Calgary basement-recorders Lab Coast contribute to the local music scene

Monday 02nd, May 2016 / 13:29
By Robyn Welsh
Lab Coast are hitting the road in support of new album Remember The Moon. Photo: Cody Oliver

Lab Coast are hitting the road in support of new album Remember The Moon.
Photo: Cody Oliver

CALGARY — Lab Coast has been on the radar of many local music lovers since 2008. Their free-spirited sound has been honed through their inventive home-recorded method. Recording in their own space gives them the control and the ease to follow their own process. When recording, the band members often write and record parts on the spot, seeing no necessity for demos. Inspired by the local music scene, the band tends to collaborate and socialize with Calgary artists. Multi-instrumentalist Chris Dadge, in speaking to BeatRoute, says that he and the band tend to enjoy listening to and gain inspiration from musicians who utilize similar recording equipment and technology to them.

Remember the Moon, the band’s fourth LP released on April 29th, utilizes the plethora of instruments left in their recording space by other local musicians and friends. While David Laing, lead vocalist for the band, experiments with saxophone and keyboard, Dadge creates riffs with string instruments and fabricates unique sounds with effect sodden percussion. Since they always have weird instruments laying around, it is easy and tempting to include an array of them in their music, which they did in their latest LP. For Dadge, screwing around with all of the different instruments is, “a great time, it’s one of the things that makes [being a musician] a lot of fun for me.”

Laing and Dadge are the songwriting virtuosos behind the Lab Coast albums. Dadge speaks about the importance of objective listening after completing songs in order to see whether or not the product is worth listening to. He hopes that to some, the band’s music will feel like an addictive, irresistible drug. In talking to BeatRoute, he says he “would like if [listeners] would feel like playing it again and again and again, to be something that becomes almost like you need a hit of it or something.” Whether the need to replay the music is driven by melody or something textural, Dadge believes that an important aspect of music is the ability of something within it to speak to the listener. Lab Coast has achieved this through their wistful and melancholic musical aspects that often evoke a visceral response in listeners – making them want to replay the songs.

Lab Coast’s recently released music video for ‘Bored Again’ treads new water. In the video, the band plays on the deck of an indoor pool while lane swimmers complete their lessons. The video was directed by Sara Jean Hughes, lead vocalist for Calgary band Pre Nup, in which Dadge plays in the live incarnation. According to Noisey, Sara Jean Hughes said, “I’ve always been obsessed with the dim lighting of old, rundown swimming pools and have been looking for the right project to film in one. The song ‘Bored Again’ complements this perfectly – it’s a fun pop song with a tinge of sadness.” The video features underwater shots of swimmers gliding through water and is the first Lab Coast music video that the band was directly involved in making.

Lab Coast has been refining their sound for years, and Remember the Moon is a welcome addition to their nuanced catalogue.

Lab Coast are touring in support of the release, with stops in Edmonton at 9910 on May 5th, Calgary at The Palomino on May 6th, Lethbridge as part of Electric Eye on May 12th, Regina at O’Hanlons Pub on May 13th and Winnipeg at The Handsome Daughter on May 14th.

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