The Unicorns were a fascinating, yet very dark and moody indie pop/rock
band out of Montreal
. The band consists of lead singer and bassist Nicholas 'Niel' Thorburn
(aka Diamonds), guitarist and keyboardist Alden Ginger
, and drummer Jamie Thompson
. During most of their life as a band, they were signed to Alien8
Alden and Nick were school friends, and formed a couple of bands together with other friends throughout the late nineties. They were very laid back and were known to just have fun rather take their shows very seriously at all. In 2003, Jamie finally joined the band and played drums shortly after they conceived the name The Unicorns.
They are best known for their very poppy style of music, yet they hide their darkness
very well within the lyrics. Throughout most of the album "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?", it tells an adventurous tale about meeting unfriendly ghosts, climbing mountains, diving into a freezing sea, achieving stardom, and dying off. What sets The Unicorns apart though is how well their darkness is hidden, as said before. The songs may sound happy, but if you listen closely to many of the lyrics, they're actually quite depressing at times. Not only that, but they are very catchy and many of their melodies will be caught in your head after only a couple listens. In my opinion, they have one of the most unique and distinguishable sounds out there, having nobody come close to the sound and songs they produced.
Over the course of existence as a band, they released two full length albums: "Unicorns Are People Too" and "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?". They also have an early demo record titled, "Three Inches of Blood". On top of those, they have many unreleased songs and one EP: "The Unicorns:2014".
The Unicorns broke up in late 2004 after having some lackadaisical shows and an overall exhaustion with touring. The band was on a non-stop tour for most of 2004 going to places such as Europe, Australia, and North America. Their final show took place at Houston
's The Engine Room
, where a sold out crowd awaited what they thought was going to be a fun and happy show. The end result was to be one of the band's most depressing shows, mostly caused from annoying crowd members, many of which were said not to even be fans. Another factor is the little feud between Nick and Alden during the course of the final tour. Nick ended the set by saying, "This is probably our last song ever guys, thanks." and played "I Was Born (A Unicorn)".
Nick and Alden were on bad terms for a while after the show, and decided that a breakup
was what would be best for them. Shortly after reports of the breakup
appeared over the internet, Nick and Jamie were already involved in a hip-hop
side project entitled, "Th' Corn Gangg", which had rappers
who included Busdriver
do renditions of classic Unicorns' songs like "Tuff Ghost" and others. As of now, Islands
are what Nick and Jamie are involved in. With members from Arcade Fire
and Wolf Parade
, they recently released "Return to Sea
" which, if listened to, you would be able to recognize the similarities between Islands
and The Unicorns quite easily.
Alden also got involved quickly with other projects with new friends and made new music, most of which branched off of what he was used to while involved with the Unicorns. He released a solo 7" which he started while on the final tour with The Unicorns. He is now involved with a Montreal
youth group, where he plays music every once in a while, but mostly does volunteer as an event coordinator.
Many fans of The Unicorns are hoping for a reunion tour
, but none of the members have mentioned anything of the sort. Seeing as the band was quite mysterious
during their reign in the indie pop/rock
world, who knows what might happen in the future?