Inlet Sound is the musical convergence of passionate folk-rock spirit and atmospheric pop form. The band has spent the greater part of 2012 tirelessly crafting The Romantics, their first full-length record, in lofty cabins and expansive churches with the help of acclaimed Canadian producer Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep, Holy Fuck, Hey Rosetta!). Having released the album on October 16, 2012, Inlet Sound’s Michael Wexler (vocals/guitar), Sean Hardy (keys), Steven Gore (mandolin/violin), Curtis Murphy (bass) and Kate MacLean (drums) are riding the high from the realization of a dream project that has been in the works for two years.
Since its humble beginnings in 2009 as a two-piece folk-pop collaboration between Wexler and Hardy, Inlet Sound has gone through both physical and sonic transformations: a coming-of-age that mirrors what The Romantics has come to represent. Members have come and gone and musical ideas have taken shape around the personal experiences from which the band has grown and matured; the album’s elements have come into being almost organically – a natural extension of the lives of those creating it. Armed with the record’s emotional foundation, a strong lyrical direction and tunes in their heads, the gang began piecing together the puzzle during the summer of 2011 in a sweltering apartment above a Toronto delicatessen. As the songs began to take form, teaming up with Currie as producer sent the project to new heights, further strengthening their creative vision and allowing them to begin recording in the serenity of Northern Ontario and the Canadian Shield.
For the band, the theme of the record was clear from the outset: to translate the tumultuous experiences of youth and maturation into a message to which many could relate, in a medium that is expressive enough to do it justice. Painted with both melancholy and hopefulness, The Romantics is a narrative of sorts; forged from the anxiety of growing old, the album draws on personal reflections and countless formative experiences to create a story both unique and inherently universal. Opening with tracks like the relentlessly optimistic Magnetic North and Romantics I, the record explores and moves through shades of cynicism and self-doubt, only to arrive at tracks like Young Hearts or Mademoiselle and conclude hopeful and refreshed. The album was recorded over a period of three months in the spring of 2012 in various spaces across the province of Ontario, staying true to its vagabond and exploratory thematic roots.
Receiving glowing support from CBC Radio, and having recently shared the stage with the likes of Fred Penner, Jesse Cook, and Gentleman Reg, there will most certainly be adventure on the horizon. Adding the rhythmic foundation of Murphy and MacLean, while continuing to develop markets and play clubs and festivals both East and West of their Southern Ontario home, the band is looking ahead to the new year in anticipation of bringing their powerful and infectiously catchy live show to as many new fans as possible. Exactly what awaits them in the long term remains to be seen, but whatever the future may hold, one thing is clear – they are just getting started.
“From the moment the first note sounds on the first track from the debut album of Ontario’s Inlet Sound, it’s clear that the two years spent working on The Romantics with producer Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Hey Rosetta!) has allowed the band time to get it right. Lush arrangements meld banjo twangs, strings and piano harmonies into crests of percussive waves that carry you from the exhilaration of the peppy “Magnetic North” and nostalgic “Young Hearts” to the more contemplative “Canadian National” and hypnotic “Romantics II,” finally depositing you safely on the shores of lyrical heart-wrenchers like “Mail-Order.” Fans of Great Lake Swimmers or Mumford and Sons will likely fall hard for Inlet Sound’s romantic folk-pop melodies. Don’t fight it if it feels right. (It will.)” The Coast
“On their debut album, Toronto-by-way-of-Hamilton folk-rockers Inlet Sound wear their influences on their sleeves – notably the Weakerthans, the Decemberists and Mumford & Sons. Produced by Laurence Currie (who’s worked with Wintersleep and Hey Rosetta!), The Romantics has an impressively lush sound for a debut.” NOW Magazine
“It’s safe to say that Inlet Sound sounds like a Canadian Mumford and Sons, so it’s time to give your Sigh No More album a break…I was so entranced by the album during my walk that I forgot where I was, and was blocks away from where I wanted to be” The Take Media
“The fivesome, hailing from “all over the place” in Canada is a talented bunch. Their show ranged from, as frontman Michael Wexler said from a sweaty stage, “very pleasant” violin and key-filled folk, to east-coast style proper drunk music. They’re a tight group with each member bringing compelling talent. The result is a full and unique sound that translates well to the stage” Off the Map Magazine