By Maddy Cristall
Vancouver’s own Small Town Artillery recently released their third album, Don’t Talk Away the Magic, and it’s arguably their best yet. The album was recorded at Bluelight Studios, it is an poignant body of work made of “pure heart and soil” as lead singer Tom eloquently puts it. The band is compiled of band leader Tom Van Deursen, a man with a powerful presence and a soft soul. He ends most of his performances topless, dripping with sweat with his eyes closed thanking the audience who are all completely melted from what they just witnessed. His dear friend and brother Derek is the band’s talented drummer often seen who essentially drips with passion and talent. Their bassist is the highly skilled Carson Webber who also plays in Year of the Wolf and The Long War, the three bands often tour together which is highly convenient and likely tiring for Webber. They always tour with their high octane horn section which consists of the gifted Nathan Barrett and Mike Kayser. Lastly, Ashley Robyn provides harmonious back up vocals with her distinctive and roaring voice.
Small Town Artillery have received some notable accolades since they formed in 2014 including being named top 100 bands in CBC’s Searchlight (2018). They are now signed with JumpAttack! Records and just came back from an extensive tour through small town B.C including Kaslo, where the Van Deursens are originally from. Their final show tour was at the jam packed Imperial, it was brimming with a blown away audience.
Tom describes Don’t Talk Away the Magic as the ‘most emotional album I have ever made.’ This is apparent in the autobiographical lyrics that are rich with depth and honesty. Tom further explains ‘I was going through heartbreak at the time and put my entire soul into this record.’ The fervent lyrical content of the record is beautifully paired with its rich sonic landscape. The musicality of the band is refined, they have all played music the majority of their lives which is apparent in their music. Their performances are sweaty and boisterous examples of how much fun music is and should be. Tom explains ‘ I want our shows to have layers, or less layers (in terms of clothing). Small Town Artillery certainly does have layers, they are a dense lasagne of skilled musicality and emotional generosity. Don’t Talk Away the Magic is available now; it is one of those turn off your phone, shut the blinds and close your eyes kind of records.
Small Town Artillery perform on December 14 at The Rio Theatre