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Music / Silverstein

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Silverstein is a five-piece post-hardcore band, formed out of Burlington, Ontario in the year 2000. Their band name is a reference to the children's author Shel Silverstein, whose works the band members had grown up reading. Since their formation, the band has released nine studio albums, four EP's, eight singles, 20 music videos, a compilation album and a live DVD/CD. The band is largely a product of the surge of the emo genre through the mid-2000s, taking stylistic influences from the screamo, indie rock, and hardcore punk genres. Their sophomore album Discovering the Waterfront received critical acclaim and launched the band into mainstream popularity, after peaking at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 charts and being nominated for a Juno Award.

Their lineup has largely remained unchanged through the 16 years the band has been together, led by frontman vocalist Shane Told, rhythm guitarist Josh Bradford, bassist Billy Hamilton, and percussionist Paul Koehler. Their current lead guitarist, Paul Marc Rosseau, joined the band in 2012 after the firing of the band's longtime guitarist Neil Boshart.


Studio Albums

  • 2003 - When Broken Is Easily Fixed
  • 2005 - Discovering the Waterfront
  • 2007 - Arrivals & Departures
  • 2009 - A Shipwreck in the Sand
  • 2011 - Rescue
  • 2012 - Short Songs
  • 2013 - This is How the Wind Shifts
  • 2015 - I Am Alive in Everything I Touch
  • 2017 - Dead Reflection

Silverstein provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Attending Your Own Funeral: As the counterpart to the song "Stand Amid the Roar" on This is How the Wind Shifts, this song has the ghost of the murder victim detailing the scenes of their own funeral, confused and afraid.
  • Concept Album: Silverstein has three concept albums.
    • A Shipwreck in the Sand tells the story of a man who realizes his wife has been cheating on him with his best friend. Upon discovering that his wife plans to leave him, he confronts his best friend before setting his partner's house on fire out of spite. However, upon realizing that he still loves them, he immediately rushes in to rescue his wife and their six-year-old daughter. His wife presses charges upon him by accusation of insanity and takes him to court, where the protagonist loses custody of his daughter. However, with a lack of evidence to support that the protagonist had indeed burnt down the house, the protagonist is released until the next day. Faced with the prospect of living without his family and a lengthy prison sentence if the verdict comes out guilty, the protagonist takes his own life in a motel room.
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    • This is How the Wind Shifts is an album that revolves around the idea that there are two sides to every story, and the decisions one makes can lead to different outcomes. While the album itself does not follow a cohesive storyline, each song in the first half of the album has a counterpart in the second half. One song in the first half introduces a scenario, and its counterpart follows it up with a reinterpretation of the given scenario.
    • I Am Alive in Everything I Touch follows a musician on tour of Canada and the United States as he struggles with personal feelings of extreme loneliness. Each song on the album is punctuated with the ambient sounds of bustling streets in each of the touring cities the protagonist visits as the album progresses.
  • Dark Reprise: On A Shipwreck in the Sand, the closing track "The End", which is a soft, lamenting song about the events of the album, concludes by echoing the melody line and chorus from the title track.
  • Distant Duet: The title track of This is How the Wind Shifts is actually two songs, "This is How" and "The Wind Shifts", each with their own meanings. If you play these two songs at the same time, you get the proper title track, as the line of the first song is immediately picked up by the second. In this way, the combined tracks also create a new meaning when they're played together.
  • In Medias Res: The opening track to A Shipwreck in the Sand, "A Great Fire".
  • Location Song: Though the songs on I Am Alive in Everything I Touch are not by themselves about location, specific places are frequently referenced in coordinance with the location of the lead singer as he's on tour.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Late on 6th" from I Am Alive in Everything I Touch has the singer musing to himself as he walks the streets of Austin, Texas alone late at night.
  • Love Is a Drug: "My Heroine".
  • Murder Ballad: "Stand Amid the Roar".
  • Numbers Stations: On This is How the Wind Shifts, the track "In A Place of Solace" begins with sounds from a numbers station.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "I Am the Arsonist".
  • Something Completely Different: "Born Dead" is a song that by itself doesn't seem to fit in to the story of A Shipwreck in the Sand. It highlights the problems of the US healthcare system, which doesn't seem to match up well until you consider that the protagonist himself deals with those issues.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Shane Told's vocals alternate between screaming and melodic singing.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Though the protagonist of A Shipwreck of the Sand is by definition the anti-hero, disavowing his acts in the opening track "A Great Fire" as heroism, the song still manages to sound heroic as the main character rushes in to the burning building to save his wife and child.
  • Spurned into Suicide: The main character of A Shipwreck in the Sand commits suicide upon the realizaiton that he'll never have the life he dreamed of having with his wife and child.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The story of A Shipwreck in the Sand begins with the knowledge that the protagonist's wife has been cheating on him.

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