Saturday, May 16th 2015
The Great Escape Festival
The Green Door Store, Brighton
Music BC is excited to team up with the Western Canadian music industry associations Manitoba Music, SaskMusic, and Alberta Music to co-host an exciting showcase under the BreakOut West banner at TGE on May 16th at Brighton's The Green Door Store. This is BC's first year at TGE and we are thrilled to be showcasing BC artists Dralms and Jordan Klassen alongside Close Talker, 36?, Young Benjamins, The Lytics and Leaf Rapids.
The Great Escape
(TGE) is a new music festival that showcases emerging artists from all over the world. Over 400 up and coming bands play in 35 Brighton venues, accessible on one wristband. It’s the first place to discover your new favorite band and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages.
Celebrating British Columbia sound recordings and exporting them to new markets is a key component of Music BC's mandate. Music BC's export trade missions are funded by Creative BC as well as FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.
Dralms is the latest project led by songwriter Christopher Smith and is more a reinvention than a fresh moniker. Working with long-time collaborators: Shaunn Watt (drums), William Kendrick (synth, keys) and Peter Carruthers (bass) and featuring producer/electronic artist Andy Dixon (Secret Mommy, Caving), which Smith previously trusted with a remix of Earning Keep's "Pillars and Pyre.”
The band’s first release, Crushed Pleats, has a swampy ambience and deep bass pulse. Smith’s lyrics push listeners to look through a dystopian lens, exposing powerlessness, fear, rhetoric, and ignorance. The socio-political implications on Crushed Pleats’ track “Divisions of Labour,” exist contextually, behind a confession of lust. Smith’s words drip with derision as he chants longingly, “if my heart had its will / kill kill kill.” The title track, “Crushed Pleats,” grows from a fog of drone. Howling gusts of ambience haunt Smith’s tale of portent seduction as he sings, “you let your hair down / little birds come tumbling to the ground.”
Beyond the poetic prowess of the lyrics, the band’s strength is their ability to devise all-consuming instrumental build-ups. These forceful swells are thickened with cavernous bass chords and weaving electronic textures; Smith’s vocals sit atop as smooth and varied as stained glass.
Dralms, is currently working on a full-length album at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC with producer/engineer John Raham.
Jordan Klassen is a songwriter from Western Canada (Vancouver, Calgary) who quietly released an EP entitled Kindness last year. After steady increases in accolades, radio play and live crowds, Jordan’s new full length Repentance will make a lot more noise.
Is there such a thing as unsentimental sincerity? If so, this could be it. A resonate warmth carries Klassen’s crafted, literate lyrics through vivid images and stories. Repentance juxtaposes a multi-textured simplicity with a trembling confidence and a fresh familiarity. Playful and wise, vast and intimate, the album travels from the jubilant in “Go to Me” and “Piano Brother” to the quiet intensity of “The Horses are Stuck” and “Strengthen Me With Raisins.” These are songs that fuse melody and poetry, stinging the imagination and summoning forgotten emotion.
Recorded at Buena Vista Audio with Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Anderson (Aidan Knight, In Medias Res, Sheree Plett), the album employs diverse instrumentation. Ukuleles, strings, horns, choirs, glockenspiels, omnichords all make appearances alongside guitars, pianos, and drums with Klassen’s floating falsetto drawing everything together.
Set for release across North America in Sept 2013 on the prestigious Toronto indie Nevado Records (Library Voices, John Grant, Bahamas, Royal Canoe, GROUNDERS, Yukon Blonde, etc) Repentance is an engaging and beautiful record, steeped in sonic whimsy and alluring melodies.
The first single from Repentance, “Go To Me,” will be available this summer with an accompanying video and remix courtesy of long time Jordan collaborator Teen Daze. The summer will also see Jordan playing festivals in Western Canada along with select shows in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Toronto and Montreal. With the release of Repentance in the fall, Jordan will embark on extensive Canadian and American tours.
Repentance will also have an accompanying illustrated lyric book featuring art from Vancouver artists that will be available for sale at Jordan’s shows in the fall as well asjordanklassen.com and nevado.ca.