Tomorrow's Harvest review by Boards of Canada

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jun 5, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.4 (13 votes)
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow's Harvest
2

Sound — 7
Boards Of Canada was formed in 1986 by the brothers Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin in Scotland, and they have remained the sole members since 1989. They make music with the aim of calling up emotions and affecting their listeners, and they use ambient music mixed with some samples from old media to reach this aim. They recorded many early albums that did not have a public release and so there is occasionally a claim that someone has an unreleased album but the band does not legitimize the claims. The EP "Twoism" was the first album released to the public and was released in a very limited run to people on the IDM mailing list. Their first full length album released to the public was "Music Has the Right to Children" (in 1998), and it received accolades from the music press of the time. It charged #35 on Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s." Since then the band has continued to release EPs and LPs, and has received positive reviews for the most part for everything they've released. The band, while primarily an electronic/ambient band, have maintained the use of analog recording technology in order to keep a warm and nostalgic feel to their music. "Tomorrow's Harvest" was hyped via an alternate reality game in which numbers were hidden on vinyl records, online nd broadcast in part via BBC Radio One, NPR, and Adult Swim. Once a listener had collected all of the codes they could enter them into the band's website which then displayed a video announcing the upcoming release of "Tommorow's Harvest." The album has 17 total tracks and a runtime of 62 minutes. It is really hard to explain these tracks, but I will say what I can about them. They are almost exclusively instrumental and what lyrics they have are mostly sampled from old TV, radio, etc. The album seems to be attempting to conjure the image of a cold, desolate future and feelings of a slow building anxiety and dread. This is different from their previous releases, which weren't exactly "feel good" music, but they do seem so compared to this album. Still, the overall effect is stunning and worth spending the time with some twilight lighting and a good sound system absorbing this album.

Lyrics — 7
There isn't much in the way of lyrics on the album. The ones that stand out the most is a robot voice on "Telepath" that is saying: "Testing...1...2...3...4...5" and things such as this. There isnt really anything to say on this topic.

Overall Impression — 7
This is a hard album to quantize with a score of 1 to 10... honestly, this whole ambient genre is hard to rate. It is so different than conventional music that it really is operating under special rules. Those rules being that the point of the music is to kind of evoke a certain group of feelings in the listener, and with the proper relaxed mindset kind of put you through a mental movie. This album absolutely accomplished this, but it was honestly a terrifying experience for me. I guess I got more goblins in my subconscious than I had previously thought. Part of the magic of it is I think it helped me exorcise some of that junk from my subconscious and I look forward to another deep session with the album in the near future. My favorite tracks from the album would have to be "Reach for the Dead," "Jacquard Causeway," "Sick Times," "Split Your Infinities," "Nothing Is Real" and "Come to Dust." I don't really dislike any tracks from the album but if I had to pick a least favorite then it would have to be "White Cyclosa" but I couldn't tell you why I was getting crazy "vibes" from it. I don't know that I would recommend this album to the average metal head, unless they have a little bit of patience and can appreciate something outside of distorted guitars and guttural screaming. I personally felt like it was a worthwhile experience and it has renewed my interest in ambient music as a whole.

YouTube preview picture
YouTube preview picture

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    N-D
    Wow, "Reach For The Dead" is so fantastic! Want to hear the whole album!
    Sensual Lettuce
    This is a great album! It's quickly becoming my favourite BoC release, it's so easy to lose yourself in the post apocalyptic vibes.
    BassKitten
    I absolutely love BoC. I only discovered them recently and its great to hear two guys making such unique and creative music. Its also great to see such a wide variety of tastes in UG. Really helps me to chill out. :3
    itsgoodtobefree
    Excellent album, though I do like Music Has The Right To Children Better. New Seeds and Come To Dust are my favorites on the album.
    thisbejoe
    If you don't hear words you're not listening hard enough. These are the words in "Split Your Infinities" starting at 1:40ish; "The FEMA plans to imprison American citizens have generated a lot of interest around the country, in locating the potential prison camps throughout the country. These may be facilities currently being used as prisons such as those you saw earlier, or prisons that are being built supposedly in the name of the war on drugs. Or, facilities that have other uses but could quickly be used to detain large numbers of people, such as this Amtrak facility in Beech Grove, Indiana. We're standing now in the main parking lot, which doesn't look too sinister. At this level it is a very large parking lot, fenced on all sides by fence topped by barbed wire. It also has these electronically operated turnstiles. There is also a surveillance camera just like we saw at the FEMA facility, pointing out to the parking lot, and a helicopter windsock. All of these apparent security measures are particularly unusual here, because this is a very low-crime area and this facility is nothing but an old train repair station with nothing in it worth stealing..".