Longlisted for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize after receiving wide critical acclaim for their debut LP Mt. Chimaera, Vancouverites Brasstronaut are still a surprising revelation for those who stumble across them on these shores. But it really only takes the first few bars of the opening track, ‘Requiem for a Scene’, performed at the intimately sized Brixton Windmill for someone to realise they are witnessing a band with bags of musical nous able to craft mature, textured songs with indie rock, blues and jazz influences.

The deployment of organic instruments like the clarinet and trumpet along with the band’s rejection of conventional song structures combines songwriting old and new, thus keeping the songs accessible to a more common market while remaining challenging to more serious music fans.

Brasstronaut are at their most convincing when they are in a sombre and reflective mood, such as on ‘Hands Behind’, which explores heartache. The change in tone towards the end of the track typifies the keenness of the band to defy convention and convey more than one emotion in a song.

Singer Edo Van Breemen describes the Windmill as the band’s first port of call in London and a ‘jet lag recovery venue’, but there is certainly no laxness to their performance. As the band exits to the swaying pop of ‘Heart’s Trompet’ (sic) and ‘Slow Knots’, the feeling is that the future for Brasstronaut is upwards.

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