Flower Powers (Brendan Canning, Home Wrecking Years review)

Have you ever jumped into a pile of leaves dear readers? Fallen into a snow drift? Tumbled into a pool? Slipped in the mud?

Yeah I have too. Nature has a surprising amount of built in padding for both kids and adults alike. And yet we never seem to take advantage of it – Especially in summer. Consider this idea for a second… What if you were to dive into a bed of flowers?

I bet it would feel a lot like this album.




Brendan Canning – Home Wrecking Years
released August 12, 2016
******** 8/10


Brendan Canning has been making indie music for a long time – 24 years to be exact. I know this because the year that he became active is the same year that my baby brother was born. Which in music years, means he is old as fuck. Just kidding Brendan! Anyway, Canning is a co-founder of Arts & Crafts sweeties Broken Social Scene, yay for Canadian content! Canning has also been a part of such acts as Blurtonia, By Divine Right, hHead, Len, and Vally of the Giants.

Yeah that Len, the Len that performed Steal My Sunshine.

But this isn’t a group record, it’s a one man show. Speaking of which, Canning has now made three solo albums, the most recent being Home Wrecking Years.

It is immediately accessible and feels like an album you should listen to on vinyl with some incense, hummus, and your most breezy shirt. You shouldn’t expect anything less than a comfortable and heartwarming experience with this record. That is, if you’re familiar with Broken Social Scene’s experimental, shoegazing, and noise infused sounds. Because most of the guest spots feature regular BSS members Sam Goldberg and Justin Peroff

It’s not quite as epic in scale of course; But that combination of guitars, horns, woodwinds, and string instruments is definitely there for you get a good feeling about.

Now, I could spend time picking apart each individual track and tell you the strengths and weaknesses found on the songs contained within this album, but to be perfectly honest, that’s not the way that I ultimately took this album in. I listened to it in my car throughout the week, on the way to work, on the way home, going to see friends, onto a date, taking my brother to the medi-centre, basically just out living life. I tried to set it down and pay really close attention to it, I swear, but it never felt right to do so.

As I mentioned already, this is music you put on to feel good about yourself and your unfolding story.

It’s a weird thing, as much experimentation as Canning puts us through in his shoegazing efforts, that’s okay. It’s allowed. We have music so many kinds of music out there on the market, it’s nice when an artist pulls back some of his cords and unplugs. And that’s what Home Wrecking Years is a raw and simple record, which is experimental for this artist. Ever heard the expression, hiding in plain sight? Yeah, pretty much that’s what this is. A great album, hiding in plain sight.




People get so concerned about stopping to smell the flowers, that they never think to dive right in. But I bet you that if you did take that chance, you’d find Brendan Canning just hanging out in your neighbours flowerbed, hiding in plain sight. A notion of summer well remembered.

I’m out of musical theories for now my friends, but you should check back tomorrow, when I share a movie review about another natural occurrence.


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