POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE NOMINATED SONGWRITER GREG MACPHERSON RETURNS WITH NEW BAND, FIGURE WALKING, AND NEW ALBUM, THE BIG OTHER, DUE OUT APRIL 28 VIA DISINTEGRATION RECORDS IN CANADA
PHOTO CREDIT : Kristian Jordan // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Figure Walking have provided an up-to-the-second, human response to an increasingly neoliberal world. Built on Greg MacPherson’s powerful songwriting, and the relentless backbone of Rob Gardiner’s drumming, The Big Other asks the citizens of the world to "believe in ourselves and to take something from the mistakes we've made". The two-piece, based in Winnipeg, infamous as Canada's coldest, most racist city, have taken social criticism and justice to heart, creating an album that is meaningful, unconventional, and exciting.
That conviction is echoed in the album’s centrepiece, “Victorious”, a vicious, scathing battle cry that lights up Western shadows right to their margins. “It's ridiculous to believe that we're all born equal and that hard work alone can break cycles of poverty, violence, racism, and inequality,” says MacPherson. “Victorious” is an anguished, desperate response to injustice, a three chord anthem to reconciliation, and a truly great political-rock song.
Due out April 28 via Disintegration Records in Canada and Marathon Of Dope in Europe, The Big Other accomplishes the rare feat of presenting big ideas on a foundation of dance beats, electric guitar, and storytelling. The jagged, arthouse post-punk of “Submarines” and “Spring Thaw” demand movement. “Blue World”, with its gauzy swells of aquatic guitar, thumping bass lines, and vivid soundscapes, is a hopeful anthem to reconciliation and possibility. “Singapore”, puts the average hot-blooded North American on a plain dropping into the Pacific, where lust and the no longer exotic combine in the celebrity image of Janet Jackson and a renewed 30 something romance.
If there’s a mission statement drilled into The Big Other, it comes at the surprise ending of “Funeral”, a swirling barrage of cheerleading gang vocals that command, “let’s just try to celebrate, dance until this all makes sense.”
In MacPherson and Gardiner’s own words, “Figure Walking is our attempt as artists to focus on who we are in the present and to take ownership of what we’re bringing into the world, with an eye on a better future.”
MacPherson is a G7 Welcoming Committee Records alumni whose music was never strictly ideological or easily categorized. His past two solo albums, Mr. Invitation and Fireball, have both been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.