Uncut Magazine on Better Weather
“Twelve slices of melodic melancholia from Canadian sunshine popsters who occupy emotional ground between Dusty In Memphis and late-period Beach Boys. Better Weather is an album of sophisticated white soul, simply recorded but brimming with ingenious arrangements and complex harmonic blends. A number of the tracks are pure singalong sunshine pop a la their debut album, Hooray For Everything, a largely solo effort recorded by chief Blinker Jason MacIsaac before the band line-up crystalised for last year’s eponymous second LP (the latter rated highly in Uncut last year). For their third album, the band expand their palette to allow country, R&B (in the Beach Boys of Wild Honey sense) and gospel influences. Simple piano shuffles are now augmented by big band horn sections (hear ‘Baby Smile’) or jazz and gospel choirs (to great effect on ‘Malmo’, an instrumental that sounds like something Dennis Wilson might have done).
Central to the band’s refined creative vision is ‘I Used To Be A Design’, which brazenly splices together contradictory musical styles and eschews traditional song structures. Originally shopped to Dusty Springfield before her untimely death in 1999, we shall never hear what she would have made of it, but it’s not as great a loss as it may seem – Ruth Minnikin’s interpretation here is dazzling in all its raw and vulnerable beauty. At 34 minutes, Better Weather may be short, but it’s emotionally candid and spiritually vast, dealing with the weight of life itself.”
– Paul Johnston