Limblifter: A new tour, new album, never sour

By Rachel Teresa Park
Limblifter members Ryan Dahle and Megan Bradfield in Dahle’s East Vancouver recording studio. Photo: Rachel Teresa Park

Limblifter members Ryan Dahle and Megan Bradfield in Dahle’s East Vancouver recording studio.
Photo: Rachel Teresa Park

VANCOUVER — Vancouver alternative-rock band Limblifter is back for more action. Born in 1996, Limblifter was a second band/side project for lead Ryan Dahle, who playing in the band Age of Electric at the time. Limblifter released their self-titled debut album that same year. Albums Ballaclava (2000) and I/O (2004) followed after. After being silent since that release, their new record, out April 7th, Pacific Milk is highly anticipated.

Limblifter has been quietly hanging out in the background of the busy lives of lead singer and songwriter Ryan Dahle, bassist Megan Bradfield, drummer Brent Follett and keyboardist Greg MacDonald the past 11 years. We got a chance to catch up at Dahle’s East Van recording studio with Dahle and Bradfield to chat about the upcoming release, all that built up to it and how they felt about Limblifter again with this new music material. “I kind of came back to it with feeling of spark, and a feeling of what I felt in the first place,” comments Dahle about the 11-year “reset.”

Dahle has been very much a part of the music industry from behind the scenes as a music producer for bands like Hot Hot Heat and k-os, Bradfield has been working and touring with musicians like A.C. Newman and The New Pornographers. The new album was written and recorded over the span of two or three years. It was a work in progress while other projects placed Limblifter on hold. The band Mounties that Dahle is a part of, with Hawksley Workman and Steve Bays, has been keeping him busy, but it allowed him to renew and become re-inspired. “A lot of the final brush strokes came from the energy of some of my friends, and Hawksley (Workman) is a big one for me, he inspired me to finish it, he was really excited about it, he was listening to the demos, and wouldn’t stop, going on and on about it, and it really kinda pushed me to finish it.”

Pacific Milk has a fresh sound to it, the essence of Limblifter is there (for all you fans out there), but just different enough to capture your attention with catchy choruses, drum lines that seem to get stuck in your head and Ryan Dahle lyrics that are colourful, unique and ultimately symbolic. The difference between this album and other albums was the sense of community around it. “We are really lucky to be surrounded by great friends/musicians so when you need somebody they’re there. With this record I consciously wanted it to sound more like a [full] band so it consciously had more people play on it, you know there are million parts I could have played or did play on the demo that I had other people come and play, there were little mellotron bits that were impossible to play that I would get Greg [MacDonald] to learn them and come and play them, so just making it feel like a band community type of thing.” Community is so important within any creative industry and you can sense the excitement and joy they have surrounding this new album and the upcoming cross-Canada tour.

“I kind of want this Limblifter record to be out just so I can start working towards writing another one, I’m so inspired by this energy.”

Limblifter performs at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver on March 19, the Gateway in Calgary on March 20 and at Pawn Shop in Edmonton on March 21.

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