Veda Hille Sings “Lucklucky”

This-Riot-LifeListen to this track by Vancouverite orchestral art pop pioneer Veda Hille (that’s Vay-da Hil-ee, for you out-of-towners). It’s “Lucklucky”, a track as taken from her 2008 record This Riot Life, released on Andy Partridge’s Ape records label.

When it comes to being an indie artist who knows no artistic boundaries, Veda Hille has been a poster child in Vancouver for a while by now, putting out her first effort, Songs About People And Buildings in 1992 when I heard it for the first time on cassette in my friend’s basement apartment in far away Toronto. Her work as a recording artist is in addition to being very much grounded in the Vancouver arts scene working with dance and theatre companies, and in Berlin where she enjoyed a residency in 2013 while writing her most recent album, Love Waves.

What about this song, though, recorded after she’d set up what seemed to be an unwavering schedule of putting out records, playing live shows, and being involved in various stage productions for many years by this time? Well, among other things, it’s rooted in some pretty solidly Canadian themes as usual. Read more

David Ward Sings “The Arrival”

Listen to this track by Vancouverite musician, songwriter, singer, guitarist, blogger, indie-promoter, concert series organizer … whew, David Ward. It’s “The Arrival”, the opening track to his most recent EP Departures, a segment in a trilogy of EPs that make up The Arrival album.

Each segment of the trilogy traces the patterns of hellos, goodbyes, and quests for growth and meaning in between that we experience through out our lives, and “what can be considered both the beginning and end of a journey in the first installation of The Arrival”.

Besides the Jeff Buckley references, the thing that struck me about this song was the themes I hear in it of constantly being on the move, trying to slow down enough to make connections, and the difficult balance between these two forces that pull us in seemingly opposite directions. This is a rich field to harvest for the songwriter. And in this case, the razor-keen slide playing, and keening vocals don’t hurt either.

Ward is something of a moving target himself, intensely involved in band promotion; his own, as well as others either directly or indirectly. He’s done this through blogging to a musician’s audience on how to promote music and musical careers using Internet tools, as well as organizing shows through the Wachu Concert Series, which promotes local talent here in Vancouver.

He’s also been involved in a myriad of other artistic pursuits as a jobbing musician, including as a part of the R&B/funk band The Phonix, with whom he sings and plays guitar. This doesn’t cover the usual writing/touring/recording schedule that he also undertakes as a solo artist, of course. Ward is still following the traditional musician’s calling, even if the tools and channels of that calling have grown more new-fangled.

David Ward is launching the three-part EP collection  May 18 at Vancouver’s Rickshaw Theatre, to which I’ve been invited (looking forward to the show!). The show will also feature a DJ set from Bear Mountain, and a set from Gavin Youngash from Star Captains. David takes to the stage at 9pm, backed by a seven-piece band.

Learn more at the David Ward website, where you can also read his blog!