There’s so much terrific music being produced these days by scores of independent and unsigned artists and bands, and it’s a real challenge for them to break through the sheer volume of it all to get their music heard. With that in mind, it gives me pleasure to feature some of the talented ones on this blog in the hopes of giving them a bit of press, and one that I must share with my readers today is Canadian rock band Iduna. They recently released a brilliant double single “Here We Are Alone”/”But We’re Not Alone“, which blew me away the moment I heard them.
Based in Toronto, Iduna consists of Jason Craig (Guitar and Vocals), Trison Boyes (Guitar and Vocals), Tim Saulnier (Bass) and Gabriel Lavoie (Drums). Drawing influence from some of their favorite bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Matthew Good Band, Biffy Clyro and Kings of Leon, they make exceptional alternative rock that’s exciting, hard-hitting and melodic, with thought-provoking lyrics touching on relevant issues such as morality and social justice. Having two guitarists who also share singing duties gives their sound a fuller, more varied dynamic not found with many bands.
In 2017, they released their outstanding debut EP Counterpart, then followed a year later with “Nosedive”, a scathing song of protest against the fear-mongering politicians and news media who spew their bile to keep the public divided and angry. Since then, they’ve released several more great singles, the latest of which is “Here We Are Alone”/”But We’re Not Alone”, which dropped on July 31st. The songs are especially relevant given recent events, particularly the COVID-10 pandemic and accompanying health, economic and political fallout. With the songs, Iduna in their own words seeks to offer “a thread of optimism for those feeling isolated and alone. A rallying cry reminding everyone that we’re all in this together, and a plea for a more inclusive future. Even in moments of isolation or despondency, remember that the world is full of kindhearted souls eager to connect and overcome. Together we are stronger.”
“Here We Are Alone” opens with a nimble bassline solo by Saulnier, then ten seconds in the song blasts through the speakers with a fusillade of raging guitars and explosive percussion. My god, Craig and Boyes nearly shred their guitars to the breaking point, delivering wave upon wave of intricate, eardrum-shattering riffs. Saulnier and Lavoie drive the massive rhythm forward on its path of sonic destruction with their throbbing bass and smashing drumbeats. To fully appreciate this song, turn the volume all way up!
Craig sings lead vocals here, with Boyes providing strong support with his plaintive backing wails. Together, their raw, impassioned harmonies bring chills as they plead for people to try and come together with more empathy and understanding:
Here we are alone
But we’re not alone
Our link, the bond
Awake in your arms, hollowed
This I beg of you
Please, I beg you to
Give up the ways
That push away and keep us down
Here we are, here we are alone
See the ape has gone and dug a hole
This is not the world
We grew up in
They’re cutting out the youth
This I beg of you
Please, I beg you to
Ease the days, lay seeds of change
And lift us all, to lift us all!
The second track “But We’re Not Alone” is a somber, yet hopeful response to “Here We Are Alone”, an assurance that we’re in this together and, if we help one another, we will be OK. The song has a mysterious, almost ghostly vibe with instrumentals consisting of hauntingly beautiful piano keys and orchestral string synths. Craig and Boyes’ vocal harmonies are quite captivating as they intone as if singing a hymn:
Here we are
You’re not alone
I’m reaching out to you
Sorrow feeds that show
Here’s an entertaining behind the scenes video showing the band creating and building the set for their music video.