Throwback Thursdays: Dayvan Cowboy by Boards of Canada

This week, after eight years of hiatus, Boards of Canada released their fifth full-length studio album, Tomorrow’s Harvest. It is dark, deep, atmospheric, and a great listen. I was super excited to purchase this album — yes, despite all my streaming and um, sharing of music files, I do support my favourite musicians — and have been listening to it non-stop for the past few days. The album is blanketed with a dystopian vibe while retaining the trademark Boards of Canada-esque textural synths, distorted sounds, and cinematic rhythms without the electro beats sometimes associated with electronic music.

Songs on the album carry melancholic titles such as Sick Times, Cold Earth, and Collapse, a departure from the optimism conveyed by the Dayvan Cowboy from their 2005 album, The Campfire Headphase. This track is triumphal and affirmative, so much that a fan made an alternate video for the song set to an exhilarating footage of daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydiving. But Boards of Canada, whose name bears homage to the National Film Board of Canada, sets their two music videos produced to date to scenes of landscapes and the natural world — a nod to National Film Board of Canada’s documentary films that has inspired the brother duo. It is difficult, however, for me to watch their music videos because the group’s songs are so complex and evocative that I feel that the visual effects provided for their music never brings the tracks any justice. That said, the attempts in producing a Boards of Canada music video is a brave one, and the resulting products are always beautifully rendered.

See the music video for Reach for the Dead, the first single from their new album here.

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