On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the new album by local Vancouver band, Mojave. That album is Crow’s Funeral, the band’s second, and a song cycle of sorts based around the image of a murder of crows gathering around one of their own after he or she has passed on.
As vocalist LJ explained from the stage, this phenomenon strongly suggests that the grieving process is not unique to humanity, that crows also have rituals to mark the end of a life. It’s this idea that drove the songwriting, making for something of a focus for the group as they sought to follow up their debut album, Stories. The band worked with producer Dan Achen (Feist, City and Colour), to pull the album together over the last few months.
The CD launch was held in Vancouver, at the Cafe Deux Soliels (2096 Commercial Drive), the atmosphere of which added to a laid back, communal feel which is true to the band’s sound and attitude. The event started off with an ambient-guitar act Anomalous Disturbances, actually one man act Terrence O’Brien, who is also an educator for SOCAN in the field of copyright law, an interesting contrast when you listen to the delicacy of his Eno-esque, effects pedal-driven soundscapes.
Mojave hit the stage just after nine, with a laid back set that reviewed tracks from the new record, and debuted a new track or two. The group’s sound draws from folk rock, with a bit of the dark, minor-key undertones of emo-rock which colour its edges. The addition of the violin/viola to their dual-guitar line up adds something of a darkly baroque texture.
The band has been busy in the weeks after the album’s completion, already writing new songs, managing their record label Black Canvas Records, and gearing up for a Canadian tour starting in August.
I spoke with Paul Jarvis, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist of Mojave, to talk about their origins and musical background and their next steps. Here’s a snippet of our conversation, interspersed with well-wishers, friends, and fans congratulating him on a good show:
In this clip, Paul mentions the song ‘Save Me’ on the album, and I mention it was a favourite of mine. Listen to ‘Save Me’ and tell me what you think.
For more information about Mojave, including tour dates and biographical information, be sure to check out the website at mojave.fm.
And to hear a selection of songs from the new record, check out the Mojave MySpace Page.
Thanks to April Smith of AHA Media who took pictures and shot the interview.