Juno Award-nominated alternative-folk band Wake Owl is set to create some trippy, atmospheric soundscapes in Red Deer in the wake of its debut album release.
Primary member and singer Colyn Cameron, who will perform with Wake Owl at the International Beer Haus and Stage on Monday, March 10, describes the new The Private World of Paradise album as a departure from the band’s acclaimed Wild Country EP.
It’s more upbeat and rock ’n’ roll, with electric instead of acoustic guitar, said Cameron. And it’s more experimental.
Lest this ruffle the feathers of some folk fans, Cameron maintains the album that’s coming out March 4 will still retain the lyrical and poetic sensibilities of the 2013 EP. And it still features his chimeric voice.
Cameron’s far-away-sounding vocals lend The Private World of Paradise the same dream-like or hallucinogenic quality as Wild Country, which got Wake Owl some high-profile notice in the U.S and Canada.
The EP, containing the singles Gold and Wild Country, put the band onto Esquire.com’s “15 music artists to watch” list, and the title track hit No. 1 on CBC Radio 2 — twice.
Wake Owl also made The Huffington Post’s 2014 “20 Artists to Start Listening To,” and is nominated for a 2014 Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
Cameron, a California native who moved to Vancouver with his family at age 10, seems to take things in stride. He responds to interview questions with sparse answers, which are delivered haltingly after prolonged pauses.
What’s known about the singer is he began making music as a teenager — rapping his original verses to whoever would listen in the schoolyard. But later he took a detour to study organic agriculture at Emerson College in England.
That’s where Cameron met his girlfriend, who’s of Chilean heritage. The two travelled to Chile to work on organic farms. Cameron also did the agriculture circuit in the U.K. and Germany before picking up a guitar and teaching himself the basics.
The songwriting part came to him, well, organically.
Cameron has talked about “immediately” writing songs, perhaps as a way of processing his experiences. “I usually find the most inspiration after these long periods of not having too much of my own space, touring or travelling.”
Although there’s no particular theme to Wake Owl’s new album, Cameron views two of the tunes, Candy and Letters, as being related. “I see Letters as being the B-side of Candy … musically, they are a little bit groovier.”
While the first is a love song, he believes Letters contains more metaphors and deeper questions. “It’s about life in general.”
Cameron believes he grew a lot during his time abroad.
He met a lot of interesting people and got to view various approaches to life. “I definitely think that what I put out now is reflecting those life experiences.”
While the singer has now relocated to Oregon, he identifies with being both an American and Canadian.
Cameron said he moved south, in part, because Oregon is cheaper to reside in than Vancouver. “Living here is more affordable, and with being a full-time musician, it’s just easier.”
Lyon will open for Wake Owl in Red Deer. The synth-pop artist from Toronto released her first EP, Indian Summer, last summer and is excited to road-test her songs across Canada.
The artist also known as Lauren Malyon produces music electronic music with soul that’s been described as “innocence meets disillusionment … meets hope.”
Tickets are $10 from ticketfly.com or $15 at the door.
For more information about the show, call 403-986-5008.