After stumbling upon Of Us Giants’ EP titled Stitch sometime last year, I instantly became interested in the band. The sound reminded me a lot of some of my favourite bands like Balance and Composure, Manchester Orchestra and Now, Now. For how much I listened to that EP, I had high expectations for the debut full length, Nova Scotia. The record is set to release January 28, and it's nothing short of incredible.
“Liar” introduces the record and you are instantly treated with some very catchy drum work and guitar riffs. Of Us Giants has a very talented vocalist who can pull off multiple styles of singing, and that’s made clear in song one. The song also gets very aggressive at times, which is a very new aspect to Of Us Giants’ sound. “Sycamore Tomb” starts with a beautiful guitar riff that is easy on the ears and very spacey. Shortly after the very calm first verse, the chorus comes roaring in. It is definitely one of the biggest choruses on the entire record. “Iron Boat” is a very playful and catchy track that features guest vocals from Lindsey Pavao, who appeared on The Voice. The two vocalists make a very good duo, both with very unique vocals. “Take It Home” has a bit of a darker feel when it starts, but quickly gets aggressive as it goes on. The song contains some very dreamy sounding vocal harmonies. It’s also one of the heavier songs on the record.
Track five is “Dying.” Starting with just vocals and guitar, it immediately grabs your attention. It has a very nice build up through the verse that lead you into the chorus then features a spoken-word outro – which is another new addition to the Of Us Giants formula. The next track is my absolute favourite on the record. “All of My Daughters” is very reminiscent of 90s alternative, especially because of the guitars. The song houses a very strong chorus and some incredible vocal harmonies. “Around the Furline” combines some very playful guitar riffs with some that sound absolutely soaring. The vocal melodies in this song are very interesting and fresh. Overall, “Around the Furline” is one of the most intriguing songs on Nova Scotia. “A Beam Offshore” carries the same vibe as the track prior, but is a bit more aggressive. The guitars get particularly in-your-face towards the end.
“Stone Hands” appeared on the band’s EP, Stitch. Although not much has been altered, the song sounds a lot better. If you were to compare the new version to the old, you can clearly hear the progression in the vocals. This version just does the track a lot more justice. “Machine Heart” sounds like nothing else on Nova Scotia, and it's a very pleasant surprise. It is probably the most upbeat song – which almost gets punk rock at times. Closing out the record is the title track, “Nova Scotia.” The song features guest vocals from Lindsey Pavao again, providing some of the best male-female harmonies I’ve heard in a while. It’s a very interesting song that gets very loud and big towards the end. It’s a great way to close Nova Scotia, as it definitely goes out with a bang.
If you’re a person that enjoys some music that meshes chill, aggressive, ambient and catchy vibes, then this record is for you. Of Us Giants is a very talented band doing great things. Anyone who enjoys bands like Seahaven, Balance and Composure, Manchester Orchestra and Now, Now will absolutely love this release. Nova Scotia is a prime example of a very consistent-sounding record that can throw a big twist in here and there, yet still feel wholesome. For a debut LP, this is extremely impressive and only promises big things from Of Us Giants in the future. Support this band and be sure to pick up Nova Scotia on January 28th.