Burs – ‘Holding Patterns’

Photo Credit: Paige Paton

Holding Patterns is the consuming debut full-length from Burs, a Toronto-born band that excels at both lush rock soundscapes and soaring pop charm. The band has been at work on the release since their formation in 2019, resulting in a release full of heart and melodic captivation.

The release plays with a relatable, emotive engrossment throughout, with its namesake referencing as such. “The term ‘Holding Patterns’ is used to point to the ways in which we unconsciously hold our bodies and manifest past traumas as physical symptoms of stress,” the band says. “As relationships unravel throughout the record, so become clear the emotional holding patterns that have exhibited themselves in story/song.”

A gorgeous track whose serene rock sound reminds fondly of Big Thief, “Try” entrances with its dual-vocal approach, mellow keys, and twangy guitars. Lyrical sentiments reflect on ditching that dead-end job and spreading your wings out more. The “try to keep,” vocal outpouring plays with a warm, comforting satiation that drives to the lovely electric guitar addition in the closing moments. Early on in the album, “Try” places a firm confidence in the act’s songwriting.

In the peppier rock spectrum, “Lily” rouses into a riveting vocal performance and vibrant guitar accompaniment by the first minute. A lusher vocal segment separates, structurally, and ascends into a hooky guitar-fronted sequence with shades of Japanese Breakfast. Further on the album, the ethereal folk gem “Nearly” and thunderous rock of “Hard Love” expand the band’s sound further. Holding Patterns is an album full of stellar songwriting and dynamic production.

Stream the album:

“Lily” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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