It’s been just over a year since we spent a few long, scotch and coffee filled days at the revered House of Miracles (when it was still in London, Ontario) recording Tortoise with Andy Magoffin and special appearances by Anna Atkinson. To commemorate that milestone here’s a little slideshow of all the photos from that session set to the song “Handcar.”
I put it all together using the Avid iPad app while stewing on finishing touches for the animated “People” video that is coming very, very soon (I promise)!
“It’s refreshing to hear a record almost entirely free of irony and informed by a childlike curiosity that reminds us how pleasant and important the human imagination can be. Sit back, enjoy, and smile all the day long, for Dog Is Blue is as unpretentious as they come.”
I can’t stress enough just how proud we are of Tortoise. Thankfully, with good press still coming in, we don’t have to shill too much.
Case in point, Chart Magazine* just posted a positive, informative and constructive (all great “-ives,” in my book) review that digs deep to give a quick glimpse at our humble beginnings, a comparison to our debut album, as well as some points that make Tortoise what they call:
“…a fun, rockin’, tuneful album from a band just finding their groove.”
*Chart actually gave us our first piece of press. Back in 2009 they briefly reviewed …Makes Ghost Noises, giving us one of our favourite quotes: “Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking it’s louder than it is.”
What a way to end a tour…The main hall of the Tranzac has been on our list of “venues to play before we die” since the beginning and last Thursday not only put a checkmark in that box, but filled it full of dynamite and blew it up in a cloud of coloured lights and confetti.
Surrounded by friends, family and other supporters we celebrated the release of Tortoise while Anna Atkinson (who joined us on stage for “Southern Ontario”) was eagerly doing the same for her debut album, Mooniture.
Of course, I could go on and on about how awesome we were, or how much fun the whole night was, but we had a few very supportive bloggers on hand that night whose take on the evening will likely be a little less biased. Here are a few quick quotes, but click through to check out the full reviews:
“Watson and Heaney have a fantastic chemistry on stage.” –Grayowl Point
“Overall the evening had a loose, comfortable feel. It truly was more like a party with friends than a concert.” –Snob’s Music
Expect more videos from the show too, as we had Laura’s sister on hand filming along with our little sports camera mounted at the front of the stage.
We’re not shy about being damn proud of Tortoise. That bravado has been given a shot in the arm lately too, as we’ve been flattered by some resoundingly great press. Here are the most recent quotes:
“This Toronto, ON duo deem their sound “garage folk.” Judging by this charming second album, that’s pretty accurate. Their sparse, folk-based material is shot through with enough rock’n’roll energy to keep things from ever getting twee.” – Exclaim!
“…the Toronto duo’s strength lies in taking the musical and vocal stylings of folk and stripping them of their earnestness, replacing it with garage rock’s breezy slackerdom and a well-honed sense of fun.” – Sound On The Sound (Seattle)
“With this record, the two of them have succeeded in creating folk music that stands out in the crowd, which is pretty tough to do. Off hand, I can’t really think of anyone who’s got a similar sound to them, which is really a great thing. The ten songs on Tortoise vary slightly in their style and in the textures utilized, from soft beauties like Laura’s Song, to more rollicking tunes like the title track. As a whole though, the record is one big package of charming music that you’re sure to enjoy.” – Sound Vat
“All in all this album is a fantastic piece of work from start to finish.” – Grayowl Point
Zunior.com is pretty much the best thing going when it comes to independent Canadian music—a volunteer-based online store run by a few music-lovers (including yours truly) dedicated to showcasing the best independent Canadian music. That’s why we’ve chosen to give Zunior an exclusive early release of Tortoise.
Remember a few weeks back when we went to Joey Bruni‘s farm to shoot performance videos for Tortoise? Well, here we are with Anna Atkinson playing “Southern Ontario” live on an old tractor!
Speaking of which, press for Tortoise is starting to roll in and They Wounded Jukebox had some very flattering things to say about “Southern Ontario” (and us in general). They also posted the track for download on Soundcloud, which you can listen to below or click the arrow on the right side to grab it for later.