Feature, News, Reviews

Dusted (Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt) Announces New Album “III” & Shares New Single/ Video “They Don’t Know You”

May 29, 2021
Credit: Anna Edwards Borcherdt




Brian Borcherdt is following up Blackout Summer, his 2018 release under the name Dusted, with III this summer. The new collection of songs from Borchedt builds on his spacious odd-folk songs under the moniker and sees him continue to interpolate electronic drums and synths on top of his ghostly vocals, creating a foggy world that succinctly evokes his return to Canada’s east coast; the birthplace of Borcherdt and his decades-long musical career. The Nova Scotian and Atlantic Canadian music scene has never been precious about doing things the way they’re supposed to be done. From the devastating folk songs of Phil Elverum and Julie Doiron that were born out of those climes, to Nap Eyes’ archetypal Atlantic indie rock, it’s well known in certain circles that the most ambitious outsider art in Canada is created on those damp, perilous shores. It’s fitting, then, that Dusted’s new album, a clear, concise and cohesive effort from the artist, is coming on the heels of his return to Atlantic Canada.

Pre-Order III HERE

Dusted is sharingThey Don’t Know You”, a consummate Dusted song with it’s undulating rhythm section and wurlitzer lines. Borcherdt’s vocals span from a straightforward, melancholic pine, growing into a distorted specter floating over the track.

On the first single Borcherdt sings to nostalgia, fully cognizant that the feeling is inherently littered with sadness and loss. Borcherdt’s lyricism is as poignant as ever on “They Don’t Know You”, showing how adept he is at cornering those feelings that we attempt to lock away. He sees through the veil of nostalgia, evoking the hard times, the ones we live with every day but don’t face. In facing the root of nostalgia we can find peace, but that road is long. “They Don’t Know You” sees Brian Borcherdt on guitar and vocals, his wife Anna Edwards Borcherdt on lead guitar, Robbie Grunwald on wurlitzer and Brett Higgins on upright bass.

Speaking to the song, Borcherdt says:A friend of mine recently commented that with each chorus of They Don’t Know You he heard the meaning subtly change. ‘They don’t know you… they don’t know you like I do’. At once it is tender, empathetic and yet it is also cautionary. To know someone on a deeper level is to know their dark side. This song was written for my hometown of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia at a time when I never thought I’d go back yet also felt its nearly unconscious pull. I’d close my eyes and picture myself being pulled along the twisting roads that led to the cape with it’s lone lighthouse. Passed over by tourism, there were places like this where I could be totally alone (or with my girlfriend or buddies around a campfire).

Through all this nostalgia there is also a permeating fog of sadness. As I pictured my body floating along that road I felt all the darkness right there with me, as if it were the hand pulling me or the ghost following behind. I wrote the second verse for my mother. Her and I pulled off the highway for gas as we were leaving Marion County, Indiana, the hometown that for her carried a similar sadness. We were cleaning out her childhood farmhouse after her mother died. She looked back at the highway from the gas pumps and said, ‘You know, I may never come back’”

This stunning ensemble embraces emotion to direct the flow, the relationship and the connection between artist and audience. A truly tender and raw ensemble, focusing on the intimate lyrics and gentle melodies which consume the audience’s full attention. Enriched with this prominent affectionate pull, the words offer this resonating appeal and the developing vocal harmonies clash against the crucial guitar tone that provides this pensive atmosphere. The words and delicacy of their placement offer this raw fragility which in turn adds this magnetic pull into the sincerity of this ensemble.

Brian Borcherdt AKA Dusted is a musician and producer best known as the founding member of Holy Fuck. After twenty years away (two in the Catskills, the rest in Toronto) Brian is back in rural Nova Scotia. It was here as a teenager, having just joined his older brother’s thrash metal band, that he started the record label Dependent Music. Dependent went on to sign bands like Wintersleep and Land of Talk and became the province’s yearly winner of Best Local Label. By this point Brian had moved to Toronto to work in the editing room, assisting legends Dede Allen and Walter Murch on back-to-back films. This promising career was cut short by the suicide of a childhood friend and Dependent collaborator, a tragedy that led Brian back to the expression that suited him best. The resulting hand-packaged EP was given away for free, landing in many hands including local journalists who, much to Brian’s surprise, praised it in Now Magazine’s Best Toronto Albums of the Year.

Even then his career didn’t take a predictable path. The solo thing was dropped for more celebratory group efforts, like touring with the already established By Divine Right, as the replacement for recently departed Feist, followed by forming Holy Fuck – a project partially inspired by his time in the editing room. Making attention grabbing, noisy, experimental electronic music, the four-piece caught on quickly. Coachella was only their fifth show. XL scooped them up following a ‘top three performance at Glastonbury’ nod from NME. The following years were busy, touring with Wolf Parade, MIA, Hot Chip, Warpaint, Deerhunter, playing festivals like Fuji Rocks, Roskilde, Lollapalooza, and earning praise from Radiohead, Iggy Pop, and the late Lou Reed. As the noise settled for a brief moment, Brian rekindled a new form of his solo act, this time as Dusted. He released the debut Total Dust on Polyvinyl in 2012. Jean Marc Vallee cast Brian in a cameo role for his Dallas Buyers Club follow up, Wild. In 2018, just after releasing the second record, Brian’s daughter was born and a much needed break was taken.

III Tracklisting

1. Not Offering

2. Baseball

3. Cedar Tree

4. They Don’t Know You

5. Little More Time

6. Mountain Top

7. Bide My Time

8. Wash My Hands Away

9. Erik

10. Recovery Cone

11. Clouds

12. Palmer


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