Sound Seekers

SOUND SEEKERS: Ottawa recording news — part two! Featuring The Good Luck Assembly, The PepTides, Laurent Bourque, and more

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

A hazy view inside Gus Van Go’s studio in Brooklyn, NYC. Ottawa band The Goodluck Assembly recorded their forthcoming EP there — in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Jamie Kronick.

Last week we told you about the band Fevers. They are recording a full-length album with rock star producer Laurence Currie (Wintersleep, Mardeen, In-Flight Safety, Holy Fuck). It’s set for release this May. This week we look at what’s on the 2013 recording roster for some other Ottawa songwriters and bands.

The Goodluck Assembly will release their new five-song EP called Demonstrations in May. The Ottawa indie-pop band started out as Sojourn, recorded an EP in 2007, and later won the Big Money Shot radio contest, worth some $300K in deals and gear. The band members hand-delivered more than 500 copies of their 2011 release Glowscape to fans in Ottawa and filmed the recipient’s reactions. Then they set off to write this new album. In October of 2011, brothers Mike Libbos (bass, guitar, vocals) and Bruce Libbos (guitars, keys, vocals) holed up in their respective makeshift bedroom studios to start crafting the tunes. Last fall, they set off to the Williamsburg hub of Brooklyn, NYC, to record with producer team Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Hollerado, Priestess), along with drummer Jamie Kronick (also an Ottawa commercial and editorial photographer). The recording sessions started just before Hurricane Sandy hit and the band hunkered down to record during the day and even bunked with their producers for the odd night since lineups at the gas stations meant they couldn’t get back to their accommodations across town. “The days after Hurricane Sandy were a mix of feelings,” Mike Libbos says. “A sense of relief to have survived, a time to pick up the pieces, and being thankful for everything you have, along with moving on and not looking back.”

Laurent Bourque inside Little Bullhorn Studios where he recorded with producer Dave Draves. Photo by Jamie Kronick.

Singer-songwriter Laurent Bourque lets loose a little on his forthcoming full-length record called Pieces of Your Past. It’s set for release in May. Bourque’s 2010 debut record, What We Talk About was a compilation of well-put-together folk-inspired pop tunes. This time, Bourque recorded his songs live, used more stringed instruments and keys (pianos, synthesizers), and aimed to have more epic endings on selected tracks. “The vocals and performances are more intimate, personal, and honest,” Bourque says. “It was a beautiful way to make a record.”

Leif Vollebekk’s new album of troubadour-style tunes called North Americana is out February 19th on the Outside Music Label. Ottawa-reared Vollebekk, who calls Montreal home, will be at Wakefield’s the Black Sheep Inn, March 1.

Lotropic’s new album, out in March, is called Analog Vs. Architecture. It was recorded entirely with vintage analog old-school synthesizers to give it a minimal tech-house flavour. “It’s completely where I wanted to go musically…and feels like the most honest recording I’ve ever done,” says producer Roland Marckwort.

Psychedelic stoner rock act Monobrow will release Bennington Triangle Blues on vinyl Saturday at the Dominion Tavern. The album was recorded by Paul “Yogi” Granger at his Meatlocker Studios and was mastered by Mike Bond. Wikipedia says the Bennington Triangle is an area in southwest Vermont where a number of people went missing between 1920-1950.

Nine-piece retro pop act The PepTides interpret CBC host Stuart McLean’s book Revenge of the Vinyl Café in song on their new LP, also called Revenge of the Vinyl Café. The album has been available online since December and a physical release will follow in March. There is one song for each of the 18 stories in the book and three bonus tracks that interpret larger themes of the book, such as the triumph of the human spirit. The album leans toward melancholic and sentimental sounds, with occasional displays of bold pop. See the video for the song “Fish Head” here. The band plays the Black Sheep Inn on March 22.

Scattered Clouds is going for a heavier, darker sound for their forthcoming EP. It will be true to the hybrid electronic-rock band’s live set up, which sees Phil Charbonneau play double bass processed through effects pedals, Pierre-Luc Clément play heavily effected guitar, and Jamie Kronick on drums and keys. The bed tracks were recorded at Little Bullhorn Studios with Dave Draves. Those recording sessions are being tinkered with in different recording spaces around Ottawa and old Hull, with the assistance of Olivier Fairfield (FET.NAT/Timber Timbre). The band’s new vinyl recording is expected in the fall of 2013.

The Steve Adamyk Band releases its third album — called Third — on Dirtnap Records, a label based out of Portland, Oregon, that focuses exclusively on the style of scrappy punk dished out by Adamyk (ex of the Million Dollar Marxists) and his mates. The band released the video for the spitfirey one-minute tune “Katacombs” via Exclaim. The band’s CD release show takes place March 2 at Babylon.

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Manotick’s Hollerado will release their new album White Paint on Vice Records, February 26. Starched country-blues act Kings of Lowertown released a hot little EP in October. Look for their new album later this year. Little Sun (formerly known as Dry River Caravan) have moved to Montreal and are making a record to be released in the spring on True North Records. The forthcoming Love Machine EP is called Be Well, It’s All Behind Me Now. Amos the Transparent will release a rock opera concept album called The Disappearance of Amos the Transparent. André Bluteau is working on a full-length album called Sons. Rapper Jesse Dangerously has a new work on vinyl. The release was delayed because of production problems. The manufacturer shipped the original lot with an unplayable side B!