The thought beneath so slight a film
Is more distinctly seen,—
As laces just reveal the surge,
Or mists the Apennine.
Unseen meanings. That’s what’s at the heart of Hamilton, Ontario’s Thought Beneath Film. On the surface, they’re a good time writ large. Dripping with sweat and bursting with energy, their pop-rock earworms charm their way into your consciousness and get your neck moving. They sound like youth, like summer, like bursting water balloons and big, toothy grins. There’s a good-naturedness to these jams that’s unmistakable, unpretentious and unyielding, and they drive themselves into you like a million high fives.
Beneath, however, there’s something else. “Our songs may appear to be straight-up pop-rock tunes,” says vocalist Brent Wirth, “but for those that want to dig deeper, there is substance, sophistication and intention within the lyrics and arrangements.” The Emily Dickinson poem the band’s name is derived from speaks to this dichotomy, and this dichotomy lies at the heart of Thought Beneath Film’s aims, goals, and deepest desires.
Yes, they play with youthful abandon; yes, they deal in monstrous hooks; and yes punctuate their anthems with the Oohs and Woos and gang vocals that make pop music pop. But their desires are larger — they’re not content with being cool because they want to be good. “We want to be the biggest band in the world,” says Wirth, without a trace of irony or careerism. He knows there’s a stigma to admitting this, but he doesn’t care, because the laces that contain the band’s songs do so barely, and the points at which the songs rise up against those laces reveal a space for everyone to find a home. Standing in fierce opposition to exclusivity and exclusionism within and without the Canadian music scene, Thought Beneath Film’s music is for you, for them, for everyone who wants to comes to the show — because life’s too short to not have your heart set to overdrive.
Thought Beneath Film’s full-length debut Cartographers comes out in early 2014. Mixed and mastered by Grammy winners Tom Lord-Alge and Bob Ludwig, respectively, its eleven songs promise to be the soundtrack to your wild, restless nights and your woozy, dreamy mornings after.