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Tomorrow's Harvest

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iTunes Review

Boards of Canada return to album-making with a meticulously realized creation that both fascinates and disturbs—often simultaneously. Tomorrow’s Harvest marks how far the Scotland-bred duo has come since starting on the fringes of ‘90s electronica. Dark shadings and ominous textures have largely replaced the more pastoral atmospherics of earlier releases like 2002’s Geogaddi; the tone of these tracks suggests sinister forces hovering behind the facades of a futuristic cityscape. “Gemini,” “Collapse,” “Nothing Is Real,” and similar cuts unfold with a sense of mounting tension conveyed by jittery keyboard figures and furtive pulsations. At times—especially in “Palace Posy”—the duo achieves a Teutonic pop grandeur. There are lighter moments too, such as “Jacquard Causeway” (built around a woozy loping beat) and “New Seeds” (almost cheerful with its funk-tinged groove). More typical, though, are moody, insinuating pieces like “Telepath” and “Uritual,” which suggest soundtrack excerpts from long-lost sci-fi films. Boards of Canada render these aural visions with cool intelligence and hints of deadpan humor.

Customer Reviews

A proper successor to Music Has the Right to Children

Here Boards of Canada have crafted a soundtrack to an imaginary Cold War-era Italian exploitation horror film about the end of the world. The narrative is loosely implied.

Like the typical movie soundtrack, there are literal musical themes, and reprises of those themes. The album itself appears to have a subtext referring to palindromes and separation (Gemini, Split Your Infinites), and is structured with musical bookends.

The music itself is the most immediately satisfying material they've released since Music Has the Right to Children. I've effortlessly listened to this one 30+ times at this point; I was not this enthusiastic about Geogaddi and Campfire Headphase, even though I treasure both of those albums.

The cinematic element is what seems to set this one so far ahead of previous BoC releases; this thing exists as more than just a collection of pretty songs. The narrative is comically mundane, but absolutely precious, a hallmark of BoC's since their "nature-film-reel music" nostalgia era. The epilogue "Semena Mertyvkh" implies a post-credits scene of sorts -- a slow-reveal of empty canisters with "Seeds of the Dead" written on them in Russian; evidence of the zombie-raising doomsday weapon that had wreaked the destruction implied throughout the rest of the album, evidence that the seemingly defeated horror has not ended, and will never end.



Essential Listen...

You are not living. A soul is constructed by unknown life. You enter this world of desolation. You are on a world that no longer lives. Sounds of past lives,
machines, and knowledge of a civilized world echo into your mind. Who are you? Why are you here? The land is barren and dying. As you walk on this earth you discover your power. Life is given to the earth with each step you make. There are dark voices that distort your mind. A figure approches you but you must run for it is trying to destroy you. You run through thick forests but approach a fall. Below you is water. You hear voices coming from the sea so you jump. Creatures take you by the hand and lead you further and further down into the abyss. The creatures tell you about the past. They speak of mathematics and life and a great bomb. But then the creatures scatter and the dark figure comes again so you swim to the surface and swim to the nearest shore. There is a dark cave. You wait in the dark till sunrise. The figure comes again. You struggle to fight him. You tell him to leave this world. It fears your power and will of resistance. The power within you begins to become greater and you destroy the dark presence. The dark clouds disappear as you pull them apart with your mind and the sun lifts into the sky giving life to all. You become the dust, the earth, the sky, the trees, the air, the water. You are finally one. Earth is replenished and life begins again. However with life comes those who want to destroy it. The new life that inhabits this world determines the outcome of their future.

This album moved me in ways I never thought were possible. One of the most relevant albums of our time. I was taken to another world. It was unreal. It was Boards of Canada.


Formed: 1996 in Scotland

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Boards of Canada are the duo of Michael Sandison (born June 1, 1970) and Marcus Eoin (born July 21, 1971). Based on the northern coast of Scotland, the group got its start on acclaimed experimental electronica label Skam in 1996 after recording an obscene number of tracks and pressing the best of them up as a miniscule-run 12", Twoism, an eight-track promo EP the group sent to labels in lieu of a demonstration tape. The pair's first official release appeared on Skam toward the middle of 1996, and...
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