30 days of music, but—if you can believe it—only Boards of Canada songs. Day 25. Home stretch, now: Aquarius.

This one's overdue. Aquarius was a staple of early release-era BoC, and it's a perfectly respectable and representative slice of their MHTRTC-era material.

Why does it make me laugh, then? Because: oooooorange. The shibboleth of BoC fans everywhere. Lovely and weird; weird and lovely. Sampled from Sesame Street, of course.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music except it's just Boards of Canada songs. Day 23! A song I want played at my wedding.

I'm not planning on having any more weddings. And I wouldn't impose my BoC fandom on such an event. I'll try not to cop out and make this a free hit, but instead let's go with something a bit reverential. And certainly not bleak. Let's say: Open The Light.

If you tilt your head it could be a slow march. It has a bit of pomp about it. The long synth chords sound almost like heraldic trumpets. Yes, this will do nicely.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, except only Boards of Canada: day 22.

Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase (vinyl reverse)

Again, I don't tend to turn to music as either a salve or a force-multiplier for negative feelings. But let's roll with it and choose something sad-sounding, and yet excellent and perhaps even a touch optimistic. Hmmm. Let's go with Farewell Fire, the closing track of The Campfire Headphase.

Of this track, BoC's Mike Sandison once spake:

On Farewell Fire Marcus is on keyboards, nothing more. He did it in a night session. There are moments where it stutters and it really feels like someone no longer able to play well out of sadness. That is why you should never program music. Even if it is an electronic piece, it sounds very human, heartbreaking.

Haunting. Lingering. Fading. A touch sad, perhaps. But not entirely. Beautiful. Thank you, this Reddit thread, for the the inspo, and BoC Pages for the fact fodder.

Incidental question: is the abbreviation pronounced bee-oh-see or bock? Your American YouTubers tend to say bee-oh-see, but they're the same people that describe the BoC aesthetic so reductively (albeit enthusiastically) that they make it sound like the aural equivalent of an Instagram filter—and not even a good one. So yeah: it's bock.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, but it's only Boards of Canada songs. A song I listen to when I'm happy: Skyliner.

Boards of Canada – Trans Canada Highway

Here's a peppy ditty and no mistake, and a reason to post something from the so-far overlooked 2006 EP Trans Canada Highway.

This is squarely in my BoC happy-place. Long enough to zone in (or out) to, hip hop-adjacent drums, shining BoCish melodies and flourishes. It's missing the distorted vocal samples you often find on such tracks, but is none the worse for that. Splendid.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, except only Boards of Canada: day 20.

Boards of Canada Live at The Incredible Warp Lighthouse Party, 14 October 2000

I don't really associate anger and music, but I get the idea: this is supposed to be either something calming or angry-sounding. Let's go with calming.

So far, I've overlooked BoC's really short songs. That's a mistake, because there are so many good ones. When I talk about BoC melodies sounding archetypal, I'm talking about melodies like Olson. This is early BoC at their most straightforwardly BoC-ish, and it's absolutely beautiful. Another one for my funeral, if you please.

Picture is semi-related: Boc playing at The Incredible Warp Lighthouse Party, 14 October 2000, between the releases of Music Has The Right to Children (on which Olson appears) and Geogaddi.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, but only Boards of Canada songs—day 19!

Busy weekend, so three (three!) today. My favourite album? Tough one, but Geogaddi. It's not one I turn to for easy listening, but it's my go-to for active listening and the one I admire the most.

So it's a good time for Sunshine Recorder, one of my favourite bits of BoC. This took a few years to grow on me, as my early preference for radiant BoC made way for bleaker BoC. It's a glimpse of what was to come two albums later on Tomorrow's Harvest. Sublime.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, except only Boards of Canada, day 18. I think this means a song that doesn't get played on the radio, but should. But I choose to interpret this to mean a rare song once heard on the radio, but which I missed.

Boards of Canada – Peel Session

It's no longer rare, thanks to its addition to a re-release many years later, but: XYZ.

Boards of Canada played out with this on their John Peel session in 1998, but it was excluded from the subsequent Peel Session release, perhaps because its sampling of It Would Be Like Samoa by Edgar Froese wasn't cleared.

I wish I'd heard the Peel Session at the time. It's a brilliant track, but it also has what I think is uniquely-rare audio of a Boards of Canada interview, which can be heard via that link thanks to, once again, Boc Pages. (Scroll down to the interview section.)

It was included on the 2019 reissue, though, so you can hear it in its unusually-fast and yet psychedelic glory.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music but only Boards of Canada, day 17.

A frame from the official video of Reach For The Dead by Boards of Canada

Strange to think that it's now more than 10 years since the release of BoC's most recent LP, Tomorrow's Harvest. (Though with tweaks to their social media bios at the moment, fans are hopeful.)

I recall at the time hearing Reach For The Dead a fair bit on BBC radio, though to this day I didn't realise it had an official video. This exercise has been worth it for that discovery alone.

Brilliantly bleak and atmospheric. An excellent song from an excellent album.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, but only boards of Canada. Day 16: over half way.

Boards of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children

Again, I don't hate any BoC music in the way I hate music by, say, Lighthouse Family. But there are some songs I listen to less than I did.

That's true of everything on their first album proper, Music Has The Right To Children. For many, it's still their best album, and though I might argue, I wouldn't die on that hill.

Even when I did listen, Pete Standing Alone passed me by more than it should. Excellent vintage BoC. Synths like a mountain spring. Drums crunchier than a corporate game studio. Archetypal BoC melodies. And yet another great track name. Pete Standing was a real person.

#music #30daysofboc

30 days of music, except Boards of Canada, day 15.

The sleeve art of Boards of Canada – Twoism depicts two futuristic motor racers in an embrace

Sir Prancelot Brainfire stands out, but since I've done that already, let's go with: Twoism.

From their 1995 EP of the same name, initially self-released in a limited edition run.

Bridging the gap between their unreleased early stuff and Music Has The Right to Children, Twoism is one of my favourite BoC records; as is Hi Scores from the same period. (The two merge into one in my memory.)

#music #30daysofboc