Montreal (Canada) based artist, Horse Doctor, has just released their latest single, Simulated Life, and we’ve been taking a few listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Simulated Life deals with the confusion of vividly experiencing people we’ve lost while in semi- or unconscious states.
Simulated Life starts gently with some gorgeous clean electric picked guitar with a lovely tone. Some gentle male vocal joins the track and sit clear and present in the mix.
This is a song that makes superb use of rise and fall, and takes you on a real journey. Just as you think you’ve got the hang of the track, a bass is added – working extremely well together with the picked guitar. Once the drums and incidental guitar comes in, the track is simply beautiful. You can feel the urgency and the dynamic landscape of the track ebbing and flowing perfectly, maintaining the listener’s interest.
Lead vocalist, Jake, has quite the toolbox of tricks up his sleeve and is very clearly an accomplished singer. With gentle and breathy, emotional and almost fragile vocals to start the song, the vocals become more powerful later in the song with some well executed belt notes; showing a real quality and versatility. We even noticed a rather superb falsetto moment later in the song.
The rise and fall of this track is expertly implemented. We particularly loved the moment after the big guitar solo (ending around 3m) where the song drops back to almost nothing with some choir type synthy sounding vocals. For a five minute track (a little longer than most commercially aired tracks), this song easily maintained our interest for several listens.
From a production perspective, a hi-pass filter at 35-40Hz would eliminate some low rumbling frequencies not necessary for the song. To our ears the track could use a little balancing between the mids and highs. A cut around 800Hz would reduce some honky tones and a wide boost centred around 8kHz for some more brightness overall. We loved how the track built slowly over the first two minutes or so before the driven guitar exploded in to the mix. We feel that the driven guitar needs a boost in the low mids around 250Hz and a fairly large cut in the high mids around 2.5kHz as the tone is quite harsh in this area, to our ears.
Horse Doctor was a new name to us today, but based on what we’ve heard here, we’re very much looking forward to hearing more from this extremely tight Canadian band.