Bob Moses have hit the world hard. After an almost two-year long world tour, the boys from Vancouver have announced that they’ll be back for another, this time with a repackaged album. Including the likes of Tale of Us, Joris Voorn and A-Trak, the duo have enlisted a variety of electronic music’s taste makers to take their records for a spin, on the Never Enough edition.
Amongst all the touring, Tom Howie and Jimmy Valance say the duo haven’t as much time as they would have liked in the studio. “We don’t even have time to shower—let alone make records,” says Vallance. “But, I would rather be dirty and have sick beats!” While keeping fresh might be a challenge for the duo, staying creative isn’t.
Their debut album, Days Gone By, is signalling a change in popular music. Caught somewhere between the indie scene, its share of emotive, slow-rolling rock and the patient, ambient kick drum of an old Nina Kraviz album, Bob Moses have cemented their relevance to contemporary music.
“We felt like what we did on our album was a change from what we were doing before,” says Vallance. “But, I think we have cool, accepting fans that want to grow with us.” Part of the charm behind the two boys from Canada’s West Coast lies in their relaxed sense of authenticity.
It’s not until lined up against acts at Coachella or Lollapalooza that the difference between Bob Moses and their contemporaries becomes plainly apparent—and not only in the sound check. “We’re pretty lucky that from the beginning it’s always been about music and it’s been about connecting with people,” says Howie. As the man behind the sultry vocals and stand-out strings of Bob Moses, he says the duo are keen to keep their circles tight. “We still hang out with the same people that we’ve known from when we were this little electronic duo coming to play a club and getting paid nothing.”
Whether it’s headlining festivals in Toronto, or playing gigs in Ibiza with Tale of Us, the days of small clubs and smaller booking fees are far behind Bob Moses. That doesn’t mean that they are asking for the attention though.
Staying true to Domino Records—an indie mainstay—has kept Bob Moses in the gray area of genre-binding—something many attempt and few manage. “It’s sweet that we can live in both realms and it’s cool that we can do that,” says Howie. It helps when your album is unbranded, with nothing but a photo on the sleeve. Joe Mortimer in New York, who’s also responsible for the famed washroom shots on their Hands To Hold EP, designed the Joy Division-style cover. “We were originally going to call our album Closer until we realized that’s the name of the Joy Division record,” says Vallance.
The honest aesthetic has always extended to their work, often creating a visual pairing for their audio output, most notably with their wildly popular Inner City Odyssey mixtape released last winter. “It was wintertime and we were just locked in the studio,” says Howie. “Jimmy took that photo from the window of our apartment.”
The impact of a cold, New York winter landscape clearly brushed upon Bob Moses last year. “You want to be a part of your environment in some way, that’s sort of what art is,” says Howie. “It’s sort of a creative interpretation of one’s position and a social commentary in terms of lyrics and sound.” It’s not surprising that with such consideration put into their artistic environment that the duo haven’t settled on their future home. “Toronto is on the shortlist right now,” says Vallance. For a music scene growing grander each year, it seems neither Bob Moses nor Toronto are interested in changing that any time soon.
You can buy tickets to Bob Moses on tour here.
Photo by Brook Linder