From the cover of NME and multiple Juno nominations to touring worldwide with dozens of bands such as Modest Mouse, The Walkmen, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Weezer, and Franz Ferdinand, Steve Bays is best known as the eccentric singer/songwriter/keyboardist frontman for Hot Hot Heat. After touring for 16 years, performing multiple times on every major late night television show and the UK’s Top of the Pops, achieving multiple top tens on US, Canadian and intl. alternative radio, Steve decided to build his recording studio, Tugboat Place, in Vancouver, BC, and record and produc his band's critically aclaimed fifth album, Future Breeds. From that point on, Bays was in love with studio life and has never looked back, with songwriting, producing, engineering, and mixing credits that include (among others) Fitz and the Tantrums, Diplo, Steve Aoki, The Killers, The Zolas, Hawksley Workman, Born Ruffians, Gay Nineties, The Matinee, Dear Rouge, Jpns Grls, Fake Shark, and his own bands, Hot Hot Heat, Fur Trade, and Mounties, all of whom have albums coming out in 2016. Recent highlights include multiple top tens at Canadian alternative radio with Mounties (Headphones, Tokyo Summer), Gay Nineties (Letterman) and The Zolas (Invisible, Molotov Girls), a #1 on the Musique Plus pop chart with Fake Shark (Cheap Thrills), and a co-write (Freak) with Diplo and Steve Aoki which is featured in 22 Jumpstreet and now has over 13 million views on youtube. With a background in punk, indie, dance, hardcore, metal, classical, jazz, prog and pop, Bays consistently attempts to challenge traditional songwriting and production by combining melody and hooks with his patented Bays “hifi-lofi” sound. As a sidenote, his interest in video and photography has lead to him recently directing and editing over a dozen music videos in the last couple years for Limblifter, Mounties, Gay Nineties, Hawksley Workman, Prairie Cat and Hot Hot Heat.
It’s easy to forget that Kathryn Calder is a music industry veteran. From her first band Immaculate Machines, to the New Pornographers and her solo works Kathryn has released 10 albums over the last 10 years, toured around the world, and solidified herself a career in music before she was thirty. She recorded her first solo album, Are You My Mother in her family home while she was taking care of her mother as she lost her fight with ALS. Shortly before the release of her sophomore record,Bright and Vivid her father suddenly passed away. This bittersweet whirlwind of success and tragedy is certainly reflected in her first two albums and presumably could have provided several more albums worth of material.
Yet rather than jump into writing after touring Bright and Vivid, Kathryn stopped to finally take a moment and take stock of her life. “I love being on the road,” she says, “but there’s a side of me that is definitely a homebody and I was ready to settle into a solid base free of trauma and drama.” After some unwinding and reflection she found herself coming back to the same thought, “How am I going to approach my life seeing as how it’s so short?” Part of the answer was to write songs that had a sense of authenticity. With this goal in mind she sat down with her guitar and began to tease out melodies and craft songs. A year later she had a full album recorded. She threw it away and started over.
Listening back, Kathryn found the songs felt too much like going through the motions – they sounded like work. It wasn’t until she found herself experimenting with synths that she found the spark and began to write again, except this time from a producers chair in the new Vancouver Island studio built by her husband and co-producer Colin Stewart. Each song began not with lyrics or melody, but with an atmosphere built from manipulating synths and loops.
From these soundscapes arose the ten songs of Kathryn Calder to be released on File Under: Music on April 14. A collection striving to be both vulnerable and timeless, the album ranges from the get up and move of “Take a Little Time” and “Only Armour” to the delicateness of “Song and Cm” and “Arm and Arm”. Featuring guest vocals from Dan Mangan, Jill Barber, and Hannah Georgas, Kathryn Calder demonstrates Kathryn’s limitless creative potential as she transitions from a songwriter reacting to the world to one who can capture her own moments and create one.
Pomo is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Growing up in Port Moody, BC, he matured through the Vancouver music scene, introducing himself to various elements of music. After moving eastward to Montreal in 2012 for a couple of years, Pomo has hit his stride in the electronic dance music market, joining the likes of Kaytranada, Ta-Ku, and Stwo on the HW&W roster.Drawing from various influences, Pomo makes an effort to distance himself from genre-defining elements while approaching his music from an organic and raw songwriting perspective. Using elements from hip hop, electronic, and 70s/80s funk, the multifaceted producer likes to draw people in with the malleable dynamics of his music, something that attracts himself to artists like J Dilla, Prince, Disclosure, and the emerging EDM scene as a whole. Pomo has broken into the international market, receiving recognition from media outlets like Vice’s Noisey, THUMP, Earmilk, Soulection Radio, 22 Tracks, Clash, Majestic Casual, Fader and many more. Now, growing on his electronic music notoriety, Pomo has released official remixes for Disclosure, Sam Smith, Mark Ronson, Snakehips Alina Baraz & Galimatias, AlunaGeorge, Darius and more and is preparing to expand his presence by bringing his live show overseas, making appearances through Europe, Asia North & South America and Australia.