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Music / Sloan

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Would you please... welcome to the stage... Sloan!
Intro, "The Good in Everyone"
Left to Right: Jay Ferguson, Andrew Scott, Patrick Pentland, and Chris Murphy

Sloan is an Canadian Alternative Rock/Power Pop band based in Toronto, Ontario. Formed in 1991 when Chris Murphy and Andrew Scott met at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax; Jay Ferguson and Patrick Pentland soon joined to round out the set. They are known for the "Democratic" nature of their songwriting partnership, with each member having at least two songs featured on each album (with the exceptions of Smeared (1992) and Action Pact (2003)), as well as their unchanging lineup (the same four members since 1991; multi-instrumentalist Gregory MacDonald joined in 2006, primarily performing electric piano, which beforehand had been performed by Ferguson and Scott).

In 1992, they formed their own record label Murderecords. While it initially was just to self-release their own records, it did end up signing a number of Canadian indie rock groups during the 90s. It has since returned to its initial purpose of focusing on Sloan releases though it occasionally releases records from other acts.

Band members

  • Chris Murphy: Bass, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Drums (When Andrew Scott performs guitar and vocals)
  • Patrick Pentland: Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
  • Jay Ferguson: Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass (when Chris Murphy is on Drums and Andrew Scott on Guitar)
  • Andrew Scott: Drums, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (Generally plays guitar when singing)
  • Gregory Macdonald: Backing Vocals, Electric Keyboard, general backing instrumentals; not generally counted among the core members but performs with the band live and in studio.

Studio Discography

  • Smeared (1992)
  • Twice Removed (1994)
  • One Chord To Another (1996)
  • Navy Blues (1998)
  • Between The Bridges (1999)
  • Pretty Together (2001)
  • Action Pact (2003)
  • Never Hear The End of It (2006)
  • Parallel Play (2008)
  • The Double Cross (2011)
  • Commonwealth (2014)
  • 12 (2018)
  • Steady (2022)

Tropes Associated with Sloan:

  • Appropriated Appelation: Sort of. The band took its name from their friend, Jason Larsen's nickname of "Slow One", given by his French-Canadian boss. With the accent, it sounded like "Sloan". Larsen agreed to let them use the name in exchange for his face being the cover of the Peppermint EP.
  • B-Side: They released a compilation of them, along with bonus tracks, called B Sides Win: extras, bonus tracks and b-sides 1992-2008.
  • Canada, Eh?: Even referenced a few times, most notably in "The Rest of My Life" on Action Pact:
One thing I know about the rest of my life
I know that I'll be living it in Canada
  • Christmas Songs: They did a cover of 12 Days of Christmas.
  • Cover Version: They covered A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell on the tribute album Back to the Garden
  • Double-Meaning Title: The 2020 standalone single "Silence Trumps Lies" - since the band have said it's about "the importance of listening", the title can be read as using "trump" as in the term from from the card game bridge - or in other words "silence wins out over lies"... But of course with a slight change in punctuation you get "silence Trump's lies".
  • Epic Rocking: Not often, but "Before I Do" runs for 7:04, while Commonwealth has "Forty-Eight Portraits", which runs for nearly eighteen minutes.
  • Greatest Hits Album: A Sides Win: Singles 1992–2005 which consisted of 14 already released singles plus 2 new ones.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: "Penpals" is written from the POV of various teens with limited English writing fan mail to a celebrity - lyrics include idiosyncratic phrases like "I am crazy of you" and "I worship all your handsome words". The band themselves have said that, after getting signed to DGC Records, they got to go through a file of Kurt Cobain's international fan mail and copied down memorable passages from a few different letters.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The protagonist of "Underwhelmed" is an uppity douche and a Grammar Nazi. And he can't hide his love for the smart girl in his class no matter how hard he tries.
  • Lead Bassist: Chris Murphy, who has written the most songs of any member.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: They have had the same lineup since the beginning of the band.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: While the song The Other Man is about a love triangle, the video seems to be about a student who is late for class.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The album cover for Between The Bridges is essentially a wide shot picture of the band with a grayish tint with the band name and album name near the top.
  • New Sound Album: Their debut album Smeared had a Grunge like style to it but their follow up Twice Removed saw them leaving it for a more melodic sound.
  • Performance Video: The version of the music video for If it Feels Good Do It that was released in America (also known as the performance version) simply features the band performing in front of a crowd of people.
  • Radio Song: Listen To The Radio where the singer listens to the radio but there is just static.
  • Rock Star Song: "Money City Maniacs." The chorus is even a joke about rock star drugs.
And the joke is
When he awoke his
Body was covered in Coke fizz
  • Something Blues: Their album Navy Blues
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: mentioned in "Underwhelmed", where the narrator describes a moment when his love interest cursed him out "and rolled her R's, her beautiful R's" (which is also wordplay on a previous verse where she "rolled her eyes, her beautiful eyes").
  • Vocal Tag Team: Almost a pan-instrumental tag-team. Whoever wrote the song in question is usually the person who later sings on its recording.