Halifax electronic duo Scientists of Sound return to Metro Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub on Saturday evening with a new EP, Electric Is The Night, in tow. The release is their first offering since 2013’s Electric Scissors and, as member Craig Mercer notes, is intended to help fans reacquaint themselves with the group.
“It has been two years since our last release,” Mercer says. “We have almost 20 songs done for our next record; the songs on Electric Is The Night is a collection of tracks that we felt didn’t necessarily fit in the context of our next record. Both Colin [Crowell] and I feel the songs on the EP tend to show the less serious side of the group. The songs are a little funkier than what people might be accustomed to.”
Mercer is quick to note the group’s decision to move forward with the release of their five-song EP was not intended to signify an advertent acceptance that the album format is dead or no longer in fashion.
“If anything, consumer trends are showing us that, generally speaking, many people don’t necessarily care about buying records. It is a singles-oriented market these days, but the album format is still an important artform, as far as I am concerned. I grew up with albums; all of my favourite bands made albums. I am going to continue making full-length records, even if only for selfish reasons,” he laughs.
Mercer’s affinity for the album format pre-dates Scientists of Sound.
From the approximate turn of the century through 2011, he fronted the acclaimed rock group The Jimmy Swift Band. In the time following that band’s dissolution, Mercer, along with former Jimmy Swift Band member Aaron Collier, began making music under the Scientists of Sound banner.
Mercer and Collier released one effort together, 2011’s Wealth and Hellness, before Collier amicably resigned his position with the group. Crowell – a former member of Halifax band Ruby Jean & The Thoughtful Bees – joined the band just prior to the 2013 release of Electric Scissors, helping Mercer re-shape some of the material before release.
Asked how he feels their sound has evolved from Electric Scissors to the newly released Electric Is The Night, Mercer says the group still finds themselves firmly ensconced in the electronic music scene, albeit with an edgier and heavier sound.
“The basic elements of dance music are still very much there. Thematically though, the next record is shaping up to be a little darker. It is a pretty stark difference as far as I am concerned.”
The music of Scientists of Sound isn’t the only thing undergoing a transformation.
While many electro acts similar to the Halifax duo – Daft Punk, among them – appear on stage, sometimes equipped with only computers from which they derive their live performance, Mercer says he and Crowell will be beefing up their performances with an actual live group. Although the move isn’t necessarily surprising, given their respective backgrounds, boasting a full band is in fact a bit of a rarity in the world of electronic music.
“Having Scientists of Sound grow to become an actual live band is a natural progression, as far as we are concerned,” he says. “It is where we wanted the project to go all along, and now just really felt like the right time to make it happen.
“Electronic music often lacks that human element. Bringing a full band on board is our way of helping remedy that.”
What: Scientists Of Sound
When: Saturday Sept. 26, 10 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St., Moncton