The term transparent in Amos The Transparent couldn’t stick better.

The Ottawa-based indie rock outfit takes its fans beyond the music, posting videos of their adventures, touring across the country and recording in-studio on their website. Hours stuck in traffic singing Celine Dion songs (ironically, of course), fussing over stacks of ready-made grocery store pies, sound checks on short notice — the life of a travelling band can be a rough one.

“Being in a band means nothing nowadays and it’s not glorious. Your grandmother could be in a band,” says Amos creator and frontman Jonathan Chandler. “So we thought it would be a fun, experimental thing to do that no one’s really done before.”

On Celine Dion he adds, “That was our bass player (James Nicol). You can only cycle through Kings of Leon so many times.”

But indie rock lovers are cycling through Amos The Transparent more and more. Their experimental arrangements on debut Everything I’ve Forgotten To Forget, based in folky acoustic melodies and classic rock, have gone over well with audiences at venues across the land — some including openers for Polaris Prize winner Patrick Watson.

Amy Millan of the Stars — birthed in part by music collective Broken Social Scene, which Amos The Transparent has been compared with — took notice of the band after a 2006 Bluesfest show in Ottawa, which led to a album guest star spot on track After All That It’s Come To This.

“I would say that it’s pretty hard to classify our music, or any kind of indie rock for that matter,” Chandler said. “Certainly to Broken Social Scene, which I think happened because we originally started with eight people and they’re such a large group too.”

However you classify Amos’ sound (if you indeed do), it has existed for a long time, at least in Chandler’s head. He kept his vision to himself while playing in The Architects, another Ottawa indie pop outfit, whose modus operandi was to take a bandmate’s song idea, play around with it and shape it into something else entirely.

“I never intended for it to be released,” he said. “But I demoed it for fun and (drummer) Chris Wilson heard it and said, ‘You have to do something with these songs.’”

In the meantime, Chandler plans to release more for an exclusively digital EP in late January, which he says is the reason we haven’t seen any recent online docs. But fans take note: they’re on their way.

“I don’t want to show my hand completely,” he said. “But yeah, we’re tampering with new interesting stuff.”

Amos The Transparent perform:
Toronto -
Rancho Relaxo with Whale Tooth and Bellewoods, Jan 2, 2009

– The band's website is:

Most Popular From ...