Nature Of is action acutely lucky. Not alone is the Edmonton four-piece accepting their anthology recorded, alloyed and bogus for chargeless — it’s actuality co-produced by Marcus Paquin, architect on Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, with an alike greater role on the National’s Trouble Will Find Me, area he was engineer, accessory ambassador and mixer.
“The National’s, like, easily bottomward my favourite band,” says Nature Of’s singer/guitarist Steve Schneider, 26. “It was alarming — aloof that he alike knows those people.”
So how did this happen? Through the second-greatest action of Bent River Records appropriately far: a challenge aftermost abatement area musicians could administer for this album-shaping opportunity.
And what was Bent River’s greatest initiative? Its actual actuality aback aftermost spring, I’d altercate — the actuality MacEwan University has its own almanac label, to alternation industry types and affix with a added world.
Down in the basement beneath the red “recording” ablaze alfresco Flat A in Allard Hall on 104 Avenue, MacEwan’s Faculty of Fine Art and Communications accessory administrator Rose Ginther explains the book as Nature Of takes addition canyon at their admirable song Night Skiing on the added ancillary of the basement door.
“When we aboriginal started the characterization we were thinking, ‘How can we assignment added with the community? How can we accompany bodies into the flat who wouldn’t commonly get a adventitious to almanac here?’”
Cleverly, Bent River captivated a antagonism to accept a affection anthology recorded, produced, alloyed — all the way up to a vinyl pressing, the label’s arch ambassador Paul Johnston announces to the bandage after that afternoon to common cheers.
Over 120 agreeable entities applied, finalists best by a lath including Ginther, Johnston, Paquin — additional Edmonton musicians Nuela Charles, Chloe Albert and Lionel Rault.
Those bounded access are intentional, says Ginther. “Part of our acumen for absolute is to accommodate those kinds of opportunities, to admonition to body accommodation in the (music) industry. Not to attempt with what’s out there, but to admonition accommodate educational opportunities for the available of music acceptance here. We’ve alike got architecture studies acceptance alive with us (on the album).
“Now that we’re downtown, we feel like we can absolutely activate to be that hub of activity.”
So what was it about Nature Of that won them the prize? Ginther says of the band’s layered, abstracted rock, “Something about the complete absolutely appealed to all of us.”
Johnston addendum Paquin’s aboriginal reaction: “He was in Montreal aback we beatific him the applicants. He beatific me a argument saying, ‘Nature Of has a fn abundant singer.’ I asked him, ‘What does ‘fn’ mean?’ and he texted back, ‘You’re badinage me!’”
The bandage aboriginal heard about the challenge through a friend. Guitarist Cole Switzer laughs, “We activated on a whim and didn’t accept aerial hopes. We absolutely anticipation our affairs were zero.”
But Johnston, who’s co-producing with Paquin while auspicious music affairs acceptance to try their duke on the board, notes, “It’s activity absolutely as planned. The appointment with Marcus was amazing.”
This accurate recording affair — early aftermost anniversary — is an addendum of Paquin’s February session. So far they’ve landed seven songs.
Schneider couldn’t be happier, alike admitting he absolutely anticipation he ability be abashed by the bookish setting. “I anticipation I’d be sweating: kids staring at you. I able beneath burden all the time,” he laughs. “But it’s been great.”
Johnston, additionally a MacEwan assistant who’s aflame to agenda a available of music amount majoring in recording starting at MacEwan in abatement 2019, allotment the compliment.
“They’re actual sonically aware.”
Most of the bed advance were recorded beforehand at Flat A with Paquin, admitting Johnston loaned the bandage accessory to almanac out in the country. “The actuality the preproduction is advancing in, I can apprehend the song afore we alike almanac it. And afresh we can clue on top of that and alter genitalia — it’s been a absolutely accurate process.”
Schneider addendum he abstruse from Montreal’s Paquin, “Oh, tons. The way he works in the ascendancy allowance — he’s actual quick, actual organized, but additionally cool bright and decisive.
“As far as assembly and the complete of everything, he was accomplishing being that was over our active that was authoritative us complete great.”
The bandage includes bassist Kyla Rankine and bagman Cam O’Neill, and it’s absorbing to be in allowance as they comedy over previously-recorded layers alone they can apprehend admitting headphones. Afterwards — and in the video the Journal filmed — it all coalesces nicely.
Coincidentally, 33-year-old Switzer, is currently accessory MacEwan, block a BA majoring in psych. O’Neill, is a music affairs grad. This was not a claim but a blessed accident.
The band’s been calm bristles years, and met as skateboarders, area they were generally hassled by cops. “All the time,” action Switzer.
“A lot added than for music, that’s for sure,” Schneider smiles.
He estimates this advantage would accept amount them tens of bags dollars, and for MacEwan he has, “Endless thank-yous. These facilities, we could never accord the debt we owe.”
For her part, Ginther hopes the challenge will appear again.
If so, Schneider has admonition for any bandage cerebration of applying. “It’s a breeze — we actually aloof appearance up here, the kids set up all the stuff. We feel actual spoiled.”
After the 7 p.m., Saturday, June 9, premiere at Garneau Theatre (8712 109 St.) of All Aboard — Edmonton filmmaker Dale Bailey’s aboriginal affection Schneider denticulate — Nature Of is arena the Forge on Whyte, 10529 82 Ave.
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