Canadian band Gunner & Smith first hit the Americana scene with their 2014 debut, He Once Was a Good Man. Acclaimed for their deftly melding influences as near as folk and as far as psychedelic and gothic rock, the band had a successful tour throughout North America before returning to Saskatchewan to record their next LP.
That LP is Byzantium, an independent release produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes). It’s a collection of ten songs that expand upon the sound Gunner & Smith first established in He Once Was a Good Man by the introduction of darker layers to proceedings.
Byzantium opens with a snarl on “Wicked Smile”, a brooding blues rocker that sets the tune for the grimly ebb and flow of the remaining nine tracks. With an album’s title taken after the besieged ancient empire of the same name, band leader Geoff Smith creates a haunting world that reflects on the more sullen sides of humanity.
If you like what you hear, Byzantium will be released on 22 September. A Canadian tour will follow.