Toronto rockers Animal Parts could never be accused of being static or motionless in their musical aims. In the last 14 months they’ve released one LP (their self-titled debut), an EP (Other Rooms), and have another brief collection, Six Arms To Hold You, due out tomorrow. And while you might assume that, with so much output, the band would be in danger of repeating themselves or only releasing music simply for the sake of releasing it – no matter the quality – a cursory listen to any of their albums reveals a band digging deep into their influences and coming up with a imaginative blend of nostalgic folk rock and something approximating the rustic jams of Wilco or Fleet Foxes. And with the embedded support of the Toronto music scene, they’ve been able to broaden their fanbase, with tours across Canada and the United States.
With Six Arms To Hold You, they’ve expanded their already considerable musical palette and brought their bucolic roots to the fore. Across these songs, organ and piano swap out with jagged guitar lines and shuffling, southern-tinged percussion, while singer Joshua Cokerill’s somber vocals provide the binding for all the instrumentation. Six Arms To Hold You brings together the acoustic intimacy of Neil Young with the rock bombast of Bruce Springsteen and manages to work in the pastoral grace of bands like Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver – albeit with a more countrified bent. But Animal Parts aren’t simply the measure of their combined influences. So while their music certainly speaks to their individual musical preferences, it doesn’t come across as lazy songwriting or artistic misappropriation. It feels imbued with the spirit of their aesthetic ancestors, and as they see it, they’re just the channel through which this music continues.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the album stream of Animal Parts’ upcoming EP, Six Arms To Hold You.