FAKE NUDES: 10 things to listen out for

BNL drop their hotly-anticipated new album Fake Nudes this Friday – but until then, if you’re particularly eager, you can stream it exclusively on Huffington Post!

Having cast a careful ear over the album, Get Barenaked identifies and recommends some fun moments from across the 14 tracks to listen out for…

Album cover hi res

1. How apt that BNL release a song paying homage to their home country in a celebratory year for Canucks everywhere. Canada Dry kicks off Fake Nudes with a multitude of Canadian references, with nods to Joni Mitchell, Gord Downie and Neil Young. The opening track on the new release harks back to early BNL, with a stripped-down approach and soaring harmonies prominent throughout the song. Listen carefully and you’ll hear Alan Doyle and Jim Cuddy contributing backing vocals.

2. Bringing It Home is one of the more immediately catchy BNL tracks on this collection – a brilliant, bright tune from the off. Listen out for a signature Ed Robertson-rapped bridge, giving the song an added feel-good factor. Freaky like I’m Kiki Dee!

3. BNL are getting horny! Bag of Bones – one of the more curious tracks on the album, written from the perspective of a dog – is led by a Pink Panther-esque saxaphone line. Meanwhile, Lookin’ Up contains a face-melting sax solo from Los Lobos’ sax extraordinaire Steve Berlin. 

4. In keeping with instrumental experimentalism, closing number Township of King is sprinkled with a gentle pennywhistle, complementing Hearn’s soft delivery perfectly. 

5. As well as the obvious album title reference, Fake Nudes contains some pretty political undertones. This is perhaps most apparent on Invisible Fence, where Hearn yearns for a more harmonious world: “Some people just want to build more walls / and pretend there’s no hope for peace at all”. File this with “Fun and Games” and “Shopping” as one of the more overtly-political tracks in the band’s catalogue…

6. Flying Dreams opens with a moody, suspensive piece of throat singing courtesy of Polaris Prize-winner Tanya Tagaq. Lending her talents to the recording, the Cambridge Bay-based performer adds an atmospheric, layered introduction to a song that gently flutters into a Simon and Garfunkel-esque number.

7. Sunshine is the “Smile” or “Toe to Toe” of Fake Nudes. This bittersweet ditty catches Ed in fine form, with praise headed up by his fellow bandmates: “Tyler says it’s my best song. I don’t know about all that, but I am very proud of it” he told All Music. “Sunshine is about recognizing that sometimes we just need a change of scenery. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own head, and things make sense to you if you never say them out loud to the people who matter the most”.

8. 20/20 Hindsight and We Took The Night are probably Jim and Kev’s rockiest contributions respectively to the BNL catalogue. “Hindsight” has a classic rock groove whilst Jim’s sole contribution on lead vocals is reminiscent of Maroon‘s hidden track “Inline Bowline”. You’ll notice Kev’s influence is more prominent on Fake Nudes than any release to date; of the 14 tracks, the prolific multi-instrumentalist takes lead vocal duties on six.

9. Any Princess Bride fans out there? Keep a keen ear on You and Me and you’ll hear a Westley and Buttercup reference to make you sit up and pay attention. 

10. Hear anything familiar in Nobody Better? Yep, that pumping electronic backdrop is the same sample used in Grinning Streak‘s “Limits”. This is probably the closest the band have got to R n’ B and drummer Tyler Stewart is particularly proud of the track: “You can’t listen to ‘Nobody Better’ without hearing a definite reggae influence. And, although it was a risk, it’s got a great dance beat when we play it live. And we’re pretty proud of it”, he told the PEI Guardian.

Whilst Fake Nudes is comprised of tracks of diverse styles and textures, there are subtleties scattered throughout the album that only become apparent after a number of listens. From Ed’s faux-record-scratching in Bag of Bones to a crafty call-and-response between Kevin and Jim low in the mix half-way into Dusty Rooms; from Kevin’s layered synth wizardry in Navigate to Gavin Brown’s filtering in You and MeFake Nudes is in many ways a record of exploration for both the band and the listener.


What do YOU think about Fake Nudes? Send in your reviews to – and leave your comments on the Get Barenaked Facebook and Twitter!

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