We Were Found In The Fog, the full-length debut from Winnipeg indie rock outfit Federal Lights, is both immediate and affecting, the kind of record that burns with a quiet intensity and an unflinching focus. The kind of record that comes from a band born out of necessity.
Federal Lights began in earnest in 2010 as the solo basement recording project of Winnipeg singer/songwriter Jean-Guy Roy. It was an experiment and a chance to explore new sounds — but, more importantly for Roy, it was a vital bridge back into making music. Those stolen sessions in the cold storage room eventually yielded anthemic indie rock anthems, made even stronger by the contributions of bassist Rob Mitchell (The Attics), drummer David Pankratz (Quinzy) and Roy’s wife, keyboardist/vocalist Jodi Roy. It wasn’t long before Federal Lights was officially a band.
In fall of 2011, Roy and co. recorded some songs with noted engineer Cam Loeppky (Weakerthans, Greg MacPherson, Cannon Bros.). The result was Carbon, a six-song EP that captured both the fists-in-the-air energy of Federal Lights` live show and the raw grit of Roy`s early basement recordings — and put the band on the radar of music fans and critics alike.
We Were Found In The Fog makes good on the promise of that first recording. Engineered by Loeppky and produced by Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities), the album sees the band at its sharpest. The hooks are more refined, the lyrics more precise and Roy’s timeless, resonant voice is as clear as a bright blue Prairie sky.
From the propulsive, handclap pop of “I See Love” to the rolling, Wilco-approved Americana of “Skyline,” We Were Found In The Fog has a comforting warmth about it. It’s fireflies on a sticky August night. It’s a well-worn, paint-peeling porch swing. It’s stolen kisses under an endless starry skies. It’s streaked with campfire soot and soaked in beer.
Best of all, it’s from the heart.
Federal Lights’ debut album We Were Found In The Fog is out August 27th via Aporia Records.