By Jordan Yeager
VANCOUVER – If you’re looking to freshen your early summer music catalogue, look no further. Gentle Mind has spent the year since their formation finding a sound all their own, and now they’ve committed it to vinyl on their premiere EP, After Earth. The collection is concise and refined, painting an aural image that, though it hasn’t been heard on record before, is sure to be recognizable. With influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Hiatus Kaiyote to funk and r&b, next time you hear a Gentle Mind song, you’ll know who it is.
“[After Earth] is about people, and the way they push and pull each other like planets and astral bodies do,” says vocalist and songwriter Camille Brown. “I want to explore that: the human condition, the gravitational force of human bodies. There’s definitely some anger in there, but also longing and craving to be seen, loved, and understood. I wrote most of these songs being in other people’s shoes, in an attempt to make them cathartic [and] somewhat universal.”
Despite having only released one single before sitting down to write and record After Earth, Gentle Mind had spent a year playing live gigs; the resulting cohesion between Brown, guitarist Michael Oliver, bassist Tobi Amoo, and drummer Nick Jensen is palpable.
“Our live shows are what shaped us as a band and continue to make us grow and get better,” says Brown. “It’s the reason we make music – to perform in front of people and really connect. In the studio, we wanted to convey the emotion of being on stage, while making the EP an experience in itself. We let it have more intricacies – that’s the luxury of working with a producer who wants to add their own flavour to a piece. Our producer Liam Moes played some Rhodes, organ, and added percussion in the mix to make it sound nice and rich. We’ll be experimenting with that in our live sets as well.”
Gentle Mind’s EP release party is on May 5 at the Waldorf.