By Quinn Thomas
VANCOUVER – A lot has changed in the past four years. New Prime Minister, new cannabis laws and a new album from Vancouver’s own Old Man Canyon. Last Interviewed by BeatRoute in November 2014 they hadn’t yet recorded their debut, Delirium (released January, 2016). This was an album featuring swirling synths and singing/songwriting reminiscent of a post-Beatles John Lennon.
On Delirium, frontman and multi instrumentalist Jett Pace sonically departed from his debut EP, Phantoms and Friends, that gained him notoriety through being featured in shows like Suits, Shameless and Sons of Anarchy. This shift displayed a bold step forward for the band displaying much potential to follow trends and to refine sharply written songs.
Hitting the road, Old Man Canyon toured for a year then went through some serious changes involving management. Since coming back, Pace hunkered down and started writing material that would find its way onto the upcoming album, A Grand Facade.
Inspired by the likes of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pace recorded the majority of A Grand Facade in his basement. When it came time to polish the record they took it out to Joshua Tree. Pace explains, “I rented an Airbnb in the middle of the desert where there was no one for 10 miles around us, we could make any sort of noise at any time. So we had a week-long listening party. We had instruments, we were tweaking little things, and the final touches were completed there with my two buds.”
Pace seems to be a cut above the average songwriter, drawing more from satire of situations rather than just straight storytelling of the tragic artist. Through intense imagery Pace encourages the listener to examine our societal place and how we can shift that. “I’m trying to bring attention to the ignorance we all turn to world issues, but also our ability to shift ourselves and how we really create our own realities,” he says.
Conceptually this shows up on the first track, and leading single for the album, “Good While It Lasted.” In the song the narrator, filled with indignation, gets high as they watch the world end. An idea that appears clichéd but when told with Pace’s great lyricism it invokes deeper thought about how (regardless of the listener’s emotional reaction of the song) we could change ourselves to be better, and to not grow resentful of current events. All of this is done in a tongue-in-cheek style where implicit introspection proves to be much more powerful than explicit simplicity.
Old Man Canyon continues to mature as a band with pure motives. Everyone should be marking down November 16 as a day to sit down and dive into the rest of A Grand Facade.
A Grand Facade is available through all streaming platforms on November 16.a grand facade, Old Man Canyon