial game of heroes and villains, “good guys” and “bad guys.” “I’m bad now,” he declares, but an equivocal binary is implied: it’s only a matter of time or trading places before he (or anyone) has the capacity for good again. Perhaps goodness will manifest in the multiverse, on a different circuit than this faulty, frayed one. Is that faith or fantasy? And what is the difference?
Album opener “Every Time the Feeling” arrives with a subdominant chord and a subdominant attitude, only switching to the first person in the (repeated) final verse, for this devastating admission:
Oh I can’t tell what’s worse:
The meaninglessness or the negative meaning
But I figured out a way
To get on with my life and to keep on dreaming
“I’m Bad Now” will be released on March 9th via Paradise Of Bachelors / You’ve Changed.