By Kristie Sparksman
VANCOUVER – A feeling you can’t quite explain, a bright space filled with art and plants, the magic of conversation between old friends: These are things that make us feel alive. They can also spawn creativity and connection, and for one awe-inspiring Vancouver group, spinning those human feelings into song comes oh-so naturally. GOODWOOD ATOMS are a band set on delivering a truly encompassing experience.
From humble beginnings (meeting and jamming once, then playing their first set at Khatsalano a few weeks later) to their latest EP Place, released May 12 on Yunizon (Paris), they focus on maintaining humanity first, and producing music second. “The conversations we have and the hanging out can kind of reflect in the creative writing we do,” Francis Hooper says. “I always find the best stuff [we write] is when we just hang out and free-flow chat and then whatever that topic was, like if it was more grim, then the music can reflect that. Like a reflection of the emotion we felt right then.”
GWA have been called many things. Cosmic indie, tech-folk, a way-easier-to-understand-what-he’s-saying Alt-J, but by staying true to their philosophy (“try not to make contrived, front brain music, set an ambience, and get lost”) they defy any such label. “We’ve always embraced the eclectic variety of our sound—we all kind of have different musical personalities,” Joe Pooley explains.
A live show consists of a synched-up visual presentation by Allison Deleo, and a personal invitation to get lost in the unpalpable energy. They also run a small recording venue, The Juniper Room, and it acts as the perfect space for experimentation, jamming, collaboration and, ultimately, creation. “The visuals make each song feel like its own little journey within,” Hooper shares. “Just dimming and having movement with the lights can keep our brains zoned in on the journey. When we’re physically feeling a lot of energy, the ambience around that—the pace of the visuals—there’s a synesthesia between the colours and the music and making you feel each song.”
GOODWOOD ATOMS perform May 13 at the Cobalt.goodwood atoms, the cobalr