By Foster Modesette
CALGARY — Long-time Calgary musician and locally renowned poet, Kris Demeanor, is finally putting out a new album after a seven-year recording hiatus.
“After you release seven recordings,” said Demeanor, “some of the song structure, the whole construct of a pop song, seems dull or done in your mind. To make that fresh, for myself, I (started) involving people that I don’t get to play with as much as I wanted.”
Demeanor’s bold new approach to writing and recording came in the form of teaming up with Calgary talents, Jamie Konchak, Allison Lynch, Cinnamon Anderson and Rae Spoon, to create the Cutest Kitten Ever.
“A lot of the songs are like three or four chunks that have been put together,” said Demeanor. “Sometimes, in my mind, they are almost like a character, a photographic snapshot, a scene, as apposed to classical song structure.”
The record, Entirely New Beasts, released on May 15, 2016, is a minimalist’s cache. The album does have detailed elements, found in synth pop backgrounds or French horn segments, but at its core it is an experience that highlights the simplicity of words and their overwhelming bond with music.
“Music does sort of have a special relationship with words,” Demeanor mused. “Lyrics that are either obscure, or simple, can be forgiven in the context of a good tune. That’s always been one of those things in the pop-rock-folk world.”
A wonderfully rich album, filled with heavy guitar licks, whistling, birds chirping, academic harmonies, beautifully captivating poetry, and, above all, a love for what is being produced, makes Entirely New Beasts a statement worth paying attention to.
On Demeanor’s new musical endeavour, he tells BeatRoute, “with that freedom, you have to be as adventurous as possible. It used to be that the first draft was always the best…catching the fresh-early energy of a creative process, (now), it’s okay to look over a piece and really scrutinize every word, decide over a few months, is this really the way I want to say this? Question it and re-tool it: on this album I did that more than I ever have.”
Entirely New Beasts is out as of May 15th, catch Kris Demeanor at the Ironwood on June 14th, and at Calgary Folk Fest July 21st-24th as part of Berner, Mark, Demeanor. Demeanor also will be a part of Verses Vs. Homeless: A Shelter From the Storm Production during Sled Island.AB, Alberta, Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016, Ironwood, Kris Demeanor, Kris Demeanor and Cutest Kitten Ever, Sled Island 2016