Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland Find Their Sound as Whitehorse
"People waiting for our next solo albums are going to be waiting a long time," says Doucet. "This is not a side-project." McClelland adds, "Our new record is partly about bringing our two fan bases together. There is a lot of overlap already, but we thought bringing some of the old material [her hit 'Passenger 24' and Doucet favourite 'Broken'] and putting it in a new light, changing them around, would be a good way of introducing this new band."
The pair came up with most of the instrumentation on Whitehorse, with Doucet's former Veal bandmate Barry Mirochnick playing most of the drums. The bulk of the sessions took place at Hamilton, ON studio Catherine North, with Michael Chambers doing the engineering and mixing. Other recording was done at the pair's home studio and at Sarah McLachlan's house in Vancouver.
The result is eight songs totalling 24 minutes, but Doucet doesn't like the term EP. "That's a dirty word. This is a record, a short record, and we'll put out another record next year. We have enough material for a double album already, including tracks we built up with Andrew Scott, who did Steel City Trawler [Doucet's much-praised 2010 record]."
Doucet and McClelland, who are married, have worked together extensively prior to the creation of Whitehorse. Doucet has produced the last three McClelland albums, they frequently accompany each other on their individual gigs and both tour extensively as members of McLachlan's band.
But Doucet and McClelland acknowledge that working together as Whitehorse has brought some changes in their joint working methods. "This is the first time I've gone into the studio and I'm writing while we're tracking. I've never done that before. I actually like it this way," says McClelland. "On my previous records, Luke was definitely involved in giving his two cents on the songs and telling me honestly what he thinks isn't working. We've rearranged songs together, but not to the extent of Whitehorse, where we are actually bringing ideas to each other and finishing them for each other."
Doucet adds, "My being in the producer's role establishes a hierarchy in the studio. With this project, I actually think Melissa is more open to my input than ever before. We levelled the playing field.
"There is not a lot of rock'n'roll in Whitehorse at this point. Not a lot of vintage retro country ballads. That is not the thing we share the most. There is the common ground we share and I think that will define what Whitehorse is. Whitehorse has more of a sound than either of our solo careers ever have."
Whitehorse's debut is due out via Six Shooter Records. In support of the album, the duo have a string of tour dates set for the U.S. and Canada. You can see all the dates here.
For more of Exclaim!'s interview with Whitehorse, click here.
NewsDec 09, 2014
Bob Dylan Details 'Shadows in the Night' LP
Folk icon Bob Dylan just released the expansive, archival Basement Tapes collection, and now he's set his sights ahead to some new material....
NewsDec 08, 2014
Jason Collett Reveals Joseph Boyden, A Tribe Called Red as Basement Revue Guests
Jason Collett's annual Basement Revue has become a holiday-time staple in the Toronto music community. And for the seven years it's been run...
NewsDec 03, 2014
The Barr Brothers Map Out Canadian Dates for 2015
Having released the album Sleeping Operator and landing on the cover of Exclaim! in the process, folksy Montrealers the Barr Brothers have n...
NewsDec 02, 2014
My Morning Jacket Plotting Two New Albums
It's been a few years since shaggy Kentucky rockers My Morning Jacket released an album, but that will soon change. The band have said that ...