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Equipped with only an acoustic guitar and a violin, brand new Vancouver, BC/Portland, Oregon band, Wake Owl visited the WERS studio and played a couple of tracks from their first EP Wild Country. A four member band consisting of musicians Colyn Cameron, Aiden Brant-Briscall, Josh Daignault, and Andy Shauf, the session was executed by just two members this time: Cameron, on guitar, and Brant-Biscall on violin. The stripped down session consisted of three songs, two of which come from the 6-track EP Wild Country, released on January 29 of this year.
The first song they performed was the first and title track, and a delicate introduction to the band’s music. Brant-Biscall’s violin took on a very melancholy, bluegrass vibe, while Cameron’s voice opened with the lyrics, “What will become of the truth/ When we keep it in?/ Things we don’t remember/ When they ask us ‘when?’” and set the tone for a very reflective and poetic first song. The second song they chose to perform, also from their new EP, was “Gold” which showcased the two men’s musical prowess. Cameron and Brant-Briscall took on two strings of harmonized vocals, and created a rich sound with Cameron locating himself in a higher range and Brant-Biscall exploring a lower one. In addition to this, Brant-Biscall delivered an intense violin solo towards the end of the piece, creating a dissonant sound that resolved warmly and richly by the end.
The band’s attitude towards their set and towards their music making processes is best described as productive, yet casual. Members of the band have their own projects and ideas and came together quite recently to record Wild Country. For example, member Andy Shauf, who did not play on this set, has his own solo project and has released 3 full-length studio albums under his name. Lead singer Colyn Cameron , who has also led this project, originally focused in organic agriculture at Emerson College in England and worked on different farms throughout Europe, Chile, and Canada, which he then used as inspiration for his music. The band has a variety of interests that all seemed to just meld “through music,” according to member Josh Daignault.
The band is figuring it out as they go as a recently formed group, and using the radio and concert circuit as a way to sort themselves out. There’s no rush in this game: third on the list for their set was an unrecorded track, “Madness”. “It’s one in our arsenal right now. We haven’t released it and we’re not sure if we’re going to release it,” says Cameron. Brant-Biscall continued, saying “We’re going into the studio soon for a full length that may or may not end up on it.” With Brant-Briscall’s prominent violin solos standing in for the usual prevalence of a drum kit, electric guitar, and keyboard, “Madness” still excellently showcased the group’s tendency towards a folk rock sound, despite it’s brevity. Concluding their tour this spring, the band plans on hitting the studio to record a full album, in which audiences will likely see influences from their time on the road.