from their forthcoming album Big Blue on Arts & Crafts
Impacting October 21
British Columbia's Dead Soft have been a source of growing excitement in the Canadian underground for longer than most bands ahead of their full-length debut. Like their late ‘80s and early ‘90s forbearers in the Pacific Northwest, the three-piece traffic in a sound that blends a penchant for fuzzed out noise and a rough hewn intensity with a sharp melodic sensibility, and have built a burgeoning reputation through live shows and constant touring, sharing stages with artists like Bully, The Breeders, Broken Social Scene, The Courtneys and Great Grandpa, as well as releasing a stream of DIY EPs and cassettes.
The band’s forthcoming LP, Big Blue will be released October 18th on Toronto indie stalwart Arts & Crafts, and the album is destined to bring Dead Soft to the attention of the wider music world. The culmination of almost three years of work, the Big Blue refines and focuses the elements that made the band’s early releases so promising while blowing up their cathartic, fuzzed-out power pop to a massive scale. Through a creative process beset with hardships and uncertainty the album is a testament to Dead Soft’s unwavering commitment to their vision, and a powerful guitar record about taking a leap of faith to find the life you want.
Founded by Nathaniel Epp (vocalist/songwriter) and Keeley Rochon (bassist/vocalist), and later joined by drummer Alex Smith, Dead Soft have taken the long way to their debut LP. The band began in 2011 as a vehicle for Epp’s songwriting, and after building buzz on the back of a catalog that includes releases on Nashville’s Infinity Cat (Diarrhea Planet, JEFF The Brotherhood, Colleen Green) they first embarked on the sessions for their debut back in 2016. But Epp describes the stress of trying to take off as a new band in one of North America's most expensive cities:
“Living in Vancouver and doing any kind of musical endeavor like touring, or recording required so much work and sacrifice,” Epp reflects. “There was a lot of time, energy and hope invested into those sessions, so when things went sideways the way they did it was really crushing. In the wake of that Keeley and I made the decision to tear down the life we were living and move to a remote community in a bit of a leap of faith scenario. We dealt with a lot of uncertainty but worked really hard to figure out a new life that we wanted, and the increase in time and money that the new life has provided us allowed the album to really take on a life of its own. The struggles and growth were happening while we were creating the album and began to seep into the music. It became a record about our search for peace.”
After scrapping the majority of the original sessions, including many of the songs they had been playing prior to their move, the band dove into Big Blue on Gabriola Island. With fewer outside distractions they were afforded the time to fully engage an obsessive attention to detail that helped them execute a record on the scale that they had envisioned, one informed both by their time in Vancouver, their yearning for a new life and the solace that Epp found in his relationship with Rochon.
On single “Step Out” the band channel the loose guitar jangle of Pavement, and the Pixies’ dramatic dynamic shifts and male/female vocal interplay in a song about becoming a better person by removing yourself from an environment that informs who you are.
Beamed out from their forest-covered island Big Blue is in some ways an unlikely record. A debut that acknowledges both the personal history of its creators and the last 35 years of guitar music while displaying a desire to walk a new path forward from both, a hopeful collection of songs about the darkest parts of life, and a sonically and emotionally turbulent album written from a peaceful place, a place that, as Rochon explains, gives the album its name.
“Since we moved to the island we’ve been amazed by the way the light looks at dusk,” Rochon says. “Without man-made light sources there’s a short window of time after the sun sets but before the night falls where the sky emanates a deep blue glow. Big Blue represents a turning point, we have become more centered and whole as individuals and as a band and feel more ready and able than ever to share this with the world. Ultimately my dream would be to have this record serve as a catalyst for healing.”
"a fuzz-drenched, hook-laden sound that recalls everything from grunge to classic ’80s alternative to power-pop." – Stereogum
"fuzzed-out alt-rock that’ll take you right back to the ’90s but sounds great in 2019 too." – Brooklyn Vegan
"The indie-punk three-piece have all the downer emotionality of grunge and ’90s alternative, but still manage to sound loud and effective rather than listless. Their choruses hit hard, even if their verses often feel subdued — a tactic used successfully by bands like Weezer and Microwave." – Kerrang
Catch Dead Soft on Tour:
Oct 12 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
Oct 17 – Calgary, AB – Palomino Smokehouse
Oct 18 – Edmonton, AB – Sewing Machine Factory
Oct 20 – Winnipeg, MB – The Good Will
Oct 21 – Minneapolis. MN – 7th Street Entry
Oct 23 – Chicago, IL – The Burlington
Oct 24 – Port Huron, MI – SchwonkSoundStead
Oct 25 – Toronto, ON – The Beguiling
Oct 26 – Montreal, QC – La Sotterenea
Oct 28 – Ottawa, ON – Live on Elgin
Oct 29 – Allston, MA – O'Briens
Nov 02 – Philadelphia, PA – Creep Records
Nov 3 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Nov 06 – Nashville, TN – Drkmttr
Nov 11 – Phoenix, AZ – Trunk Space
Nov 12 – San Diego, CA – Bar Pink
Nov 14 – Los Angeles, CA – The Satellite
Nov 16 – San Francisco, CA – El Rio
Nov 19 – Portland, OR – The Fixin' To
Nov 20 – Olympia, WA – Rhythm and Rye
Nov 21 – Seattle, WA – Belltown Yacht Club
Ronda Chollock / Insubordinate Media
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