“Collectives are seen as an alternative to more ego-driven, combative paradigms of group music-making. Musical collectives allow for flexibility in their rosters. As such, most of the members are free to rotate in and out of the line-up.”
This is not really a new concept as many hippie bands from the 60’s operated under this “system”. One of the most notable musical collectives currently is Broken Social Scene. The Canadian band formed in 2001 around the collaboration between founders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. Soon the group was incorporating the talents of many of their musician friends. Since then, the cast has rotated almost endlessly as members are spun off into successful solo careers. Still, the BSS sound retains a certain quality that makes it recognizable.
Among the members who have gone on to solo fame are:
– Leslie Feist
– Emily Haines
– Amy Milan (Stars)
– Torquil Campbell (Stars)
– Jason Collett
– Kevin Drew
Since 2001, BSS have released three full albums and an album of b-sides. Their big break came with 2002’s You Forgot It In People. In 2005, TFIIP was ranked as the 4th greatest Canadian record of all time behind only Sloan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell! Quite the accomplishment! The album is still talked about as an important touchstone album for the current indie-pop scene.
BSS has not performed together since 2006. Currently, the BSS name has been seen in the series of “Broken Social Scene presents…” albums featuring solo work from the band’s founding members. It is not known if there are plans for more proper releases or shows from the collective.
Here are my favorite two tracks from BSS’s breakthrough album You Forgot It In People.