By Sebastian Buzzalino
Every now and then, the trajectory of a solo recording project unexpectedly changes direction after a chance encounter, like placing a small rock in a new stream to divert the course of a future river. For songwriter Evan Resnik, that was meeting up with drummer Mathieu Blanchard in early 2017. Resnik was writing complex, mathy songs as Sunglaciers and put out a call for a drummer who could lay down some rhythm on an EP he was working on.
Blanchard answered and the pair clicked, joining forces as a duo, inspiring new ideas and material to try in a live setting. As Resnik puts it, Blanchard is a “real man of action” and within the next year the two-piece had two new EPs.
Blanchard also broke Resnik out of his comfort zone, bringing in a host of new influences that began to reshape the Sunglaciers sound, moving it away from technical and mathy art rock towards more garage, surf and post-punk influences.
As Sunglaciers continued to evolve, the material started to pile up. They recorded two EPs and, almost immediately, had enough material for a third, which expanded into what would become their debut full-length, Foreign Bodies.
The band expanded to a four-piece, bringing in Kyle Crough on bass and Helen Young on synths, and their sound continued to mature both in its willingness to experiment with different influences and styles, as well as in its certainty and confidence at the core of each song. The full-length, Foreign Bodies, sounds like a fully-realized idea, drawing from post-punk at its core and layering in garage, surf, musique concrète and noise influences. During this whole process, Resnik’s songwriting style was changed by his band members’ influences, pushing him out of his safe zones.
“The second track, ‘Dream Fever,’ if you asked me three years ago, I’d say it was way too simplistic, slow-moving, and plodding,” says Resnik. “Mathieu and I went down to Mexico City and we stayed at an Airbnb that had a jam space in it. Instead of seeing the city for a week, we just played music all day and then went out to drink mezcal. It was then that ‘Dream Fever’ was conceived, and was actually one of the first times that Matt really exerted his influence over a song. He wanted to take a simple idea that was good and stay within those confines. Every time I wanted to switch it up, change the time signature, or cut off a measure, he would reign me in.”
Reflecting on how things have changed since he met Blanchard, Resnik seems more confident and self-assured having finally found his place not only as a musician, but also his artistic voice in the larger community.
“It’s been really exciting,” he says. “it’s been a period of good growth and I’m starting to wise up to how all of this works, how I can carve my own place in it all.”
Sunglaciers perform Friday, September 13 at the Palomino (Calgary)Sunglaciers