FIGURING OUT THEIR OWN PATHS IN LIFE
You may remember Amber Webber and Joshua Wells from Vancouver-based combo groups such as the Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops, where ’70s-inspired psychedelic rock riffs, fuzz, sweat and sleaze embraced and consumed the listener.
What you may not know is that Webber and Wells have been embracing other sides of their talents with a side project called Lightning Dust: a softer, more melodic, ballad-inspired, folk pop; a project that has given the artists the space and the ability to embrace more of their creativity, enabling them to explore more instruments and make more sounds; a project that started as off as fun albums for friends and has grown into another serious music endeavour.
Fantasy is a different album from the previous albums (Lightning Dust and Infinite Light) in that they have moved from their classic “wintery, insular vibe” to something that you want to share with your friends — it’s something a little more extroverted that makes you want to dance, it’s different, it’s interesting and fun, but still dark. Perhaps its Webber’s love to boogie or Wells’ new synthesizers, or maybe it’s that their studio is in an old balloon factory, but you can trust is that this equally intense album will show you a side of the duo that is quite unexpected yet eerily familiar.
For Webber and Wells, being artists is a way of life — it’s who they are, it’s why they’re here. “We’re artists to the core and we’ll be making music till we’re no longer capable,” says Webber and you can tell they’ve been doing it for a long time – and they’re good at it. Of course, they both have “regular” jobs when they’re off the road: Webber works as a social worker and Wells as an engineer. But, once they punch out, you can bet that they’re thinking, breathing and making music and asking questions — like the ones you’ll find in “Loaded Gun,” which is loosely based on observing how people are searching for where they are in life, where they want to go and whether they’re doing it “right.” Questions that leave most of us wondering what it feels like to have “our situations are all aligned.” “It seems that everyone else seemed to find what they wanted to do at 22,” says Webber and many of us can relate.
Who now knows when it’s all aligned or if we’ve “found what we need” these days when so much has changed from what the generations before us. When is it too late to marry, to have kids and to lock into that “stable” job, and is it the way to go? Question that we all face and answers that differ from culture to culture and generation to generation. Webber pulls these questions with a melodic intensity that has a sense of longing for an answer that seems to be somewhere in that great abyss.
Whatever those answers are, Webber says that at the end of the day, “It’s about happiness: life’s too short to get caught up in some things… as long as you can keep what your interests are afloat while maintaining a comfortable livelihood, then you should be alright.” Wise words.
Catch Lightning Dust at the Palomino (Calgary) on July 24 and at Brixx (Edmonton) on July 25.
By Karolina Gajewska
Photo: Ila Meens