Nearly 10 years on from the release of the Heavy Blinkers’ The Night and I Are Still Young, the Halifax indie-pop band are set to make their return with a long-in-the-works album called Health. The band self-release the set on July 30.
A press release notes that work on the 16-song album started as far back as 2006, with a 20-piece choir assembling to sing on opening cut “As Long As You Have Your Health.” Since then, members of the band proper have come and gone, leaving founder Jason Michael MacIsaac the only remnant of the original lineup.
The LP apparently took shape over “endless sessions, [and] long hours of meticulously arranging instrumental passages” and is set up as a musical, reflecting work MacIsaac had undertook with Zuppa Theatre, as well as while composing scores from film and television. The record has a wartime theme to it, with character-driven tales sung by Stewart Legere, Melanie Stone and Jenn Grant, with assistance from Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche and the High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan.
Said to be inspired by Frank Sinatra’s Watertown and Van Dyke Park’s Song Cycle, the tracks on Health were culled from a selection of 30 songs. The final product apparently offers “lush new arrangements that revel in all the benefits of studio indulgence,” including the harp-and-strings-assisted “Anna Karina, I Was Wrong” and smoothed-out pop jam “Perfect Tourists,” which you can stream or download down below.
By Gregory Adams