My album of the year is Big Wreck’s Ghosts

Odds are good that if I was posting about music in the latter half of 2015, I was most likely posting about Big Wreck. Since I discovered them in July, I have probably been listening to them almost every day, and more often than not, listening to this particular album. (It was released in 2014 in Canada, but not until 2015 in the US, so I’m considering it a 2015 album.)

It was this album’s “I Digress” that first hooked me on the band, and I love “Diamonds” so much that, honestly, it literally brings me to tears sometimes. Seriously, I’ll play the song for my son and some combination of the two will get me pretty choked up.

There’s nothing particularly hip about this album or Big Wreck; they make a kind of music that I love — songcraft-y guitar rock that is neither metal nor prog — but that, IMO, is largely a dead genre. And that’s okay; music changes, and we don’t always change with it. As a 45-year-old male, popular music isn’t targeted at my demographic anyway. I’m happy to ignore it, especially if I can stumble upon artists like this every once in a while.

What I find really strange is that it took me thins long to find out about this band. Frontman Ian Thornley is possibly one of the best guitarists currently alive and recording. Earlier in 2015 I was doing a lot of Googling for “best guitarists of the 21st century”, trying to find some new artists that I might like. And not to sound grumpy, but for my tastes the current landscape is pretty barren. How I missed Thornley, I have no idea.

So, if you’re interested in old dude guitar rock and want to have people laugh at you when you drop this band’s name, get no reaction, and then say, “Well, they’re really big in Canada”, then take a listen.

8 thoughts on “My album of the year is Big Wreck’s Ghosts

  1. It is a pretty awesome album and I’ve been lucky enough to see them live several times now and they always put on a great show. 

    You should check out Ian Fletcher Thornley’s new solo album ‘Secrets’  it’s amazing.

  2. The guy is amazing on guitar and his voice is, well there’s just something about the tone of his voice that gives me chills.  Watching them live is an experience.  They are one of those bands that really look like they enjoy what they are doing.  I’ve seen them a couple times on the same tour and they change up the arrangements, they never just play their songs album clean.

    Most recently we saw Thornley for his Secrets tour at a very small venue (500 people).  He commands the stage and makes his guitar sing.  My only regret about the Secrets album is that for the live show they did a phenomenal cover for Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole and that song isn’t on the album. 

    Their very first single Blown Wide Open is still my favorite song of theirs and they’ve played it at every show I’ve been to regardless if it was for Big Wreck or Thronley.  We even saw him at a singer song writer show where it was just him and an acoustic and he played it again there.  He is amazing.   The fact that they are a Canadian band keeps them low on the music radar which is truly a shame.

    Another Canadian performer that you should check out is Matt Anderson.  Looking at the size of his fingers you’d think there is no way he can play the way he does and his voice – well he was at the same singer song writer show and he brought pretty much the whole audience to tears – including the other performers.

    I’d suggest looking at his live stuff on Youtube more then his recorded stuff though.His solo live stuff is so much better then his recorded albums where they add in backing instruments and make it more generic radio sounding, it’s still good but lacks the power when it’s just him and his guitar.