Big | Brave - Ardor album review

Sparse yet emotionally charged atmospherics from Montreal

Cover art for Big | Brave - Ardor album

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Minimalism isn’t a term often attributed to bands gracing these pages, yet it’s the most fitting concept with which to approach the disarming repose of Montreal trio Big | Brave’s third album. A line-up consisting of two guitarists and a drummer lends a simple urgency to their muted melancholy, vocalist Robin Wattie’s plaintive emoting akin to the otherness of Björk, channelling power from beguiling vulnerability. Considerably more downbeat than 2015’s Au De La, Ardor’s 30-minute runtime is divided across only two tracks, the weak heartbeat of Lull barely sustained by blunted guitars and minimal percussion, only to deliver the full impact of its constantly teased weight in its closing minutes. Borer is more abrasive, providing constant variations upon an abruptly simplistic theme, keeping it simple a ploy that fully focuses their fraught emotion and demands your empathy.