Library Voices returns with overdue release
by James Brotheridge
Library Voices is a busy, busy band. Having eight members (down from 10!) to share duties among doesn’t much help. It’s tough to keep a big team, even a good one, heading in the same direction at the same speed.
But hustle they must. There are shows to be played and deals to be made.
And Library Voices has done a lot since the band’s formation two years ago. They released their debut EP, Hunting Ghosts (And Other Shorts) on Young Soul Records, a label run by Reginans (including band member Michael Dawson). They’ve played upwards of 80 shows. They’ve had their egos cuddled by favourable mentions in Spin and The New Yorker.
On the West Coast, some bastard stole their instruments.
Plus there’s that EMI deal. More on that in a bit.
The band’s secret? Head down, keep moving.
“It’s just always been momentum, right from the beginning,” says Dawson. “With that many people, you can’t just regroup once a month.”
This hustle has translated into a ton of national dates, including a couple of upcoming high-profile gigs. On Feb. 12, their show at the Exchange will be recorded for CBC Canada Live. Later, they’ve got a bunch of sets at the Vancouver Olympics, along with a few other Western dates thrown in for good measure.
With the recent announcement of a deal between Young Soul and EMI, however, things are really looking up for all the bands on that label.
“It doesn’t really affect Library Voices. It’s more Young Soul,” says Dawson.
“What it is, is an Associated Labels Deal — ALD is what they call it — and it’s the basic production and distribution deal.”
Young Soul albums used to be distributed by Sonic Unyon. The EMI pact — the same arrangement independents like Arts and Crafts and Secret City Records have with the label — will hopefully get their records in more stores.
As well, a major label’s considerable resources and experience should help Young Soul run more smoothly.
“It’s been a lot of trial and error, and now we can bypass that,” says Dawson.
The downside to going with EMI? It forced Library Voices to sit on their new album, Denim on Denim. Work began soon after Hunting Ghosts was released, and it’s been ready for a while. But their deal with Sonic Unyon required them to give six months notice before going with another distributor.
The new album will finally be released April 13. For band member Carl Johnson, it’s about time.
“We’ve got a lot of mileage out of just our little EP,” says Johnson. “With the new record, it’s been a long time coming, and now that we’re getting to the end of it we’re still inside the machine. We can’t wait to get the new record out.
“We’re writing another record too,” he adds.
In passing, Johnson says he used to have a hard time understanding why it would take, say, the Stone Temple Pilots so long to release a new record.
With the new experience, does he feel like he’s gotten insight into the full Scott Weiland experience?
“Without the drug abuse,” he says.