Toronto-based quartet Sloan are coming to Spiritbar on October 17.

Toronto-based quartet Sloan are coming to Spiritbar on October 17.

Sloan plays their cards right

Nelson show features songs from new album Commonwealth.

Toronto-based quartet Sloan are coming to Spiritbar to play a two-set performance this Friday to promote their latest album Commonwealth.

“I think that perhaps we are one of the few bands that could make an LP like this,” said Jay Ferguson, who along with Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott, contributes compositions to each record. The four have equal say over their creative output.

“The only act that comes to mind with equally recognizable/regarded members who all write and are capable of taking the lead vocals would have been the Beastie Boys, but alas,” said Murphy.

Commonwealth is Sloan’s 10th album, and the members feel this latest LP is a diversion from their regular work.

“It would be pointless to just make another 12 or 13 song Sloan record at this point,” said Scott.

Instead, the band came up with an innovative four-sided structure that allows each member to express their personal identity.

Each quarter has a French playing card suit.

Ferguson’s Diamond side showcases his knack for symphonic pop. Pentland’s Shamrock section drives forward with loud, fast psych rock marked by “noise, ambient keys and the general sense of the unwell”. Murphy’s Heart section features wit and eclectic energy, and the final quarter “Forty Eight Portraits” is an 18-minute pop suite complete with a children’s choir that encompasses the entirety of Scott’s closing Spade side.

“No matter how disparate sounding our songs can sound at times, the one thing that balances and forces unity is the harmonies in each other’s songs,” said Murphy.

Commonwealth follows 2011’s The Double Cross, which earned Sloan some of the most glowing notices of their acclaimed career. They have now released nearly two hundred tracks.

“Andrew’s decision to make his side into one giant song meant that Sloan would remain shy of 200 released songs,” said Murphy. “By my count, we are at 197. I’d like to record at least one more song each so we can crack 200.”

For more information about Sloan’s upcoming performance, visit