Wolf Parade at Crystal Ballroom on Jan. 27, 2020

After some time off, Wolf Parade are back with their fifth studio album, Thin Mind. Out now on Seattle’s Sub Pop, it seems the band are still not in love with the modern world, kicking off their tour with a show in Portland only a few days after the album’s release. Without their former guitarist Dante DeCaro, the power trio have revamped their poetic dismay for the world we live in, offering up renewed advice on how to be better in our tech-laden society.

On stage backed by a technicolor, eight-bit video game-esque start screen, the band emerged with a promise to the audience that they’d be hearing the new tunes that were just released a few days before. Their set list of selected tracks from Thin Mind was peppered with recognizable crowd-pleasers that offered the Monday night crowd a nostalgic warmth of familiarity. With this fresh release, Wolf Parade continue to remind us that they are still the creative indie rock powerhouse we know and love in 2020.

Thin Mind has a recurring theme that pushes the idea of breaking out of the norm: Put down your smartphone, go outside and pause for a moment of self-reflection. The record’s first song, “Under Glass,” breaks out as a motivational power ballad with playful guitar riffs and poppy synth melodies that electrify. The tone subtly transitions on the next track with “Julia Take Your Man Home,” which is perhaps a (get your shit together) commentary on relationships and personal growth. The dynamic vocals from the two frontmen Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug are perfectly paired with the clean percussional prowess we’d expect from drummer Arlen Thompson. Wrapping up with the catchy synth-flute tune “Against The Day,” Thin Mind further reinforces the fact that Wolf Parade remain constant and inventive in their sound, and the emotion in their music keeps up with the times.

Catch Wolf Parade on tour now! Jaime Kenward

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