Watch this clip featuring a track by Calgarian chamber-folk-art-rock practicioners, and one of my favourite Canadian bands Raleigh. It’s “It Will Rise”, the closing track to their 2013 record, Sun Grenades & Grenadine Skies, their second.
The band is comprised of Clea Anaïs on vocals, cello and keyboards, Brock Gieger on guitar and vocals, and Matt Doherty on drums. The music is nearly impossible to pin down in terms of a single genre, incorporating folk, chamber pop, ambient, and jazz. But, their sound is anchored by the intertwined voices of the two vocalists Anaïs and Gieger, and the polyrhythmic approach that Doherty takes behind the kit.
When they released their debut record New Times In Black And White in 2011, I got to talk to Brock and Clea. This was around the time they took to the road to tour Canada. Now, with the release of this album, they’re about to take another tour to Europe. And I got to speak to Brock Geiger again recently via email, about the new record, about the making of this track and video, and about taking to the road across the ocean, too. Here’s what he said.
Listen to this track by art-rock-meets-chamber-pop trio from Calgary Alberta, Raleigh. It’s the opening track to their debut album New Times in Black and White; “Tunnel Vision”, an ambitious tune built up centered around the interlocked voices of Clea Anaïs (also on cello and piano) and Brock Geiger (guitar). Drummer Matt Doherty supports the song, and others on the record with dextrous, melodic fills.
The three musicians have created an amalgam of various strains of pop music, with an atmosphere that explores the same sumptuous indie-folk musical continent as Sufjan Stevens mapped on Illinoise. There is temptation to bury them in comparisons to other bands still, ranging from Stars, to Iron & Wine, to Radiohead.
Yet with the vocal chemistry between Anaïs and Geiger, and with the warm and restrained orchestral feel of cello against indie guitar, against jazz-inflected drumming, the band establish their own unique sonic landscape. They leave enough space for the voices to work their magic with melodies that urge the listener on, while also shifting in interesting directions instrumentally and rhythmically at the same time.
I talked to Clea and Brock about finding each other (literally!), about chemistry, and about the one-time event of creating a debut album.