Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis are known as The Town Heroes for good reason: they manage to make an awful lot of sound for just the two of them, spreading laughter and shenanigans wherever they go. That being said, when the occasion calls for it, they can bust out an acoustic rendition that’ll have the whole house party swaying and singing along. Thus the release of their acoustic EP, Closer, replete with four folky renditions of favourites from their last two albums.
With the downplayed acoustics of their unmistakably Canadian alternative rock sound, their songs emerge as something more distinctly Maritime. “We play the songs in this particular style a lot at house parties, more mellow shows, around campfires and stuff like that. A lot of people seem to like them played that way and I think the songs have a whole different life like this.”
In spite of the softer sounds, the songs still maintain their emotional oomph. In fact, these impassioned performances might just bring a whole new level of tenacity to the game. ‘Constellations’ comes across a little more woebegone without the propulsive drum line. The barren arrangement shows off vocals that are strangely reminiscent of Neil Young. And I mean that in the best way possible.
‘Heat’ is a completely different song going to show you just how much the key impacts the overall tone of the tune. Its arrangement brings the lyrics to the forefront, their meaning highlighted in the midst of stark contrast to its head-bop-inducing former manifestation. “The feel and vibe is different and I think it showcases a different side of us that we don’t necessarily want to ignore.”
“A lot of the time this is how the songs originate, so this is kind of a back to basics; stripped down version without amps blasting and cymbals crashing.” Get up close and intimate with the softer side of The Town Heroes this Friday.
For more information visit www.thetownheroes.com