Rolling into Toronto just a day after divulging in an interview that his former band The Unicorns were working towards a reunion of sorts—news that unsurprisingly piqued the interests of international music publications, but has already been somewhat deflated—you could cut the tension in the front row of Alden Penner’s solo set at WL14 with a knife. Although he did use set time to make somewhat awkward banter about eating lamb kebabs during his last visit to Toronto (as means of a segue into “Beauty of the Lamb”), Penner kept decidedly mum on the subject of breathing new life into The Unicorns at The Silver Dollar.
Observably more concerned with shedding proper light on new solo effort Exegesis (on a personal level for Penner, it is a compilation of material he’s been incubating since he attended high school, after all), the set was made up almost entirely of cuts from Exegesis – “Precession,” and the darker “We Seek” among them – fans of Penner’s other projects weren’t left entirely underappreciated: Penner (joined by partner and Exegesis co-producer Laura Crapo on drums and Sebastian Chow of Islands on violin) did offer a reworking of “Elope” by his former band, Clues. Since we’re on the topic of reunions, take from that what you will.
Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.