When it come to having professional relationships with artists sometimes The Recommender, like most other music bloggers, has to settle for a relationship with a band’s PR agent, or their record label, or their manager. However, with the excelelnt Freedom Or Death there’s been a direct and rather refreshing DIY approach.
The Toronto duo are made up of Steve Fernandez and Sway and it’s Steve that first came to us for some coverage in the middle of last year, around the release of their self-titled debut EP. They’ve gone on to record their next mini-album/EP Ego themselves, as well as self-releasing it on their Liars & Theives home-made label. In most DIY cases, you can expect a little bit of cynicism to creep in about there being reasons why they haven’t been snapped up by the established industry, but with Freedom Or Death you get a twist in the tale.
They used to work in the music industry, at the major label Sony, for over a decade and so they’ve cut their teeth learning from the inside. This has taught them how it’s done and allowed them to side-step the usual pathways, deliberately setting out to protect their own creativity – just consider their band name for a start.
Add in the fact that they create blindingly good music, as is once again in evidence on the new EP, and any cynicism is entirely washed away. Everything they’ve shared with us to date has our stamp of approval, as it leans from tidy, layered, dramatic pop, to heartfelt, melodic ambience.
The work is out on April 26th and you can pre-order it here. We’ve listed a handful of tracks below, two from the new EP, This Crowded Room, which is about as good as a long build up gets, and Elefant, which enters the room with great strides and demands attention. Additionally we also list our favourite track, Lost in Dances, from their previous release, to remind you how awesome they’ve always been. (MB)
FREEDOM OR DEATH – THIS CROWDED ROOM
FREEDOM OR DEATH – ELEFANT
FREEDOM OR DEATH – LOST IN DANCES