Library Voices, a seven piece pop collective from Regina, Saskatchewan released their debut EP, Hunting Ghosts (& Other Collected Shorts) in 2008. SPIN took immediate notice proclaiming Library Voices the “undiscovered band you NEED to hear now.” They have been featured in The New Yorker. They have been nominated for a 2010 Western Canadian Music Award for “Independent Album of the Year.” They’ve been mugged twice and lost all their gear twice (once through theft, once through an act of God). “Denim on Denim” their debut album, was released on April 13, 2010 (Young Soul Records / EMI). Heartfelt critical acclaim has echoed the release of the album. The band has graced the covers of several market weeklies, The Georgia Straight awarded “Denim on Denim” a perfect 5 out of 5 review and Spinner declared this past June’s NXNE set “one of the best of the entire festival.” Library Voices toured across Canada in support of Denim on Denim. Now signed to Nevado Records, they’ll release their third LP this year, “Summer Of Lust” before the summer of 2011 is gone…
Selected Press Quotes
“Undiscovered band you NEED to hear now … leaning on well-edited art school essentials, from restrained flourishes of unadorned guitars to playful keyboards and cutesy boy-girl vocals.”
“Library Voices give pop a good name! Mixing classic influences (The Kinks, The Zombies) with a more contemporary indie-pop collective aesthetic they have managed to craft a handful of timeless tunes that couldn't exist anytime but right now. While unexpected mid-song disintegrations and perfectly imperfect gang vocals add a nice seasoning to their mix, it's their ability to never lose sight of the song that makes this so vital.”
Sled Island Festival 08 (Calgary)
“…this EP’s multi-decade mash-up of pop styles feels warm, inviting and unrehearsed. While exuberant bounciness appears to be the ticket for the majority of the EP, the winner may be the most subdued track. The utterly charming “Hunting Ghosts” glides effortlessly on Brian Wilson-esque harmonies, a hushed female vocal and a skittery beat, and is in turns wistful, contemplative and comfortingly cryptic.”
“Their sound bridges your parents The Kinks & Roy Orbison albums with your big sisters Fleetwood Mac & Talking Heads cassettes and your weird older cousins Violent Femmes & Magnetic Fields CDs.”
Regina Folk Festival 08
“Just when you feel like you’re all used up and it’s time to go, some music gets under your skin and changes your mind.”
SEE Magazine (Edmonton)
“I found myself listening to (Step Off The Map & Float) over and over.”
“The results of these studies (in pop music) are well worth the effort. Hunting Ghosts succeeds in being addictive and continuously compelling.” Prairie Dog – Cover Story (Regina)
Interview by tosnob
T.O. Snob: First off thanks for taking the time to do this with us. You're playing CMW on March 13th, what do festivals like this mean to a band as they start out? MD: They can be incredibly beneficial. They bring so many people together in such a concentrated space. Events like this we have done over the past year have resulted in some really great opportunities and friendships. In the past they have led to collaborations with Woodpigeon and all night drinking binges with Okkervil River. It creates a giant network - it's like facebook but without the internet and constant status updates.
T.O. Snob: When you do a Festival event like CMW do you get a chance to check out any of the other bands?
MD: It all comes down to routing and scheduling really. It always seems that everyone is running all over the city before and after set times trying to catch their favorite acts. We have been pretty blessed with the last couple festivals we've played, at WCMA we shared a bill with Chad VanGaalen and with Blitzen Trapped at Sled Island, so needless to say we stayed locked to our seats. This time around Young Rival plays right after us at the El Mocambo, so again we'll get to check out a really great band without having to go anywhere. Other bands we hope to check out will be Human Highway, Jon Rae, Women, and Naughty By Nature.
T.O. Snob: The EP you released last year was exceptional. When can we expect a full album of material from the band?
MD: Thanks for the kind words. We actually just finished up a full length album last week. It's ten new songs and a cover of the song Book Of Love by one of our favorite bands, Magnetic Fields. We're just in the process of sorting out the details now - hoping for an early summer release.
T.O. Snob: I can`t wait to hear that cover. What inspires a Library Voices song? MD: In most cases the songs originally stem from casual observations of everyday life. I'm drawn to this sort of tongue and cheek documentation of contemporary culture and the actions of our peers. You know, the usual.... dancefloors, insecurities, promiscuities, the art of sleep - or lack thereof, classic albums, and a love for the drink. In a few cases songs have been directly inspired by novels I hold dear, but more often than not (and by some weird coincidence) it seems like whatever book I happen to be reading always ties in directly with a song I'm working on. It's become a device I rely pretty heavily on in our songwriting, referencing pop culture to solidify the point I'm making with the song. On the new album all sorts of characters show up from Gram Parsons to Murakami, Joe Meek to Dostoevsky.
T.O. Snob: You have 10 members in the band rather than the typical 4 or 5. How does a band that large come to be?
MD: In some ways the whole BIG BAND thing has proven to be a curse. Some people interpret it as us just trying to ride the coat tails the other groups with a lot of members have found - while others think of the band as more of a novelty. Truth be told, 10 was never a set number by any means. It just sort of kept growing until it felt right - and we've actually been joined by more than on stage at points. Our song writing objective has always been to try and sound like 4 of 5 people whenever possible, but having so many members allows us the opportunity to pair up unlikely instruments and have voices trade in and out of songs.
T.O. Snob: How does the size of the band affect the songwriting process?
MD: Logistics is always the biggest thing. Trying to arrange a schedule that works with ten busy people is typically more work than writing the songs. There is definitely a certainly level of trust within the band that enables us bring the best out of everyone I think. I mean, we've been a band for less than a year and have recorded a 6 song ep, an 11 song lp, and currently have 6 or 7 other songs on the go... so all things considered, the size of the band seems to be working in our favor.
T.O. Snob: As someone married to a librarian, I was wondering what inspired the band's name?
MD: I have always been of the belief that you shouldn't invest too much into a band name. Something aesthetically pleasing and memorable is far more effective than something deeply personal and regrettable down the road. I just really liked the connotations the name had. It conjures up youthful images of running through the halls in elementary schools and being scolded to use your "library voices" or your "indoor voices". Libraries seem to have gone the way of the cassette tape and drive-in theatre. They're things people love nostalgically but were sort of sucked to the wayside in the vacuum of technology.
T.O. Snob: Your song "Things We Stole From Vonnegut's Grave" was one of the catchiest tunes of 2008. What is your favorite Kurt Vonnegut novel?
MD: Bluebeard. Although in that song I tried hard to reference all of his works that I have read; Player Piano, Mother Night, God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, Cat's Cradle, Welcome To The Monkey House, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Palm Sunday, Breakfast of Champions, Slapstick, Galapagos, Hocus Pocus, and Fates Worse Than Death. I think it's inevitable that someday we'll record a sequel to that song I make my way through the rest of his bibliography. Armageddon in Retrospect has been burning a hole on my bookshelf for months.
T.O. Snob: That`s a good one. Mine`s Breakfast Of Champions. You hail from Regina, a city whose music scene does get a lot of attention in Toronto. What is the scene like there?
MD: Regina has this incredibly vibrant music scene. There are so many great bands happening in the city right now. Check out Rah Rah, Sylvie, Molten Lava, Lazy MKs, Ghosts of Modern Man, and Andy Schauf... just to name a few.
T.O. Snob: What are your guiltiest musical pleasures?
MD: Hmm... I absolutely love the Violent Femmes, Dr. Hook, and The Lemonheads. Although, I don't feel terribly guilty about any of them. Maybe Billy Joel's Glass Houses record?
T.O. Snob: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans in Toronto?
MD: Please come hang out at the show. We know there is a LOT going on during CMW but we'd be flattered to see your smiling face in the crowd.
T.O. Snob: Thanks again.