Written by Tabassum Siddiqui

Do you feel like a relic in a new age? Caught between an appreciation for the innovation of the digital era and a nostalgia for the tangible nature of something maybe a little more analogue?

For me, Whitehorse has always nailed that feeling with their music, which nods to the past while still feeling fully in the present. Not an easy balance to pull off, mind you. But balance is key to what they do – two halves coming together as one, the tough and the tender, the quiet and the loud.

So perhaps it’s apt that Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland are bringing us their new album during a strange new age that’s knocked us all a bit off balance – not to mention one that’s dragged us firmly into living our lives online… whether we like it or not.

“But somehow I prevailed/It’s evolutionary,” Melissa sings on “Relic in the New Age,” which tempers its cynicism with a glimmer of hope – and Whitehorse’s signature silken him/her harmonies.

While other couples might be getting sick of each other while stuck at home, and many of us have felt anything but creative when facing yet another Zoom call, Doucet and McClelland used this time to evolve their sound – and their musical partnership – yet again, maintaining their Western noir vibe while updating it with razor-sharp production and sweeping strings (fans who were blown away at their 2019 concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the Beforetimes will find plenty to appreciate here).

We turned to music for solace long before lockdowns and personal connections gone virtual, but hearing a song like “Radio Silence” resonates with our current state of longing in a way that at once aches yet reassures:

So who do I turn to
Where do I go
When I need some contact
Someone to hold

If there’s anything living through this time has taught us, it’s that what matters most is those we love – in whatever form that lives in your heart – whether that’s your partner, your family, your community or beyond.

The cover of Modern Love features Whitehorse hidden behind a bullseye – in offering up their musical tales of all-too-human encounters amidst an algorithmic age at a time when we really need them, they’ve more than hit the mark.