Why Weaves Matters

Why Weaves Matters

Toronto band creates chaos and bends genres 

Three years ago, Toronto band Weaves burst onto the scene with their self-titled EP. Since then, they’ve gained massive recognition in Canada and abroad.

In an era where new music is so easy to discover, it’s hard to distinguish yourself. Weaves does just that, by creating atypical music for atypical fans.   

Just over a year ago, the band followed up their EP with a self-titled debut album, which was well-received on multiple platforms. Released on Toronto label Buzz Records, Weaves couldn’t be classified. Jasmyn Burke’s unmistakable, erratic vocals over warped and wonky guitar rhythms made for a memorable twist on rock tropes.

Claudia Idzik

“I don’t think our band is a specific sound. Stylistically, we don’t have a set type of song we want to make. I think that’s more exciting,” says Burke. 

The band was short-listed for the Polaris Prize this summer, joining the likes of Gord Downie and Tanya Tagaq. When asked about being shortlisted, Burke says the prize “gives you a bit more of a platform, especially in Canada.”

Now the band is set to release their sophomore album, Wide Open, on Oct. 6. They started writing as soon as they finished touring in late 2016, and it’s clear they’ve grown even in this short period of time.

“It felt like we wanted to put out something new quick and just have new material and go out and tour again and see what happened,” Burke says.

“It’s kind of exciting to write music in that little tender moment of being a bit psychotic.”

There’s a clear, distinguished sound on Wide Open — the band took on the responsibility of mixing the album on their own.

Describing the album, drummer Spencer Cole says, “The insanity of the debut album kind of pokes its head through little areas of Wide Open. [But] for the most part it’s much more to the point.”

Songs like “Walkaway” and “Wide Open” depict just that.

The album features a collaboration with Tagaq, who shared a spot on the Polaris Prize short list this year. The song, called “Scream,” features Tagaq’s unmistakable throat singing below Burke’s energetic vocals. Since they met, the two have discussed collaborating, and “Scream” was a perfect fit for Tagaq’s appearance.

“It was a song that would be elevated by what she does,” says Burke.

The band’s live shows capture the grandeur and erratic personalities that recordings can’t.

Weaves has no comfort zone when it comes to their live performances. 

“There’s just many different personalities in this band,” says Burke. “By way of performing we’re making a statement.” Bassist Zach Bines chimes in: “We clash in life. We clash on stage.” It’s a good clash — and you can feel it when they perform.

Weaves plays the Ebar with Bonnie Trash this Friday, Oct. 6. Their new record drops the same day via Buzz Records.

Photo by Barbara Salsberg Mathews.