Month: October 2019

New single from Terence Jack, “Bloom,” Out today

Terence Jack and his musical accomplices have been exploring a new and expansive sound more recently as they have been working on their latest LP, Bloom, due out early 2020. Earlier this year we got to hear the first of this new chapter with the release of “Found It.” The latest single, “Bloom”, is equally as rich and bolstered by the same fresh, electronic flavors. Terence Jack had this to say about the new single:

The concept of “Bloom” was inspired by today’s sociopolitical climate – where division of any kind is at the center point of the media world. It’s about being able to converse without being offended, without taking things personally, being able to listen, and watching your own actions. The chorus, “will not label my mind” is about not having to categorize each thought, nor identify as either liberal, republican, Christian, atheist, or any other name. “Seeds planted too deep will never grow blooms” refers to one’s belief system being rooted so deeply that it can hinder one’s ability to bloom into a free thinking human.

You can hear the second single from Terence Jack’s forthcoming LP, Bloom, wherever you get your music. Bloom was crafted and 99% improvised in studio with producer Daniel Klenner.

 

Interview: Kate Davis

Portland-based, Kate Davis, opened her heart to music at age five when she touched a violin for the first time. The rest is history. Her debut, indie-rock record, Trophy, is a testament to her pure adoration for music, both the musical process and what it offers you as a human. Trophy will be released November 8th. Below, Kate discusses what music has and will always mean to her, including the incredibly beautiful vulnerability that writing and releasing music offers.

 

 

MFL: From what I have read, music has been a mainstay in your life from the moment you could pick up an instrument to play it. Has your relationship with music changed or oscillated at all over time and if so, how?

Kate Davis (KD): My relationship with music has always been solid. It’s the anchor which everything else in life revolves around. The most difficult time in my life musically was when I was still finding my artist voice. I was developing as a writer and was involved in musical projects that didn’t; resonate. It’s really hard to sing and play music that doesn’t feel right or reflect your POV. I’m fortunate now that the music I listen to for fun and the music I make lives within the same world. There is true balance in life… 🙂

 

MFL: When did the thought of creating your own record cross your mind and when did it start to become a reality?

 KD: I had been trying to make my own record for YEARS. When I was a kid I recorded a lot with my dad who was a hobbyist engineer. Mostly dorky and obscure jazz standards. Post college I was tangled up in some funky career stuff that made it impossible for me to record or release any of my own songs. Because of this I laid low and wrote until I felt like I had the right material. I looked for the right people to make the music with and finally, in 2017, I was able to record an album that I was very proud of. It took a long time, but I am grateful to have had all of the life experiences and obstacles that ultimately shaped this record (and myself) into where we’re at now!

 

MFL: Where did you grow up and did that have any influence on your musical upbringings?

 KD: I was lucky to have been relocated to a suburb of Portland, OR as a 10 year old. I was a young violin player and played in an amazing youth orchestra called PYP. My high school had a very good music program, and I had mentors in PDX who encouraged and hired me to play around town as a bass player and singer. I had so much playing opportunity and kind teachers always suggesting new music to learn and listen to. I was exposed to all different genres and was able to develop a very individualized ear. Portland is such a nurturing arts town that I was able to thrive musically as a teenager. I have a lot of gratitude for the teachers who helped me along the way.

 

MFL: What is the story behind the title of your debut album, Trophy?

 KD: The album title comes from the song, “Trophy.” The song felt different from the rest – a strange departure from my existing songs. When I was recording the album, “Trophy” took on a life of its own. The album’s producer, Tim Bright, and I really ran with it. Having had to wait so long to make my debut album, the triumphant feeling of completing something after so many years really aligned with the songs themes. It’s a dark perspective on doing whatever it takes to win or possess something, but I do have a deep sense of pride for being able to reemerge with a record that feels so personal and deliberate.

  

MFL: I dance and choreograph and there is a certain level of vulnerability that comes with sharing something that has come from within you. Where do you stand with this as a musician, especially now that you are releasing your own record?

 KD: I feel vulnerable when I write a song and it exists as a skeleton. Being able to produce these songs, live with them for some time, and make intentional moves towards completion can shift that feeling into empowerment. I am so used to people wanting me to do something else that I have worked on tuning out the critics. I make stuff and there’s no reason to feel bashful or deterred from doing so. These songs tell stories through my own perspective – some of the experiences are not ones I have lived. But at a certain point you set them free. They take on lives of their own and you move on. I think vulnerability keeps you focused and dedicated which can only lead to meaningful work. It’s a part of the process but I have learned to embrace its shape shifting.

 

MFL: Who were some of the most influential musicians to you as you were growing up and do you still find yourself inspired by their music?

 KD: When I was a kid I was obsessed with classical music. There are composers like Mahler, Brahms, Barber, and Vaughan Williams, that I still return to for inspiration. In high school I was deeply moved by the flexibility of the great jazz singers, but at the same time was inspired by the songwriting of Emily Haines and Annie Clark. In college I discovered Jeff Buckley and didn’t talk to anyone for two months. All of the music I have loved throughout my life are still great loves. My taste in music has never changed. I go back to all of my early influences often to remind myself why I love music. I discover new favorites all the time and have a feeling that like everything else I’ve picked up over the years, I’ll hold on to these too, forever.

 

MFL: Your album comes out in a little over a month. What kind of feelings or thoughts are bouncing around in your head as release date gets closer?

 KD: I feel so liberated letting this music out into the world – song by song. I have waited so long for this. It gives me satisfaction and a buzz knowing that I get to keep writing and recording. I live for this experience.

 

Thanks to Kate for diving into my interview questions and to Solitaire Recordings for facilitating. Follow Kate Davis on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and her official website

Upcoming Tour Dates

 

Interview: Neuroscientist and musician, Glutenhead

Toronto-based musician and student of neuroscientist, Ben Shapiro, is stretching, warping and reinventing music in a way that has led to the birth of his first record, Glugen Frau. The record is out now and Glutenhead will be performing October 18th in Toronto at Sneaky Dee’s. We discussed everything from how the phrase “glugen frau” spanned music and the mind to influence the creation of the record, to how his study of neuroscience influences his music.

 

 

MFL: Looking back at the moment when the phrase, “Glugen Frau”, came to you originally, and the following years: when did that phrase and music come together as one to create your debut record?

 Ben Shapiro (BS): I had already begun writing the songs before Glugen Frau materialized to wrap it all together conceptually. The songs are dreams, in both senses of the word. On one hand, they are made to mimic the subjective quality of  dreams – off kilter, hazy, disjointed, impressionistic. On the other, they represent latent desires for the future, echoes of cries to the future to bring answers. The album is about the looseness of meaning and comprehension, how words and concepts can drift in and out of understanding, flowing from comprehensible to incomprehensible seamlessly. The memory of that phrase – Glugen Frau – had bounced around in my mind for ages and I just had a strange urge to look up if it had any concrete meaning in the real world this past winter. I found out that it roughly translates to “Glimmering Woman”, a fact that I find fascinating. To me, the idea of a Glimmering Woman captures all that I was writing about. It’s loosely comprehensible, yet also a dream, an ideal. It also contains so many meanings wrapped up in itself that as soon as you try to unpack them, you lose your way. It kind of all just snapped together.

 

MFL: Who else is part of Glutenhead and how did they get involved?

 BS: Technically, Glutenhead has been a solo project so far. That isn’t to say that there have been a ton of hands on it, and I truly cannot take the credit for what it has become. I live in a house called “Casa Del Crusto”, which is also where my studio is. It’s a big Victorian home in the middle of downtown that’s seen some better (and worse) days, and there’s constantly people coming in and out all the time. The character of the place and the people who surround it really bled into Glugen Frau, literally and figuratively. August Kay’s gorgeous cover artwork captures the aesthetic of the album so perfectly and is one of my favourite parts of the whole piece of work. My friend and roommate, Rachel Asevicius, is the angelic voice on “how it feels” and “Ambient Love”. I was looking for a sweeter vocal sound and just had her come into the studio one day and told her to go for it. What you hear on the album is pretty much the first take from that, she really killed it. And Griffin Pickel’s mastering brought the whole thing to life, he is truly talented. And that is only a fraction, it goes on – from all of the people who lent me their ears throughout the process, inspired me with ideas and friendship, helped me with everything from press to videos to pictures to conversations. I better stop here or else I’ll never stop.

 

MFL: Everyone has a unique answer to this question but for you, when and how did you know the record was finished and ready for release?

BS: I had been working on the songs for a long time, and at some point I realized that I needed to get organized or else it was never gonna come out. I made a list of all of the songs that I wanted on the record, wrapped them all up in the conceptual framework for the album to tie them together, and put notes on what specifically needed to be accomplished for each track to be considered done. From there, it was as simple as checking off the list of items for each track that I felt needed to be done. Once I got there, I sent it off to a whole bunch of trusted ears for some feedback and then it was out of my hands. I’d probably still be tweaking away now if I never did that. I’m glad that I got it out when I did so that I can start developing Glutenhead off of that base.

 

MFL: Where has the release of this record taken you both within and outside of your musical life?

 BS: The process of creating a record is such a wonderful experience. It’s like taking an auditory photograph, storing a segment of time in this thing that can then be re-lived whenever you listen to it. That being said, finishing an album feels like wrapping up a chapter, both musically and in life. I feel like I can now move on to explore what other directions I can take Glutenhead as a project and as a sound. I got to meet such great people through collaborating on this thing and I’m so excited to continue watering those relationships so they can keep blooming. This release has taught me the immense value of collaboration and working with others, a lesson that is bound to be fruitful moving forward. A record is a village.

 

 MFL: Along those lines, as you listen to Glugen Frau now, is there anything about the record you would like to change?

 BS: I’m pretty happy with how Glugen Frau came out, as a document of this moment in time and the state of things that I’ve been seeing. I don’t think I’d change much. Except maybe some more yelling on the track “A Torch”. The other day, I was listening to it and I thought, “I kinda wish I was yelling on this song”. I like the idea that this album will always exist as it does for myself and others to come back to, a time capsule of this space, how it is right now.

MFL: You talk a lot about the merging of neuroscience and your music. What does this merger do you for you as a musician?

 BS: Sometimes it can be really useful, and other times it can kind of get in the way. I sometimes find myself caught in thinking about low level constructs like how to tease and reward, play with familiarity, memory, attention, etc. Thinking about those things too much can get in the way of creative expression, so I have to be careful and try to, as much as I can, just let the music write itself.

 

MFL: Finally, what is next for Glutenhead?

 BS: I’ve already got some new material in the works, and it’s definitely a development on what is on Glugen Frau. I think I’m making the best stuff that I’ve ever made. Also have got a live band together and we’re rehearsing for our debut live show in Toronto at the legendary Sneaky Dees on October 18. This is going to be an exciting year, I think, for anyone who is intrigued by Glugen Frau. I’m just happy to be making things.

 

Big thanks to Ben for working with me on this interview! Follow him on his official website, Spotify, Bandcamp, Instagram and Facebook. You can find tickets to their upcoming show on October 18th here!