Music News

The Stills

Canada's Arts & Crafts imprint is dominated by acts that operate on the margins of rock rather than the dead center. That makes the Stills the white sheep of the family. On Oceans Will Rise, their latest recording, singer/guitarist Tim Fletcher and his crew present their songs in a very straightforward, audience-friendly manner, without the sort of oddball arrangements, genre-melding experiments or eccentric lyrics that mark, for example, the various projects associated with Broken Social Scene. As a result, the group doesn't stand out from the drove in quite the way its fellow Canucks do, particularly on ultra-commercial songs such as "Being Here," which seems specifically designed for fist-pumping. But the intelligence and economy of ditties like "Snakecharming the Masses" ultimately shine through, marking the Stills (appearing at the Fillmore with Kings of Leon and We Are Scientists) as worthy Arts & Crafts representatives despite their unusual normalcy.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts