Canadian rockers Sights & Sounds came into being when frontman Andrew Neufeld switched up playing guitar for Comeback Kid to focus his attention on singing.
The band first started out around a decade ago, working with Devin Townsend on their debut album Monolith, and playing around the world with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Architects and Billy Talent.
But it’s safe to say a follow-up has been a long time coming, with a 10-year gap between albums intersected by 2013’s release of EP Silver Door. But the wait ended with last month’s album No Virtue, which the band self-produced amongst touring with Comeback Kid and producing and filmmaking on other projects.
But, the album is now upon us and showcases where the band’s now at with, in their words, “soundscapes, guitars, electronic-tinged ‘candy’, and thousands of harmonies.”
So with no further ado, let’s take a bit of a listen. The band sent us the album’s second track Resurface, which opens up with a flickering synth sound then a funky electronic-tinged sound that develops into heavier guitars.
A dreamy opening verse takes over, then the guitars drop out in a building section that feeds into another verse. This time it’s followed by a more lively chorus, then drops into floaty instrumentals that build up to atmospheric section of repeated vocals “I’d rather resurface alive.” Check it out below:
The heaviness is ramped up on the edgy Serpentine, with stabbing guitars under shouty vocals that offer a nod to their hardcore punk roots and ends on a delicious little repeating bassline. Give it a listen below:
The diversity of the album continues with a laid-back opening to Caught Up, with relaxing guest vocals from Canadian singer Nicole Dollanganger. Andrew’s equally mellow vocals continue as the song builds up with orchestral instrumentals. It’s an intriguing, intense track and you can give it a listen below:
While a personal favourite track is the lively Black Mamba, which opens up with heavy stabbing bassy noises then echoey vocals open up and gradually intensify. A cool lively riff creeps in under shouty vocals and a meandering riff, then more singalong vocals “‘Cause I’m making up for all the times that I gave up.” It’s a little rockier, which again shows the band mixing things up nicely.
We had a chat with Andrew to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Sights & Sounds?
AN: “S&S is a rock band originally from Toronto. We are all from the middle of Canada, Winnipeg, but eventually found ourselves in the big smoke. We are old friends but Sights started just over a decade ago when I moved from playing guitar with Comeback Kid to becoming the singer.
“I had the desire to play guitar again and do some more melodic type of music where we could incorporate atmosphere and electronic elements. So I started Sights with my big brother Joel on drums and a couple of best friends. We’ve toured the world but been pretty sporadic because of the other bands and creative projects.”
GR: You sent us Resurface. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
AN: “It’s a bit of a New Order / nod to Mew type song. Single coil driving guitars and a bounce that doesn’t quit. I wrote it about a prying figure in my life that I needed a bit of space from. Written out of anger and striving to resurface from the situation.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
AN: “Atmospheric alternative rock with an electronic twist. Punk/hardcore roots but pushing modern progressive elements.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
AN: “Everything is an influence. I’ve been doing music my whole life. I speak about personal strife as well as social justice issues that I want to address.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
AN: “Greg Dulli (Afghan Wigs, The Twilight Singers), Oasis, Telefon Tel Aviv, Quicksand, Dinosaur JR, Pet Shop Boys.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019? New music, new gigs, recording etc…?
AN: “We just played some album release shows here in Canada, and we’re heading to Europe at the end of 2019 as we just put out our record No Virtue the other day.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
“We just released our new album No Virtue and we are over the moon about it. We’ve been working on it a couple years now.”