The Stanfields have returned with their fifth album, Limboland, and while it might sound like we’ve described a fair number of albums as post-apocalyptic soundtracks this year, Limboland isn’t about to break that trend—it might even do it better. That’s just the world we’re living in now, so let’s all head down to the bomb shelter for a listening party.
Limboland quickly moves from a crooning to a roar with its opening track, “I’m Not Afraid Of The World,“ and rarely relents from then on. It’s as if Bruce Springsteen were born in Nova Scotia, wrote protest songs, and resented being called The Boss. It sets the tone of the album right from the start: cheery anthems from the Thunderdome.
“Desperation” premiered in music-video format earlier this month, giving us a confusingly upbeat track full of drums and frantic energy about the need for… something, and the lengths people will go to take advantage of a situation. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.
“Lantern In The Window” and “Carolina Reaper” both stand out from the album as they dip towards the side of trad-rock. “Carolina Reaper” understandably takes on the distinctive flavour of boot and gives an unnerving senses that line dancing is not out of the question. Also noticeable on these tracks is the strong presence of recently added band member, fiddler Calen Kinney.
“Total Black“ takes a softer turn in a sort of “Lovers In A Dangerous Time“-esque duet—or survivors in a dangerous time, perhaps. In a sort of tender way, the song gives a sense that maybe it’s better not to be alone, but also that if it really comes down to it, it’s not above us to resort to consuming the flesh of a wasteland acquaintance for survival.
There’s a definite uptick at the end up the album as we reach its somewhat optimistic conclusion. “There’s A Light” and “How Long Is The Road” leave us with a bit of singalong barroom rock. As great as it is to leave everyone smiling, we never really bought into Carl’s dream that Negan could be a happy and productive member of the family.
Whatever your preferred flavour of apocalypse, The Stanfields seem to have us covered. Five albums in and still going strong. Just because the world is burning doesn’t mean we can’t dance.
-Alex Cook, theeastmag.com
We finished this record at the north pole.
Calen took lots of pictures. No one licked the wolf.
released March 23, 2018
Jon Landry: vox, guitar, harmonica,
Calen Kinney: violin or fiddle, bouzouki, vox
Jason MacIsaac: guitar, vox
Dillan Tate: bass, vox
Mark Murphy: drums, vox
Produced by Jon Landry
Engineered by Jason Jenkyns
Mixed by Darren Van Niekerk @ Iron Tulip Audio
Additional Engineering by Trevor DeSouza
Mastering by Noah Mintz @ Lacquer Channel
Album Artwork and Layout by KT Lamond
Original Photos by Calen Kinney
Executive Producer - Ian McKinnon, GroundSwell Music
All songs written and performed by The Stanfields
Maggie MacDonald: vocals on "Total Black"
Cassie MacDonald: fiddle on "Total Black"
Andrew MacKelvie: saxophone (tracks 4, 9, and 10)
Andrew Jackson: trombone (tracks 4, 9, and 10)
Paul St-Amand: trumpet (tracks 4, 9, and 10)
Horn Arrangements by Ian Bennett with Calen Kinney
Caroline Murphy, Sarah Atkinson and Jack Murtha skipped work and clapped on Carolina Reaper.
Recorded at Codapop Studios, Halifax NS and CFS Alert, North Pole
Dedicated to Carlton Munroe - brother, fighter and friend.