By Will Yannacoulias
Photos by Contingent Colours Photography
September 24th Saskatoon trio The Garrys unveiled the much anticipated Get Thee To A Nunnery. Three summer singles preceded the release of the album, teasing what would prove to be a brilliant alternative rock record and NSMZ’s easy choice for Best Album of 2021. Erica, Julie and Lenore Maier’s fourth album is experimental yet accessible, dark yet dreamy. Sweet triple harmonies and a springy underwater surf guitar anchor the songs firmly in a familiar 60’s rock foundation, but an ominous, hypnotic vibe adds an edge to the open space of the sparse arrangements. The effect is retro but moody, like Siouxie with a beehive- what the band has termed “Doom-Wop”. The Garrys are equally at home being fun and poppy or dark, swirling and ponderous, and that roller coaster keeps the album fresh and interesting. Lyrically the sisters explore family, the prairies, rural life, faith, and the past, all with a hint of sadness and nostalgia that gives a satisfying emotional depth.
Recorded during the very first days and weeks of 2020’s first lockdown, Get Thee To a Nunnery is an interesting time capsule, a diamond created under uncertain pressure. “We were in the studio when Saskatchewan sent the alert messages to our phones about going into emergency measures” The Garrys told NSMZ. “We were thrust into this little bubble of COVID anxiety, but sheltered in it as well so we could record the album. We worked with Barrett Ross at PR Productions and had Dallas Good (founding member of celebrated Canadian alt-Country group The Sadies) as our producer. We were so fortunate because if it had been scheduled even three or four days later, I’m sure he wouldn’t have gotten on a plane from Toronto to come and work with us. It was really serendipitous that it worked out. The entire project was a very special experience, we were doing all this ultra creative stuff, working on this album that is easily our best work, yet whenever we had a break we were all freaking out. It was really cool to meet Dallas in a situation like that, I feel like we bonded on a really special level that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Get Thee to a Nunnery is available on all streaming services, or physical copies can be ordered from Grey Records. The Garrys will appear alongside The Sadies at Winterruption January 28th in Regina and January 29th in Saskatoon.