A promising wall of sound is coming out of Ottawa. Instrumental indie quartet My Dad vs Yours have just released their second full length Little Symphonies, a record which guitarist Jose Palacios describes as both nostalgic and uplifting.
“It's a record that I would have wanted to listen to when I was 20,” said Palacios. “There's a My Bloody Valentine sound in there, among other sounds that you can pick out... getting the songs into a pop structure makes it sound a little happier.”
The label “post-rock” has often been ascribed to the band due to their layered, instrumental sound, but Palacios doesn't see the quartet's music fitting that subgenre. The description conjures images of the doom and gloom of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but Little Symphonies sounds nothing of that sort.
“We don't really like the post-rock tag, a lot of people describe it as post-rock but we want to move away from that,” said Palacios. “In a sense that's why these songs are more pop structured.”
It may be the lack of a vocalist that triggers the de facto tagline, but the band's sound holds plenty of melody without the help of a singer. The lack of lyrics creates an environment for free association, allowing listeners' thoughts to wander through the soundscapes.
“It's not ambient music, when you hear it you realize that it doesn't really need vocals,” said Palacios. “I find that can be a lot more powerful too because when you're watching the band and listening to the music, your imagination is expected to take over, to participate with the music. People can take that to different levels and make it rewarding.”
From their self-produced releases to the video for “Happy Wanderer/Carry The Weight”, My Dad vs Yours utilizes the connections they've made over the last several years to accomplish the tasks required of independent musicians. Little Symphonies is the result of three years of production, and the band is itching to see what kind of response it will get.
“The record was done about a year ago, but because we were doing it ourselves we wanted to shop around for a good deal for pressing vinyl,” said Palacios. “Since it's been done for a while we've just been dying for people to hear it. You're never really sure, I mean I really like it but you don't know how other people are going to take it.”
The record is certainly their biggest sounding yet, the result of hours of scrutiny over its tracks. Little Symphonies was recorded in Gallery Studios, a recording space in Ottawa co-owned by drummer Arturo Brisindi and Dean Watson, who mixed the record. Taking their time paid off, with the result being a joyful, refreshing body of work – their best yet.
“We've had really great feedback for the record, and it's on a bunch of downloading websites,” said Palacios. “Obviously we'd prefer if people bought the record, but it doesn't really matter to me as long as the word of mouth is spreading.”
And it is. Since its release last month, Little Symphonies has received online attention and the band has been contacted by promoters in regions they've never played. My Dad vs Yours will embark on their first set of shows across the border in June, a five-show stint with stops including New York City and Boston. Plans to expand the tour remain a possibility; the band will just have to wait and see where their hard work will take them.