Cold Specks‘ debut album, ‘I Predict A Graceful Expulsion’, is released next month, having taken over five years to write and assemble. We get to talk to the Toronto native to discuss the forthcoming release and the ongoing development of her project.
Your debut album comes out next month, so how long has the project been going on for, and over what sort of time period were all the songs written?
I started writing them around 2006 and finished writing them around 2009, with the exception of two songs on the album, called ‘Hector’ and ‘Steady Hands’. And then I came out to the UK to work with Jim Anderson in around April of 2010. That was when the project became ‘Cold Specks’ and we got band members involved, and then recorded the album in September of 2011, ‘Hector’ and ‘Steady Hands’ were written a few days before we went into the studio.
Do you think having written them over such a long time has an impact on the flow of the album, are they all closely related or more disparate?
They are all still related but they’ve just evolved over the years.
Do you think there’s much of a difference between ‘Hector’ and ‘Heavy Hands’ and the first ones you wrote in 2006, do you think you can tell they were written so far apart?
I think the newer ones are more structured, and ‘Hector’ is very steady, but then at the same time, I have always written the same way, I’ve never really sat down and thought it out.
The album’s called ‘I Predict a Graceful Expulsion’, do you think that your music is intrinsically dark?
I think they’re dark because they were written in dark periods.
Do you think there’s a certain redemption or salvation to be found in the cathartic process of writing music though?
Erm.. No, haha. I know it’s really cheesey, but I guess it’s always going to be kind of therapy. I wrote a lot of the songs anticipating certain events in my life, so when we went to the record the songs, and they happened, it naturally helped me through.
What do you think was the most difficult song on the album to write, either technically or personally?
‘Send Your Youth’ wasn’t difficult to write, but it was written years ago, just me on an acoustic guitar, so working out the arrangement for that song took a very long time, it didn’t come as naturally as some other songs, like ‘Winter Solstice’ or ‘Holland’, where the arrangement came together quite quickly. It took so long because me and Jim (Who produced the album) never thought it was right, it took us ages to decide to put it on piano, that one decision took almost a year and a half.
Are you permanently based in London now?
I tend to go back and forth, the first time I came out I stayed for six months, and then went back for six months, because I didn’t have a visa, but I have a visa now, so I go to Toronto whenever feel like being in Toronto, and come to London whenever I feel like being in London.
Was there a particular reason why you came to London?
To begin with, the only reason was to make the album, because Jim was based here and had access to a studio in Wales. I was working in a call centre in Toronto, so quit that and stayed here for a while.
Do you think you’ll be doing many shows after the album is released?
We did a UK tour at the end of February. In two weeks time we’re doing a bunch of shows in Europe, and then I head out for thirty-five days to North America to travel on a tour bus with ‘Great Lake Swimmers’, so my schedules pretty busy for a while.
You played with Josh T Pearson last year as well, how was that?
Yeah that was great, he’s amazing, half of his set is really sad songs, and the other half is just the corniest jokes I’ve ever heard in my entire life.