The Dust Collectors “Filtered Gems EP”

Neon Moon Records, 2023

An excellent, rousing debut EP from Canadian country-folk band.

Album artwork for The Dust Collectors EP "Filtered Gems"‘Filtered Gems’ is a very impressive debut EP from the Canadian country-folk band containing six rousing songs with interesting lyrics, which you want to listen to repeatedly. Formed in 2018 in Calgary, when members of separate bands started jamming together, they quickly began writing their own material. The band consists of Matt Easton on lead guitar and Luke Giblin on rhythm guitar/ mandolin, who share the lead vocalist duties. However, the harmonies in the songs are very important; these are shared by Steve Rozitis (bass) and Scott Stolee (drums). The songwriting is a collaboration of all four, with each bringing different influences to the process.

‘Take A Dive’ is a fantastic start, a rollicking Irish-style folk song with a great story where a New York boxer starts by thinking that he should contrive to lose a fight, to save his life: “Take a dive, take a dive, swallow all your stupid pride, now is not the time to be a better man, Hit the canvas like a stone and you might make it out alive, you don’t mess around with crooked bookie men”. Without giving too much away, things don’t quite turn out as planned.

Also with an Irish flavour, including fiddle, is ‘Dandelion’, a love song about a girl who left as soon as she could like a dandelion seed being blown away, with this memorable chorus: “Thought you were a flower, like a flower I watched you grow, left my heart out on the line. For all those hours, you became the girl I know, turned out you were a dandelion” Both of these songs sound a little like The Pogues and you can imagine them being played in an Irish bar with the audience joining in raucously.

The country influence is seen in the murder ballad ‘Murder I Wrote’ which has some Chris Isaak-style guitar and ‘Old No 9 Train’ which swings away and has some very nice country licks. ‘Better Times’, with another strong chorus, and ‘Truth Be Told’ finish the EP. The latter has organ playing over a shuffle drumbeat in addition to guitars and is a clear-eyed look at the past: “Yeah, what might’ve been is easy now, it wasn’t then, truth be told we never cared anyhow”

The Dust Collectors have a full album on the way, which is something very much look forward to, and it will be a great night out to watch them live if they ever come over to the UK.


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