Before introducing you to the music of Northwestern Ontario-based band 1971, we first must delve into this area’s rugged beauty. For that, we defer to Montreal artist, musician and writer Kate Erickson, who reviewed the band’s self-titled EP in 2010. She begins the piece with this introduction:
The landscape of Northwestern Ontario has a weight to it; from the ancient mass of the Canadian Shield underfoot to the ponderous silence of the boreal forest, there’s something about this region that naturally conveys a sense of heaviness.
It is from a place of heaviness and great beauty that 1971 releases the song “Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario).” It was written for their friend, bassist and founding member of the band, Cameron Glen Cranston, who passed away in February at the age of 25.
Artistic grace can arise from tragedy and loss. The music and video begins serenely, driving down a foggy road. Casually filmed home movies show friends on a nature-loving road trip through beautiful mountain vistas, Canadian countrysides and pristine lakes. But then the reality of their friend’s affliction comes screaming through, in memories and in music, forever woven into the idyllic scenes. Their song builds into a driving punk-laden anthem with the inescapable truth, “all our bodies, all our bodies will decay, before you find your answer.” The unrestrained angst ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows, as it does through the lives of its sufferers. The effect is powerful, and it’s a poignant tribute.
This song is being released along with two others as their last recordings with Cameron. This EP, titled “No Matter Where You Go, There You Are,” will be available on December 1. The EP features two demos they recorded for a grant and one of their lost friend’s songs. “Anxiety” was written for their beloved bandmate during a difficult time, when he was still here. This EP can be preordered on bandcamp as a 7″ vinyl record, or it can be ordered as a physical cassette from Art of the Uncarved Block. You can also preorder it on iTunes.
We really hope this release properly puts this band to rest and we hope it touches some people who might have experienced something similar to what we went through. Cameron was a great musician and an inspiration to a lot of people he knew. He deserves to be heard and remembered. – 1971