Sean Sroka is the kind of self-deprecating singer-songwriter that pens his fears in a way that blends a punk rock ethos with the calm and kindness of folk. The frontman for indie outfit Ten Kills the Pack has become known for his confessional-style lyricism that explores the rough edges of the human condition. Sroka approaches his life as a musician with a raw passion and sincere attitude that stems from his DIY days cutting his teeth in the music scene of his hometown Toronto or playing in his sludgy punk band around the city. His independence guided the 2019 full-length Force Majeure that zeroed in on the hustle and bustle of city life, a solitary, self-described “guy with guitar” effort recorded in apartments across Toronto. While follow-up Life, Death & Afterwards (2021), expanded his scope to focus on the cerebral and philosophical.
Now, with a more direct and unvarnished backdrop, Sroka scales the next level, developing a pack of homegrown demos into a symphonic whole colored by resonant harmonies, moonstruck keys, and gritty energy that juxtaposes the pretty and intricate details. Ten Kills the Pack unveils the new album Thank You For Trying.
Segmented into two acts, Ten Kills the Pack presents a twelve-song narrative that unpacks the “artist’s journey,” illustrating a message of hope while refusing to shy away from all the bumps and bruises felt along the way. Sroka inhabits a narrator who tells stories that loosely mimic his own experiences. It’s a tactic that calls to mind some of the greatest songwriters like Bob Dylan or Lou Reed, whose mystical musings often blur the lines between fact and fiction. It’s these blurred edges that allow the songs to be so uncomfortably honest, devoted to loneliness, desire, futility, failure, and every bit of hope in between. Thank You For Trying was produced by Sean Sroka alongside Marcus Paquin (The Weather Station, Julia Jacklin, The National), who helped bring this vision to life.