Basement Revolver Melds Folk, Hardcore & Shoegaze Influences on 'Heavy Eyes': Premiere

Ro Agalawatte
Basement Revolver

Canada's Basement Revolver has gotten a bit heavier, both sonically and topically, since the release of its first two EPs. And that's evident on the trio's first album, Heavy Eyes, which comes out Aug. 24 and premieres exclusively below.

"I grew up listening to a lot of hardcore music," singer-guitarist Chrisy Hurn tells Billboard. "That was the scene I was into in high school, so that heavier side of things is very comfortable to me. But I never thought I would be writing music in that style, I always thought I only knew how to write folk songs. I still think our songs are still that at their core, but I think adding different elements and effects and stuff really changed everything. I think it's a good representation of what we're into and where we are as a band right now."

No one will mistake Heavy Eyes for an all-out hardcore album, of course, but Hurn and her Hamilton. Ont., bandmates -- bassist/synth player Nimal Agalawatte, who Hurn's known since childhood, and drummer Brandon Munro -- weave some of that flavor into the album along with more recent dream-pop and shoegaze influences that began to cross Hurn's radar. "We're pretty eclectic in the music we like, so I think (the album) probably comes from some sort of osmosis," she explains. "As we got more comfortable with each other I think we were more comfortable being louder, and I felt like I knew what I was doing with the heavier songs more. It's way more fun, and a lot more comfortable for me. "

That weight is also reflected in Hurn's lyrics, which she calls "a bit of a deep dive into myself" on some emotional subject matter. "That's just the only way I know how to write a song, to be honest, working through some emotions and my thoughts and stuff -- so it can be pretty heavy in that way, too," Hurn says. "There's a lot of broken hearts or unrequited love on there. I don't think it's so special, but I think it's something everyone can relate to."

Tour plans for Basement Revolver are "up in the air" at the moment, while the group members pursue other endeavors -- Agalawatte as a sound tech, Munro as a drum teacher, Hurn as a barista who's also plotting a "folkyish" solo album. Hurn is confident the group will wind up playing live at some point, but won't be idle until then. "We're going to keep writing and keep putting it out there," she says. "Playing live is what I love doing most, but we feel lucky and special to be able to do music, period, 'cause we love it so much."