Basement Revolver and the importance of character narratives

Agatha"Tree Trunks", "Mountains", "Bread and Wine"... With one exception, the titles on the new Agatha EP from Basement Revolver set the perfect scene of autumn drives around the band's native Ontario. The music points in a similar direction, recalling long lost memories of nights past with a maudlin edge. It's not exactly a typical summer release.

Despite first impressions, crispy leaves and all things red and orange are not the topics of focus on the Agatha EP. Basement Revolver reserves their attention for something far more personable, using character-led stories that capture the emotive quality of frontwoman Chrissy Hurn's vocal to heartbreaking effect. The Agatha EP is a subtle example of the importance of creating or representing tangible figures in songwriting, though in this case, the delivery can be frustratingly brief.

Basement Revolver first caught our attention in 2016 with their breakthrough single "Johnny" and consequent coverage on GoldFlakePaint. Epic melodic rock that recounts the breakdown of a relationship, the cinematic song perfectly captures desperation and longing while also empowering the listener to overcome their own romantic strife. It's an equation that seems to have seduced indie rock fans left, right and centre. It's certainly won over us.

The protagonist of the single, Johnny, makes a return for the Agatha EP and again provides the three-piece with a standout track. But it's not the man behind the name that's doing the hard work: it's the character narrative approach the band takes to songwriting.


So far Johnny - whoever he may be - is the main representative of Basement Revolver's name glossary. Whether he'll stand aside for a supporting character, who knows (pt. 3 seems a tad overkill). It's interesting to note that another, silent character is introduced via this EP in the form of Agatha. She's not mentioned anywhere in the lyrical content, and so transforms into a ghostly shadow whose appearance is limited to the front cover of the release. Blink, and you'll miss her. Maybe that's the point; Basement Revolver can come across as insular, allowing the listening glimpses of what's going on inside their mind without ever flinging open the doors.

Perhaps that's because they're still healing themselves. Songwriter Hurn admits to being influenced by her emotions, and there's a hurt in her voice that suggests deep scars attached to people and feelings from her past. Speaking of "Mountains" ahead of the release of the EP, she revealed: "I had a hard time believing that people could have good intentions when it came to relationships and love, but I've since learned that is not true. This song helped me to face parts of my past, and for that I am grateful."

Who is Agatha? Will she make another appearance, and let us know? Maybe she will, maybe she won't. One thing is for sure. Having only formed a short time ago, Basement Revolver is already carving out a reputable and well-deserved career as a band who like to tell stories. And we're totally down with that.

Release: 21st July 2017, Fear of Missing Out

One Response to “Basement Revolver and the importance of character narratives”


    1. Basement Revolver and the importance of character narratives – Live List - 17/07/2017

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