11 Dec

Were it that we could easily describe the great pleasure of listening to Alberta, CanadiaLands’ Deadhorse, we would. We would describe their high-lonesome, open-sky, western-country space-rock-and/or-roll music as the aural manifest of finding yourself at that midpoint between Moose Lake, AB and the very brightest stars visible to the naked eye.

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We’d tell you that’s the position their debut album’s opening incantation – “Interstellar Remedies” – forces our mind to consider. The song comes on like a lovely, odd and immediate cosmic paean to the incurable mystery of the sky at night, a sort of “Her Canadian Majesties Request,” replicating a similar vibe with an opening arsenal of jittery, jingle jangle mourning, with the note-perfect female voices that dwell throughout the album delivering the healing, interstellar medicine  before the entire band dissolves into the healing interstellar medicine of droning, echoing, chaotic sonic bliss.

But we can’t do that.

And it’s not just because the following number delivers us to the kookiest honky-tonk in town. Titled “Glam Central,” it’s little preparation for the later  delivery of  slow, sweet glam-pop hooks, deliberately laid over the synth of doom and siren-wail of “Paraboots,” or the fervent, Pentecostal-prog of “I’m A Lawyer,” anchored by two echoing voices, one male, one female, both voices beautiful in their balance, offering their pleas to the sky, to climbing, to red clouds and “super-hero heretics.”

But we can’t do that. Or we can … or we just did.

If nothing else, we just don’t want to tell you you’ll fall quickly for Deadhorse’s fence-jumping music, on an album that runs this way and that. Perhaps you will. Perhaps you will not. What the hell do we know?


Download “I’m A Lawyer” from Deadhorse by Deadhorse

We know little-to-nothing, surely, but we do feel something more. And we feel gratitude for the way the music of Deadhorse makes us feel, returning us to that mental, middle world between the the burning stars and the frozen ground. It’s a feeling captured in the smallest of details, such as the way the band sings the words “cold snap” on the fluffy and fiery “Cushion” – an indication that the weather is changing, the moon is rising, our eyes are opening wide. Moose Lake or bust.

Dead Horse 

Deadhorse – Cushion from Welcome To The West on Vimeo.

“It’s not my job to preach a sermon. Art is anyhow a homily. My job is to speak in living images, not in arguments. I must exhibit life full-face, not discuss life.” – Nikolai Gogol




  1. DEVONIAN GARDENS | Revolt of the Apes - May 8, 2014

    […] this case, the dead horse is in fact “Dead Horse,” a Canadian band that we praised as “Band of the Week” some two and a half years ago – and one that we still listen to with alarming regularity to this day. You see, Dead Horse is […]

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