After many cryptic teasers, the new Boards of Canada album Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first offical collection of new material in seven years, has finally arrived. Packed with 17 tracks that clock in at little over an hour, the Scottish brothers have put together a record that should easily satisfy those who have been foaming at the mouth over this release. There really is just so much to sift through that it may be a bit daunting in one solitary sitting.
Known for their rural seclusion in rural Edinburgh, it definitely pays off. The songs on here don’t really sound like anything else being released right now, especially considering the kind of stuff that’s really popular in the realm of electronic music right now. Nothing on Tomorrow’s Harvest is immediately ready to spin at the club, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With their expert use of analog equipment, a lot of the material on here sounds like something straight out of the musical score of some obscure 80s videotape, which can be a virtual goldmine for interesting electronic beats. This especially evident towards the end of most of the tracks, seeing as they tend to just fade out into the the next one without any definitive ending. In fact, the ambience of most of the songs is so ominous that the album couldn’t have a more apt name: when listening, it can be hard not to feel like this music is the perfect accompaniment to the newfound remnants of a post-apocalyptic society, as viewed from a late Cold War perspective of course.
There are some truly cool samples to be found throughout this album. “Gemini” starts off with a trumpeting fanfare that sounds like it was ripped straight out of the intro to a middle school social studies video. “White Cyclosa” features what could be a listless helicopter looming throughout the background. “Collapse” has this trance inducing soaring wind effect that takes over towards the end of it that stops right as it reaches its peak. There’s even some superbly haunting vocal stuff going on in a majority of the songs. But if you’re looking to veritably bump it to some downtempo, you want to check out “Cold Earth” or “Palace Posy.” Both are built around some pretty catchy drum samples with some dope synth melodies that can most definitely get you going.
Tomorrow’s Harvest truly is an album to pick up if you’re looking for some new music you can just chill and relax to. It’s a shame that Boards of Canada wasn’t around during my reign of day-care. It would have been a significant upgrade over that Enya garbage they were always blasting during naptime.